Books accounted for approximately 20%, or $95 million, of Hastings Entertainment's $471.8 million in revenues in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2002, according to company chief financial officer Dan Crow. Comparable-store sales for books grew only 0.9% in the year, although margins improved at a faster rate due to higher sales from remainder titles.

Crow said books remain an important part of Hastings's product mix and he would like to get the same-store sales increase in 2002 up to the 3% to 4% range. Hastings's superstores carry between 17,000 and 60,000 titles. Crow told PW that Hastings is looking at carrying used books as one way to grow the business. Since 1994, Hastings has sold used music CDs and DVDs and the sale of used product accounted for 10% of Hastings's music business last year. According to the company's 10-k filing with the SEC, the company said it was "excited" about the prospects for accelerated growth in its used music business as well as expanding the used business to other products, including video games.

An area that Hastings is not counting on for growth is the Internet. Sales via its Web site were $166,000 in fiscal 2002, compared to $182,000 in the previous year. Crow said Hastings will use its site to interface with kiosks in its stores to help customers locate merchandise and to order items that are not in stock.