Caitlin Murphy
Hot_Topic_StoreFront.jpg

retail redesign

 

hot topic retail redesign 

assignment: revive a struggling retail brand to its previous glory.

 

Background

Hot Topic began as a teen accessories store in the late 80's, selling a wide variety of styles. It was the edgier pieces in the store — dark clothing, studded belts, body jewelry — that soon became fan favorites. This appetite for counter culture was largely influenced by the music of the times. The MTV-era was in full swing and a number of different musical genres had emerged, such as grunge and punk, that fed teenage angst and self-expression. Hot topic capitalized on this and became the go-to store for music-inspired merchandise. 

Current State:

Walking into a Hot Topic store today is nothing like it used to be. The music they once embraced has been phased out, and instead of adapting to the times, they've tried to make up for their losses in other ways. They've jumped into a world of licensing, focusing on popular, money-making fandoms like Harry Potter, Hello Kitty, Disney, Marvel, Pokemon, etc. They’re trying to talk to everyone, and reaching no one. They've lost their musical identity.

Strategy: Return to our musical roots.

Make Hot Topic a curator of alternative pop culture once again by taking stock of what's relevant in the music world. 

Creative Concept: Made by Music

We've moved Hot Topic out of suburban malls and into metropolitan areas with strong underground music scenes. Although the geographic placement has changed, we've kept the iconic arch way. 

We've moved Hot Topic out of suburban malls and into metropolitan areas with strong underground music scenes. Although the geographic placement has changed, we've kept the iconic arch way. 

We've done away with unnecessary SKUs and decluttered the retail space. We're not just a store; we're a curator. It's our mission to take stock of what's truly relevant in music-related style. 

We've done away with unnecessary SKUs and decluttered the retail space. We're not just a store; we're a curator. It's our mission to take stock of what's truly relevant in music-related style. 

The new space will offer merchandise as well as meeting spaces for people to come, hang out, and share music. 

The new space will offer merchandise as well as meeting spaces for people to come, hang out, and share music. 

The heart of Hot Topic has always been the large T-shirt wall. We've kept the wall but updated it to feature more relevant artists and music groups. 

The heart of Hot Topic has always been the large T-shirt wall. We've kept the wall but updated it to feature more relevant artists and music groups. 

Designed with true music lovers in mind. Hot Topic will sell novelty items, such as mix tapes from local artists and vintage vinyl records. 

Designed with true music lovers in mind. Hot Topic will sell novelty items, such as mix tapes from local artists and vintage vinyl records. 

Stage One: Similar to what Apple does with their Genius Bar, Stage One is an area where customers can  rent out mixing equipment and other big-ticket items as well as get troubleshooting advice from music experts. The big screen at the back of the store will be streaming music videos and live shows on a constant loop. 

Stage One: Similar to what Apple does with their Genius Bar, Stage One is an area where customers can  rent out mixing equipment and other big-ticket items as well as get troubleshooting advice from music experts. The big screen at the back of the store will be streaming music videos and live shows on a constant loop. 

out of home marketing:

Interactive T-shirt Wall

We'll start by placing larger-than-life t-shirt walls in cities where the new Hot Topic will be opening. Passerby's will be able to survey the wall and purchase shirts on the spot. They better act fast, however, because it's first come first serve and there's limited supply of these collectible shirts. 

We'll start by placing larger-than-life t-shirt walls in cities where the new Hot Topic will be opening. Passerby's will be able to survey the wall and purchase shirts on the spot. They better act fast, however, because it's first come first serve and there's limited supply of these collectible shirts. 

As the t-shirts disappear, our tag will slowly be revealed on the billboard beneath. 

As the t-shirts disappear, our tag will slowly be revealed on the billboard beneath. 

MADE BY MUSIC with the location of the new store. 

MADE BY MUSIC with the location of the new store. 

After the original stunt is over, we will start placing these digital walls throughout the country — city streets, train stations, airports — where people can interact with our Facebook Chatbot. They simply tell the bot what t-shirt they want, what size, and we'll have it shipped directly to them. 

After the original stunt is over, we will start placing these digital walls throughout the country — city streets, train stations, airports — where people can interact with our Facebook Chatbot. They simply tell the bot what t-shirt they want, what size, and we'll have it shipped directly to them. 

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TEAM: CAITLIN MURPHY (CBM), MISHAAL ABASSI (ST), JASON GOLDBERG (AD), TOM DALEY (CW), JESSICA NEW (CW), ALEX RICE (XD)