Hastings in Killeen

Hastings store manager Kay Barnes asks the audience to help her judge a costume contest during the release party for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in 2007. Hastings in Killeen will be closing down later this year.

All Hastings Entertainment stores in the country, including the one in Killeen, will soon be closing, officials said.

The 126 stores are scheduled to close their doors permanently during the next few months; however, officials with the retail store that sells books, CDs, DVDs and video games did not provide an exact date when the Killeen store will close.

“All of the stores have to close by the end of October,” said Rachel Rosenblatt, a spokeswoman for Hastings.

In June, Hastings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy “protection with the goal of expediting our search for a buyer that would help us complete our remerchandising strategy and position our business for long-term success,” according to a statement from Rosenblatt.

At the completion of the sale process earlier this week, “the winning buyer was a joint venture that will instead oversee a liquidation of our stores to ensure we are maximizing the value of all of our remaining merchandise and assets as we prepare to close,” according to

the statement.

The closures include Hastings’ e-Commerce business and its corporate office in Amarillo, where it was founded in 1968.

At the Hastings Killeen store, 1500 Lowes Blvd., on Friday, customers said they were sad to learn the store would soon be closing its doors forever.

The news of Hasting’s going out of business brought an “OMG” response from Killeen resident Edward Santiago, 44. He attended regular comic book events there and often met groups at the store for midnight book release parties. “That’s where I went to all the ‘Harry Potter’ book releases, and it was always a great time with fellow fans,” Santiago said. “I’ll miss Hastings a lot.”

Harker Heights resident Tony Gilbert, 31, visited Hastings to buy some Blu-Rays and videos for probably the last time. He read of the store’s closing on the web but wasn’t surprised. “People stream films and music now, so it was inevitable,” said Gilbert.

For the past several years, Shannon Evans, 54, of Killeen, preferred the quiet of the cafe to other coffee shops. She considers the store’s closing a big loss for the area. “It was my go-to place to unwind, and I bought books here. I’m sorry to see it close,” Evans said.

The local store played host to many book signings over the years, including a 2012 visit from Chris Kyle, the late Navy SEAL known for the book and movie “American Sniper.”

The Killeen store relocated to its current Lowes Boulevard location in 2010 after it had been at the corner of W.S. Young Drive and Veterans Memorial Boulevard for years.

At the time, the new store was touted as a “multimedia superstore model ... which few retailers can match,” according to a news release from the company. “When you combine our huge rental and merchandise selection with the ability to sell back your used product, we think we’ve created the most exciting store in the industry.”

When it opened in August 2010, the 34,000-square-foot store included a coffee shop and employed about 55 employees, but officials declined to say how many employees are working there now.

“We thank our customers and employees for their loyalty over the years, and we hope to see our customers at store closing sales,” according to the company’s release this week.

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