Hot Topic, Santa Monica, Calif.

Hot Topic has always strived to reflect the tastes, interests and attitudes of its customers and the newest evolution of its prototype is no exception. The store, in Santa Monica, Calif., and designed in collaboration with JGA, Southfield, Mich., is sleek and transparent. It mirrors the world of Hot Topic’s tech-savvy customers by seamlessly blending social and technological components into the shopping experience. The end result is a highly interactive environment; from access to online music-listening to stations where shoppers can co-create their own designs for t-shirts. The space can also be modified to accommodate live music performances -- all fixtures, including cashwraps, are on casters allowing the entire store to be transformed into a music venue.

Among the store’s highlights:

  • Microsoft surface tables: These tables, in a custom designed enclosure, give shoppers a unique way to digitally access content in the store. The intuitive and easy-to-use multi-touch computer allows shoppers access to multiple features and programs, including Hot Topic’s loyalty program.
  • Cashwrap: The design utilizes a “pod” approach to the cashwrap, with two pods within the store. The pods are wireless, so they can be relocated anywhere there is access to power.
  • Media wall ceiling panels, a series of “clouds,” carry the eye toward the large media wall in the rear of the store. The wall provides a changeable background for performing bands, and also accommodates social and media elements. It also can serve as a window into various activities that are happening in-store or at theatrical venues.
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