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Rental Declines at Hastings

22 Apr, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Citing a weaker box office slate and consumer preference to buying DVD movies rather than renting, Hastings Entertainment Inc. reported a 4.8% decline in fiscal 2007 DVD rental revenue (ended Jan. 31) at stores open at least a year, according to an April 21 regulatory filing.

The Amarillo, Texas-based retailer, which reported quarterly earnings last month, is one of the last entertainment retail chains to rent DVD movies and video games.

Rental revenue for the year decreased nearly $4.6 million to $89.6 million, compared to $94.1 million during the same period the previous year. Rental profit margins actually increased to 65.3%, up from 64% in fiscal 2006.

Comp sales of DVDs increased 4% in fiscal 2007 from the previous year, primarily due to strong sales of used DVDs along with increased sales of next-generation formats, led by Blu-ray.. In fiscal 2006 comp sales were up 13% from the year prior,

Total fiscal 2007 revenue remained relatively flat at $547.6 million, compared to $548.3 million the previous year.

Hastings operated 154 stores at the end of fiscal 2007.

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