Hastings Entertainment

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Hastings Entertainment was a U.S. retail chain that sold books, movies, music, and video games and functioned as a video rental shop. As of 2016 it had 126 superstores, which were mainly located in the South Central United States, Rocky Mountain States, and in parts of the Great Plains and Midwestern states. Hastings Entertainment stores were also located in many college towns in the U.S. Hastings Entertainment was headquartered in Amarillo, Texas. The company initially weathered the decline of video rental stores, outliving both Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video. However, declining sales finally forced the company to shift its' primary focus to collectibles and comic books in the 2010s. Through the early to mid 2010s, Hastings became the largest comic book retailer in the United States. While this strategy initially benefited the company, it ultimately suffered from a decision made during a mass expansion in the 1990s to lease all of its' properties rather than purchase them, which lowered the business' overall value. Amidst ongoing rebranding, the company was sold to merchandising firm Draw Another Circle LLC in 2014 for $21.4 million. Hastings suffered under Draws management, plunging the company $140 million into debt. In an effort to save the company, Draw Another Circle named Jim Litwak the President and CEO of Hastings in December 2015; Litwak had previously salvaged Macys and Trans World Entertainment from near-bankruptcy in the 1990s and early 2000s, respectively. Litwaks management proved ineffective, and on June 13, 2016 Hastings filed for bankruptcy, with the intention of salvaging the company by either franchising it or selling it to one of 22 interested buyers. When no individuals or companies came forward to purchase franchises, Hastings announced its' closure in the Summer of 2016. Hastings' flagship store in Conroe, Texas closed on October 29, 2016, and the remaining stores closed two days later on October 31, 2016. In 1968, the company was founded as a retailing division of Western Merchandisers, Inc., a books and music wholesaler. In 1990, Western Merchandisers became a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.. In 1994, Wal-Mart sold Western Merchandisers to Anderson Media Corporation, and the former Western Merchandisers then operated as Anderson Merchandisers.