Book comp sales fell 1.4% at Hastings Entertainment for the third quarter ended October 31, while total store revenue declined 6.7%, to $101.3 million, and the net loss increased to $8.0 million from $5.5 million in the comparable period in 2011. "Our revenues continue to be impacted by the increasing popularity of digital delivery, rental kiosks and subscription-based services,” said CEO John Marmaduke in a statement, adding that the Olympics cut into rental revenue in the quarter as did the presidential elections.
A bright spot, Marmaduke said, was the introduction of more consumer electronics, sports, exercise, vinyl and tablets products in 44 stores that resulted in increases in comparable revenues of 16.7% and 11.9% for the quarter and nine months, respectively, in Hastings’s electronics department. By the end of the year, the chain plans to add these products in 67 stores.
In comments on books, Hastings said fewer book signings and promotional events were partially offset by continued strong sales of the Fifty Shades series. Book comps, excluding Nextbook sales, digital books and accessories, decreased 2.4% for the quarter. For the nine month period, book comps were down just 0.3%.
Although Hastings closed no stores in the quarter, it did operate six fewer outlets in the period than one year ago. The company had no prediction on sales for the holiday season. For the nine months, sales were down 6.5%, to $320.9 million, and the net loss rose to $10.5 million from $9.2 million.