The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 4, 2014

Hastings closing Pittsburg store

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Hastings Entertainment is closing its Pittsburg store at 2806 N. Broadway in July, a company representative confirmed on Wednesday.

The announcement was made to employees on Tuesday.

It is the latest in a string of closings announced by the Amarillo, Texas-based company that included a store at 526 S. Range Line Road in Joplin, which closed in March 2012, posting a loss of 35 full- and part-time jobs.

The Joplin store was closed “due to store operating profit being less than required by management,” the company announced in a statement at the time.

The Pittsburg store closing will mean the loss of between 30 and 35 full- and part-time jobs.

Employees at the Pittsburg store referred calls to Dan Crow, vice president of investor relations and chief financial officer for Hastings.

According to Crow, the Pittsburg store is closing for two reasons.

“One, the lease has expired or is about to,” he said. “We have an option to renew, but we decided not to take that option because the store is not generating enough profit. And two, we’re also changing our business model. We’re going through a major change, and the store in Pittsburg is too small to accommodate it in terms of square footage.”

Crow did not provide specifics on what the change will entail, but a company financial statement online notes that “revenues for music, books and rentals continue to be impacted by the popularity of digital delivery, rental kiosks and subscription based services.”

“In order to reduce our ... expenses in light of our lower revenue base, we underwent a restructuring of our corporate store support center, which included staff reduction, department consolidation and the termination of four of our eight corporate officers,” the statement said. It also noted the closing of 13 stores in 2013.

Pittsburg residents reacted with disappointment at the news on Wednesday. Kathleen Stuckey said she was displeased with the announcement because the store was her “go-to” spot for gifts and for fun.

Laura Washburn, an English instructor at Pittsburg State University, said she would miss the store because it provided her a place to buy gifts and knitting magazines, and gave her English majors “the chance to work in a bookstore.”

Closing time frame

DAN CROW, chief financial officer for Hastings Entertainment, said he did not know precisely when the Pittsburg store would close, but that it likely would be soon after a going-out-of-business sale that should run through mid-July.

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