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CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA-Maybe it takes a vampire, or a musician or two, to change landlords’ perceptions – they’ve certainly helped Hot Topic, executives said at the company’s second-quarter conference call.

The success of the chain’s tie-ins with last year’s vampire-centric Twilight film and more than 6,000 individual in-store music performances have helped tenant/developer, and even tenant/tenant relations, as the promotions draw young shoppers, says Betsy McLaughlin, CEO.

“Developers are happy with us,” McLaughlin says. “They’ve gone from being suspicious of us to asking how they can help us. Many other retailers have been helpful because they seeing us driving traffic to the mall.”

The key, she noted, was monetizing such events – fans waiting to meet Twilight actors spent hours at the mall, most probably shopping. Last year saw 55 center court music events, a figure likely to double this year. The chain plans to repeat similar promotions for the Twilight sequel, New Moon, this fall.

Total sales for the quarter were $157.8 million, down 5.4% from the same period last year. Total company comparable store sales declined 7.7%. The chain posted a net loss of $3.2 million, compared with a net loss of $0.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

During the quarter, the company opened one Torrid unit and closed three Torrid stores. The company also remodeled or relocated five Hot Topics.

At quarter end, the company operated 679 Hot Topic stores and 156 Torrid units.

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