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Sun, Dec. 08

Sour economy snags Hastings
Chain will reorganize under Chapter 11

KINGMAN - Unable to change as fast as the company wanted, Hastings last week filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11.

Company President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Litwak in an open letter to customers said the bankruptcy will give Hastings time to find and evaluate potential buyers.

The store in Kingman on Stockton Hill Road and Detroit Avenue will remain open - as will all of the company's stores, said Litwak.

The company has struggled to adapt to rapidly changing consumer choices, particularly in how we obtain movies, music and other digital entertainment, such as books. Brick and mortar is shrinking while online is booming. Those additional competitors combined with the shrinking demand for physical media pushed Hastings into bankruptcy.

With that in mind, the company has "transformed" about 20 of its stores, which are known for selling collectibles and basic items along with an array of entertainment products.

"We believe we are on the right path," said Litwak. "But we need additional financial support to fully execute our plan for the future."

Hastings is the latest business located in the old Safeway shopping center to fall on hard times. In the past year, Radio Shack and Hallmark have closed after long runs at one of Kingman's oldest shopping centers, along with a dollar store. Prior to that, a once-popular restaurant relocated to Kino and Stockton Hill Road.

Those stores remain empty, but Safeway and JC Penney appear to be doing well. In any event, Hastings will remain open for the time being, but some things have changed, and some will undoubtedly upset some customers.

• Gift cards expire July 13;

• Hastings' buyback program has been suspended;

• Game rentals are no longer available

• The store will neither accept nor honor customer deposits for future movie purchases. Existing deposits may be applied toward additional purchases in the store.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this news may cause," said Litwak.

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