At first blush, Hot Topic (City of Industry, Calif.) and Disney (Burbank, Calif.) might seem like an odd couple. You don’t see a lot of Goth fairy princesses, after all.
But for Disney’s new 3-D movie, director Tim Burton’s gothic-tinged take on “Alice in Wonderland,” Hot Topic and the company that Walt built joined forces to create something rather mad: An “Alice”-themed pop-up store. Maybe not so mad, though, according to John Kirkpatrick, Hot Topic’s chief music officer. “Our stores have a huge number of fans always looking to connect with what they love,” he says.“ ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and Tim Burton films are high on the list of requests we receive from customers about merchandise.”
And this actually isn’t the first partnership between Disney and Hot Topic, either: In recent years, Hot Topic has sold T-shirts and other merchandise featuring Tinker Bell, the Little Mermaid, Snow White and their friends. The “Alice” promotion, however, takes things to a new level. While Hot Topic’s flagship store at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles was closed for renovations, London-based Five33 worked with the retailer and Disney to create a temporary, 3200-square-foot store elsewhere in the mall that features a rabbit-hole entry way, a smattering of oversized toadstools and an ornate set of Tweedle gates – as well as loads of Alice-related goodies, of course.
The pop-up store opened in early February in anticipation of the film’s general opening on March 5. It was slated to close in early April, when the renovated permanent Hot Topic space reopens for business. Though declining to disclose specifics on the temporary’s store’s sales performance, Kirkpatrick says that “customer and fan response to the space has been incredible, with many of them spending time taking photos in the midst of all the different set pieces.”