Hastings to close nationwide, including three Texoma stores

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SHERMAN, Texas -- Hastings Entertainment filed for bankruptcy five weeks ago and was in search of a buyer. Instead of finding someone just to buy the store, they found someone to help close it.

"It's a real let down honestly because I've been coming here for years," Ryan Firth, a frequent Hastings customer, said.

Ethan Farmer, another customer, said he agreed.

"It's a bummer. I've been coming to Hastings pretty much my whole life."

These two men are like many Texoma customers, they say Hastings is the only store in the area left of its kind.

"They had more than what other generic stores would have," Firth said. "They have more of a specialty, you can find any movie or music you are looking for."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Hastings is $139 million in debt and lost $16.6 million last year, $10 million the year before.

Hastings went bankrupt last month, and that's when a liquidation company swept in and bought it.

The company's press release from Thursday said the new owners will "oversee a liquidation of our stores to ensure we are maximizing the value of all of our remaining merchandise and assets as we prepare to close."

Signs have been on the doors since they declared bankruptcy last month. Now gift cards have already expired, returns and exchanges are not accepted and rentals are no longer available.

Ryan Firth said he thinks this is a sign of how times are changing.

"Everything is going more online, people don't really buy movies or buy music anymore, or books for that matter, all that stuff is online."

Ethan Farmer said with everything online, he is worried about what it will be like for his daughter.

"I feel like they are missing out. I like actually having it and going back to the bookshelf, to put it up and go back to it."

These customers said now they are having to find a new way to get their books, music and movies.

"I guess I'll just try to find somewhere else," Firth said. "There's not many other places around here that have this kind of stuff, so I'll be keeping an eye out."

The Hastings release also said, "On Friday, July 22, the Bankruptcy Court is expected to approve our agreement with the companies who will oversee our store closing sales, Hilco Merchant Resources LLC and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC."

Rachel Rosenblatt, who manages the public relations for Hastings, said she does not have information on individual stores, but all of their 126 stores will close by Oct. 31.