Retailer Hastings has announced holiday quarter sales down slightly to $171.5 million and profits up to $5.8 million, with video game sales surging over 20% compared to 2007 while as both music and movie sales fall.
Video games comp sales rose 24.5 percent in 2008, following a 3.3 percent in 2007, attributed to "strong sales of gaming hardware, including Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation 3, as well as increased sales of new games for these systems."
Meanwhile, movie comp sales fell 2.9 percent in the quarter as DVD sales fell, and music sales fell 18.7 percent "directly as a result of continued industry declines."
The same trends followed through for the full year, with game sales increasing 17.3 percent, while movie sales fell 4 percent, and music sales down 15.3 percent for all of the above stated reasons. Hastings did say that movie sales were offset with used sales and next-gen format sales, particularly Blu-ray.
Said CEO John Marmaduke, "I am very pleased with our results for the fourth quarter. The retail industry faced its weakest holiday sales period since 2002, followed by a sluggish January."
"Retailing will be difficult in fiscal 2008 due to the state of our economy," he added, saying retail space given to music will be reduced by 15 percent to 20 percent overall. "These changes will provide our customers with excitement and help them to discover their entertainment, as well as drive incremental sales throughout fiscal 2008."