Why Hot Topic

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We listen to our employees

At Hot Topic, we don't just give feedback to our associates - we ask for it! For instance, we continually ask associates what they think about product - what they like and what they don't, what they want and what they need.

We encourage communication. Many successful product ideas come from our stores' associates who contact our Merchandising team. Open door policy? Of course. We encourage all employees to contact anyone about anything at anytime. It's that simple. We encourage telephone and e-mail communication between all stores' associates and headquarters' associates.

Our concert reimbursement program is another great way we collect feedback. Any associate who attends a concert is eligible to be reimbursed for the price of their ticket if they complete a fashion report. Our Merchandise team then uses this information to make product decisions!

We listen to our customers

Customers are our primary source of information and we pride ourselves in our close connection to them. Whether through customer comment cards, e-mails or letters, we respond to what our customers tell us. Our newest store concept Torrid, for instance, was the result of customers asking for us to offer plus sizes.

We listen to new music

Hot Topic is "everything about the music". Whether you work in one of our stores, at our Headquarters, or in our Distribution Center, the latest music can be heard all around you. Music energizes our associates and our customers, and inspires new product ideas.

We are all about customer service

Whether it's to the customer who shops in our stores, or to any of our associates in the stores, in our DC or at Headquarters, it's our goal to provide outstanding customer service. Inside Hot Topic, we all have identified "our customer", and we treat each other with the same level of respect and responsiveness that we offer in our stores and on the Internet.

We share and communicate

Associates at our Headquarters and Distribution Center meet monthly as a team to share company updates, recognize accomplishments, welcome new hires and announce promotions. Within districts, Store Managers and Assistant Store Managers meet, at least twice per year. District Managers meet at Headquarters two times per year, and multiple times annually within their own regions. In addition, every year Store Managers nationwide meet in Los Angeles for three days of business review, product review, idea sharing, training and development, recognition... and fun.

The point? Ideas, training and recognition really matter here! Every associate makes a unique contribution to our business.

We recognize associates for a job well done

There are many ways in which we recognize associates. Just to name a few: we recognize associates for great ideas, feedback and performance, outstanding customer service, and years of service.

We train and develop

We offer training and development opportunities to all associates within the company. Our store management members benefit from a comprehensive training program which consists of training modules covering technical information and leadership skills. Headquarters and DC associates participate in training programs such as time management, effective communication, and interview skills, basic management and leadership.

For 2003 and beyond, creating additional programs to promote further professional development is one of our highest priorities. Recently, we introduced the first of several such major programs for Store Managers who are aspiring to become multi-unit managers. This particular program begins with a week-plus training experience at Headquarters, followed by in-Field experience with a mentor District Manager, with follow-up training as well. Additional development programs target other positions, such as District Managers and Regional Directors. At Hot Topic, we don't merely support "promotion from within"; we support every associate's development in line with their own personal career aspirations.

We encourage development outside the workplace, too

At Hot Topic, we believe an associate's development should go beyond the workplace. Tuition assistance is available to all associates after one year of service, and academic scholarships are available to all associates after six months of service.

We believe in balance

We recognize your life is made up of many different things beyond work. And at Hot Topic we work hard, but we have fun, too!

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