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Hastings gives employees warning of "mass layoff," "plant closing"

Published: Jun. 10, 2016 at 6:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2016 at 9:23 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Hastings Entertainment Inc., has given all its Amarillo distribution center and headquarters employees a 60 day notice of a "mass layoff" or "plant closing."

Hastings is looking for a buyer or investor to provide financial stability the company does not currently have.

President and COO Jim Litwak stated in a letter to all employees, "We need an additional cash infusion to move forward with our plans for the future."

In a separate notice to employees, Litwak wrote "While the company remains committed to securing potential buyers or investors, the company will proceed with a mass layoff or plant closing absent any such intervening events."

A "mass layoff" could affect as many as 375 Hastings employees in Amarillo.

NewsChannel 10 reached out to Hastings and received the following two statements from the Vice President of Marketing and Advertising Kevin Ball:

"As part of our ongoing efforts to improve our business performance, Hastings is executing a number of initiatives, including launching a new store model in 20 locations, which are already showing improved performance; making our Company more attractive for our customers, current owners and potential investors; and optimizing our overall cost structure.  We are actively looking for opportunities to build on this momentum and position our business for long-term success. We will provide updates as there is news to share." (1:59 p.m., Friday June 10).

"Hastings has been working diligently to overcome our business challenges and we have made significant progress with a remerchandising strategy and other initiatives aimed at increasing profitability.  To continue our transformation, we have initiated a comprehensive process to identify a buyer or investor that will give us the additional financial stability we need to move forward.  While we are hopeful a sale agreement will be reached, we also have a responsibility to prepare for all contingencies.  As a result, we were obligated to formally notify our associates that, if a sale agreement cannot be achieved in a timely manner, we may need to begin downsizing our corporate office and/or closing the entire Hastings chain due to our continuing financial challenges. Our management team believes there are a number of parties that would be interested in acquiring our brand, and we are doing everything possible to create a strong future for our business and for this great team." (2:58 p.m., Friday June 10).

Hastings announced plans Monday, June 6, to close its Pampa location. The store will be conducting a going-out-of-business sale that will run through September.

Below are the letter and notice issued to Hastings employees on Friday, June 10 2016.

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