Revenue at Hastings Entertainment fell 6.7% in the third quarter ended October 31, 2013, to $94.7 million, but its net loss was trimmed to $6.2 million from $8.0 million in last year’s third quarter. While book comparable store sales fell 11.7% in the quarter, Hastings said sales from new products posted good results.
Hastings attributed the weak book figures to difficult comparisons to last year’s Fifty Shades trilogy as well as continued migration of sales to digital delivery. Book comps for the nine month period were down 11.8%. As book sales fell, sales of new products like consumer and music electronics, vinyl, hobby, and tablets had “encouraging” results, Hastings chairman John Marmaduke said in a press release. As a result of the strong sales of new products as well as cost cuts and the introduction of new game consoles, Marmaduke said the chain is “encouraged” about its earnings prospects for the fourth quarter.
Overall results in the quarter were also impacted by Hastings’ decision to close 10 stores so far in the current fiscal year. For the nine month period, Hastings had a net loss of $12. 5 million compared to a loss of $10.5 million in the same period in 2012; sales were down 6.6%.