Music influenced apparel retailer Hot Topic Inc yesterday revealed plans to open 15 new Torrid stores in fiscal 2002 following the success of a six-store Torrid test earlier this year.

Torrid features fashion-forward plus-size apparel and accessories for young women aged 15-29, and according to Betsy McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer: "Customer reaction to the concept and the merchandise assortment has continued to be extremely positive." She added that during the past six months the company has adjusted the mix, store design and store model.

Commenting on the company's financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2001 (13 weeks ended 3 November 2001), McLaughlin said: "We are pleased to report a 16 per cent increase in net income, on top of record increases in the third quarter of the last two years. Throughout the third quarter, our promotional activity was low and in line with last year, and inventories at the end of October were on plan."

The company's net income for the quarter was $8.507m or 39 cents per diluted share compared with net income of $7.317m or 34 cents per diluted share for the third quarter of fiscal 2000. The company previously reported that net sales for the third quarter increased 28 per cent to $92.080m from $72.203m for the third quarter of fiscal 2000, and comparable-store sales increased 2.2 per cent.

For the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2001, net income was $16.133m or 73 cents per diluted share compared with $12.881m or 61 cents per diluted share for the comparable period last year.

The company previously reported that net sales for the 39 weeks ended 3 November 2001, were $226.951m, an increase of 34 per cent over net sales of $168.759m for the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2000, and comparable-store sales increased 3.9 per cent.