Texas-Based Retailer Hastings Files For Bankruptcy; Looks To Sell 126 Stores

Following in the footsteps of companies like Blockbuster, Borders, and other retailers that sold or rented books, movies, and video games, Hastings Entertainment is bowing to years of faltering sales, filing for bankruptcy on Monday. 

Hastings — along with its parent company Draw Another Circle and sister brands, Movie Stop and SPImages — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, outlining plans to sell its 126 locations or close up shop.

The Texas-based entertainment company says in a statement posted on its website that the filing was initiated as a way to prepare the business for the intended sale while also providing additional protection and financing to allow business move on as usual.

“Please be assured that Hastings stores and e-commerce business remain open and continue to bring you the superior selection of multimedia and entertainment products you have come to expect from us,” Jim Litwak, President and COO for Hastings, said in a statement.

Hastings, which typically operates in college towns in the Midwest and South Central U.S., hopes to find a buyer for its 126 stores within 30 days. However, if a buyer can’t be found, the company says it will liquidate its assets — a process its 39 related Movie Stop stores have already begun, according to Publishers Weekly.

According to filings submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Hastings has contacted 22 potential buyers and received expressions of interest from 10 of those, but no deals have been reached, Publishers Weekly reports.

As the company continued looking for a buyer, it has made several changes to its in-store programs, including no longer accepting or honoring customer deposits for future movie purchases. Instead, existing deposits may be applied towards additional purchases in the store.

Additionally, game rentals will no longer be offered and the stores’ buyback program has been suspended. The company says gift cards will expire 30 days from the bankruptcy filing on July 30.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this news may cause,” Litwak said in a statement.

Publishers Weekly reports that Hastings downfall likely began in 2014 when the chain was sold and became part of Draw Another Circle Inc.

Since then the company has suffered millions in sale losses, including $16.6 million in losses in 2015.