Hastings nears the end



p class=”p1″>By AMANDA KIMBLE

STEPHENVILLE (August 25, 2016) – Your one-stop shop for books, music, videos, video games and much more is preparing to make its last sale. But it remains unclear when Hastings Entertainment will close its doors for good.

An individual with details on Stephenville store, who didn’t have authority to speak on the subject, shared some information. While the individual said all news should come from the corporate office, by calling 877-HASTING, they also said the effort wouldn’t reveal much.

“They don’t know much more than local employees,” the individual said Tuesday. “All stores will be closed by October 31. That’s all that’s known at this time.”

Actually, calling the corporate number won’t telling you anything, except the fact that the “toll-free number you are dialing has been disconnected.”

Some information can still be found on the Hastings website, including a link to filing claims and directing interested parties to call 866-411-6983, the bankruptcy hotline for debtors Draw Another Circle, LLC and four of its subsidiaries, which include Hastings. 

It’s not just the Stephenville store. News of the pending closure of retailer’s almost 130 locations by October 31 was announced over the summer.

Hastings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-June, but failed to attract a buyer. The company lost $16.6 million on $401 million in revenue in 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which also reported Hastings racked up about $80 million in secured loans and $59 million in trade debt.

Photo by David Swearingen
Photo by David Swearingen

Liquidation sales began late last month after a joint venture between Hilco Merchant Resources LLC and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners received approval from a U.S. Bankruptcy Court. WSJ reported Hilco and Gordon Brothers will pay Hastings 75 percent of the cost of inventory, which is an estimated $82.5 million.

When the first wave of price cuts hit, lowest ticketed prices on many items were reduced by up to 30 percent. Used items, books, music, movies and games, the store previously offered as rentals to patrons or those that were purchased for resale were – and still are – being resold for as little as $2 each.

And prices continue to fall, discounts are as much 50 percent off the lowest ticketed price with limited exceptions.

The Stephenville location also has a sizeable stock of items never seen on Hastings’ shelves – woks and housewares, children’s clothes, blankets and other merchandise. A store employee said the items were sent from the liquidators.

“Those items were a part of the liquidations of (other) stores (not Hastings),” the employee said.

Meanwhile, signs hanging on the doors at the Bosque River Center locations say Hastings is looking to hire temporary employees. But, as previously mentioned, it’s not clear how long the job will last. It is however apparent the duties include assisting in the liquidation of the one-time entertainment supercenter’s remnants, which include everything local shoppers expect to see on the shelves, the aforementioned miscellaneous finds and the fixtures themselves.

Because, just as the sign says, “everything must go.”

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