Hot Topic: Case Study


Hot Topic has been in operation for the last two decades. Within this period, this retailer has managed to grow from less than 20 to around 800 stores. This means that it has become one of the leading players in its sector today. The discussion presented below describes the major attributes and practices that make Hot Topic profitable and admirable.

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Attributes that Make Hot Topic Successful

Several aspects explain why Hot Topic is currently a successful retailer. The first one is that the company has identified key passions for its outlet lines. These include music for Hot Line and fashion for Torrid. The second aspect is that all available products and services resonate with the needs of the targeted customers. The third one is the existence of a positive organizational culture. These attributes can empower and guide employees to focus on the retailer’s goals and business aims (Yusof, Munap, Badrillah, Ab Hamid, & Md Khir, 2017). This retailer has introduced evidence-based actions and strategies that ensure that it remains popular with its employees.

The first one is the implementation of a horizontal leadership style. Such a managerial model makes it easier for employees and supervisors to share ideas and improve performance. The insights executives receive from different workers are considered to support the retailer’s business aims. This means that the company takes employees’ contributions positively. The 9/80 program is also a powerful strategy that ensures that the work-life balance needs of all workers are met. All these attributes have resulted in collaboration, empowerment, and open communication.

This retailer can keep its success going by upholding the current organizational culture and values that all employees promote. The leaders can introduce new perks to empower their followers, such as health insurance coverage and better work-life balance plans (Yusof et al., 2017). The company can also identify sectors or areas that are underserved and produce superior products that can address the demands of more customers. New strategies to empower both employees and clients will eventually make Hot Topic more profitable.

No Walls and No Doors

The idea of no doors and walls in the corporate headquarters is something that supports the culture Hot Topic is trying to perpetuate. This is the case since the supervisor and senior executives create the best environment for exchange views and ideas with their employees. Such an initiative makes it easier for all workers to present their grievances and complaints. The managers go a step further to address emerging issues using evidence-based approaches.

This practice also ensures that similar incentives and approaches are replicated in every outlet or store. Such a strategy can empower employees to liaise with their colleagues and employees (Narayana, 2017). Consequently, the model has continued to support the intended organizational culture.

Personally, I would like to work in such an environment or atmosphere. This is the case since it echoes the attributes of a horizontal leadership structure. This approach makes it possible for employees and supervisors to share ideas and identify evidence-based concepts for improving performance (Narayana, 2017). Whenever working in such an atmosphere, chances are high that I will remain motivated and eventually achieve my professional goals.

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The above discussion has identified various attributes and practices that organizational leaders can consider to improve performance. The case of Hot Topic has supported the importance of a positive organizational culture, customer satisfaction, and employee empowerment. A horizontal managerial approach can also deliver positive results in different companies.


Narayana, A. (2017). A critical review of organizational culture on employee performance. American Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 2(5), 72-76. Web.

Yusof, H. S., Munap, R., Badrillah, M. I., Ab Hamid, N. R., & Md Khir, R. (2017). The relationship between organizational culture and employee motivation is moderated by work attitude. Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, 3(1), 21-25. Web.

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