Monday, October 31, 2016

Hastings Alexandria Louisiana Summer 2016

Here was the only Hastings Superstore in Louisiana. Hastings had three store concepts, Hastings, MovieStop, and Tradesmart. MovieStop began liquidating in June shortly before the bankruptcy of the company was announced. Hastings went into bankruptcy protection in June 2016 and was unable to find a buyer to continue operations. In July, Hastings was sold off to liquidators and the final stores closed on October 29, 2016. These photos were taken after the bankruptcy was announced, but before the liquidation.

 This Hastings Superstore had a drive through Hardback Coffee Cafe in addition to the store. Some of the smaller Hastings did not have the coffee cafe, and this was the only location I visited that had a drive through.
A typical Hastings Superstore had these departments

Movies for sale and to rent
Music CD's and Records both new and used
Video Games for all major consoles for sale and to rent
Books new and used
Fan zone with collectibles from the big 3 major sports and all teams
Toys and collectables
Electronics with TV's, CD players, record players, walkmans, tablets 
Phone accessories
Guitars and musical instruments
Gag gifts
Outdoor sports
Science projects
Hobby shop with build it yourself cars and RC cars
Magazines and newspapers
Greeting cards
Board games
Magic and Pokemon games
and more

Hastings had a lot of things in one store and you could easily spend hours browsing in the store. Hastings was in the beginning stages of adjusting the products in the stores to increase profits when the company went into bankruptcy. 

Music with the t-shirt wall in the background
In the music department looking towards the books
The front of the store close to the registers
Video game and comics departments
They had a huge selection of video games at every store
More video games 
The table was set up for events and card games
Video game rentals had been discontinued at this point and all games were being sold for $49.99
Hastings was the largest retailer of comics in the United States. 
One of the help desks scattered throughout the store in the movie department
The fan zone with sports collectibles
Hastings had a decent selection of new and used records
A view of the middle of the store
More of the fan zone with the comics sign in the background
This store had a massive movie collection to rent or buy
When you walked into the store you could use the sign to easily locate where the main departments were in the store. 
These massive signs can be seen from most parts of the store.
From the books department to the music and movies.
Books and more books
Hastings did not have a lot of stores in large cities, most of their stores were in towns with metro populations of between 50 and 200 thousand people. The loss of Hastings will take away not just jobs, but places where people went to mingle.
Not many places still have these movie drop off boxes.
This will not be the only Hastings store to be featured on the blog. Conroe, Lake Jackson, Tyler, Nacogdoches, Bryan, and Waco were all visited during the closing sales.


  1. This Hastings store certainly seems more modern than most of the other Hastings stores I’ve seen pictures of. Thanks for the pictures. The store certainly feels like a cross between a Barnes & Noble and a Media Play if you remember them. I didn’t have much of a history shopping at Hastings as they weren’t prominent in the city as you say, but it’s a shame to see Hastings go as they filled a niche in smaller towns. I guess there just isn’t much of a market for media stores and rental operations these days.

    Hopefully Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores, as well as the game stores like GameStop, will be able to survive in the future. It would be a shame to lose stores like that. It would also be a shame to lose physical media as well. Perhaps the loss of Hastings will open the door for independent comic book stores (and other types of media stores) to start up in areas that had Hastings stores.

    The drive-thru coffee store is interesting. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a bookstore with a coffee shop that had a drive-thru. I wonder if the coffee there was really that popular. You would think that they’d want people to come inside the store to get coffee so they may be tempted to buy something else, but maybe the coffee itself was profitable enough that they felt like taking on the McDonald’s and Starbucks of the world.

    1. Yes I remember Media Play. I was at one as recently as 2004 in the Carolinas that closed a few years after my visit.

      Hastings also had extras that a lot of stores do not offer such as a book club and the magic card gatherings. Barnes and Noble was smart to invest in record sales and increase the collectable toy offerings. One of the best selling categories at Hastings was collectable toys, and the refreshed stores had moved the collectables to the front section of the store.

      Gamestop was smart to get rid of their Moviestop concept, it was part of the downfall of Hastings. They also opened mobile phone stores like Best Buy and Gamestop stores with retro games. They have also increased the collectable toys associated with the games.

      The Hardback Coffee Cafes have mostly good reviews. I used the drive through in Alexandria once a few years ago. Their cafe was open later than the Starbucks so we went there as an alternative. They had good coffee and the baristas made me a good strong coffee as I requested. I visited the cafe in this visit but drank the coffee in the store. I don't know how many other locations had the drive through, but this was one of their newer stores.

  2. The Hastings in Conroe is in a former Randalls building. It was one of the few Randalls built by Safeway but it had a very short life. There was an identical Randalls in Cypress that also closed and is split between Ace Hardware and Planet Fitness. They aren't the most interesting tenants, but I'm glad Ace sells Craftsman tools (it's surprising Sears lets Ace sell a Sears flagship brand) and I get warm fuzzies from the Planet Fitness purple color scheme because it vaguely reminds me of K&B.

    1. I thought that the Hastings may have possibly been a Randalls. The former Lufkin Randalls had a very similar exterior to this store.

    2. Would the Randalls in Lufkin have had a major remodel under Safeway ownership? I ask because if you're thinking of the same Lufkin store as I am (there's a 1992 video on YouTube from when the store was new), that store definitely had a different design from the ones in Conroe and Cypress unless it was remodeled at some point to match those stores. I guess there could have been a similarity, but the Conroe and Cypress stores both had a Safeway design. I think the Lufkin store closed in 2005 at the same time as those two other stores (both of which opened around 2002) but I'm not completely sure.

    3. Looks like I was wrong about the store front of Conroe being similar to Lufkin, they are very different in design. The Randalls was partially reopened recently as a Burkes Outlet store so the building has changed.