Same store sales of books rose 2.1% at Hastings Entertainment for the year ended January 31, although the increase wasn’t particularly good news for publishers. According to the company, the gains were led by strong sales of used books plus the July release of Harry Patter and the Deathly Hallows. In the fourth quarter, book comps were up 0.9% led by sales of used and bargain books, which offset lower sales of new hardcover titles.
Like other multimedia retailers, music sales have plummeted at Hastings, with comp sales off 15.3% in the year. As a result, Hastings said it is reformatting 35 of its stores to reduce the space devoted to music in favor of more popular categories such as trends and children.
For the year, the electronics segment had the highest comp gains, 20.3%, followed by videogames (17.3%) and café (10.9%). Total revenue in 2007 fell slightly, to $547.7 million from $548.3 million, although net income more than doubled from $5 million to $10.2 million. For this year, Hastings expects comps sales to increase in the low single-digits, with net income to be in the $10.5 million to $11 million range. The chain, which has 153 stores, plans to open three new outlets in the year.