The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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June 4, 2014

Pittsburg Hastings to close in July

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

The announcement was made to employees 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, at 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 also 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.

Crow, who said he was the only one allowed to talk to the media, said he did not know precisely when the Pittsburg store would close because he did not have that information. He said it likely would be soon after a going out of business sale that should run through mid-July.

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

“One, the lease has expired or is about to. We have an option to renew, but we decided not to take that option because the store is not generating enough profit,” he said. “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, and instead referred media to look at stock and investment information online.

There, a financial statement 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 SG&A 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 total cost of this restructuring was approximately $1.4 million which we recognized during the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Additionally, we closed 10 underperforming stores in fiscal 2013.  For the fiscal year we reduced selling, general and administrative expenses by approximately $12.2 million excluding the restructuring charge,” said John H. Marmaduke, chief executive officer and chairman.

Pittsburg residents reacted with displeasure 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, too, would miss the store, because it provided her a place to buy gifts, knitting magazines, and her English majors “the chance to work in a bookstore.”

 

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