Hastings is a national media store, selling books, DVDs, games, music, that sort of thing. Of late, the word is that its music sales have suffered most significantly, as digital downloading takes the lion’s share.
But I was told that in response, the company was moving into comics. Big time. Already stocking graphic novels as part of their book mix, they had approached publishers and distributors nationally talking about increasing their comic books selection. Including selling brand new comics distributed by Diamond as well as stocking back issues in depth. In almost 130 stores nationwide.
While I think this might have a good short term effect on comics (how many of the largest comic store "chains" have 147 stores?) I am still not entirely sold on the long term viability of Hasting entering into the "friendly local comic store" market. They chose to start selling comics because the marketplace for music sales moved to a diret market digital model, rather than attempt to keep up with the digital evolution of sales in that market, what should we expect them to do with the inevitabe move for the comic industry into the digital domain as well?
While I applaud Hastings for selling comic books (even though it will never impact me in this part of the country) I wonder how much forward thinking went into this decision, rather than it being a stop-gap method to bolster profits. Does Hastings' target audience care about the sales of monthly comics? Are comic buyers even a large enough of a demographic to make the sales bump that Hastings is looking for with this move? I guess time will tell. I will be hopefully optimistic that it will come out for the best
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