Shoppers at Rochester's Apache Mall got a bit of a surprise on Friday when they found the Hot Topic closed, along with a brief message printed on a sheet of paper outside the store.
"Almost all of our staff walked out due to the inability of the Hot Topic Company to support and give a living wage," it reads.
"We cannot support ourselves and our families. We have worked so hard and cannot do this any longer. You cannot pay your workers in passion. Sorry for the inconvenience."
A picture of the sign was subsequently posted on Facebook by user Shanice Mxnique, and has been shared thousands of times since.
Bring Me The News has reached out to Hot Topic for comment. The company is based in the City of Industry in California and has nearly 700 locations nationwide.
The appearance of the Apache Mall sign is a twist on the recent trend of fast food and retail employers posting signs that they've had to close down because "nobody wants to work anymore" — a common sight in the wake of the labor shortages and economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
(This Business Insider piece explains the origins of the phrase, and dives into the complexities behind the phenomenon.)