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Employee Retention of Hastings Entertainment

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Employee Retention of Hastings Entertainment
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Pratik Kukreja
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Employee Retention of Hastings Entertainment - April 12th, 2011

Hastings Entertainment is a regional retail chain that sells books, music, movies, and video games. It also rents movies and video games and buys used books, music, movies and video games for resale.
The current CEO and President of Hastings Entertainment is John Marmaduke, son of founder Sam Marmaduke.

The company was founded in 1968 as a retailing division of Western Merchandisers, Inc., a books and music wholesaler. There are currently 149 stores in 21 states[1], predominantly based in smaller communities. Hastings Entertainment is headquartered in Amarillo, Texas.
Hastings's sister company, Western Merchandisers, became a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc in 1990. In 1994, Wal-Mart sold Western Merchandisers to Anderson News Corporation and now operates as Anderson Merchandisers.[2]
In 2010, Hastings opened up a sports equipment retailer called Sun Adventure Sport in Amarillo.

I was told by the cashier whose initials are "RB" that she would have to void out the whole sale since we paid with a check and re-ring the new sale. No problem (so I thought). After ringing up our purchases (minus the one DVD) the total was $72.43. Unfortunately, I didnt have any more checks on me so I used my debit card for this transaction.

"RB" made a copy of my voided 1st transaction stating that it will not be processed through my bank and the receipt is for my records.

On Friday night July 6th I checked my banking info on-line and guess what I have 2 charges from Hastings for $78.91 and $72.43 causing my account to have an overdraft with additional bank charges of $60.00 for returned checks.
I called Hastings on Saturday morning and was told that the corporate office in Amarillo will have to look into this matter, but they weren't open until Monday.

Monday morning at 9:00 AM I called the customer service number explained the situation and was told to fax the voided receipt and a copy of my bank statement to prove I was double charged. I faxed the info over to them and waited about 15 minutes and called to verify that they received the fax, and they did. At this point I was told that the papers would be sent to accounting office and will be looked into.

After not hearing anything for most of the day, around 4:10PM I called and was told by a CS rep that accounting has it and we haven't heard back from them yet.

I figured OK that's fine I'll call in the morning and see whats going on. So on Tuesday July 11th I call about 10:15 AM to be told again that they haven't heard from accounting and they have been having problems with their bank issuing refunds anyway and this is a normal problem!!!

I called again at 4:30PM to receive the same answer and was told that no matter how many times I call the answer will be the same until accounting gets done investigating the problem. There is nothing to invesigate, they have the proof in their hands in black and white!

I am angry because the first sale should have never left the office as I was told and having a company take its time when other peoples money is involved is poor customer relations! Also if this is a normal problem, shouldn't they look into changing their policy?

After having the information for almost 2 business days, I was hoping to have some results even an update as to what is going on.

Why is the cost of employee turnover so high? Turnover cost calculators include a long list of related items, all of which cost the organization time and money. This is a key statement- much of the cost of employee turnover is in time. But every minute spent on employee turnover costs the organization money.

Time and money are spent conducting exit interviews, filling out paperwork, mailing COBRA information, and in seeking replacements. Added strain and prolonged work hours are often put on remaining coworkers to complete their own tasks as well as help fill the gap left by a lost employee. Work time is lost to employees’ need to talk to each other about the situation under which the employee left. The organization risks losing clients when a good employee leaves, costing the organization money in the form of projected income. Then there is the cash layout involved in seeking and training replacement employees.

Many of the costs of employee turnover are indirect, but the key to minimizing employee turnover, and thereby saving the organization quite a lot of money, is very direct. Employee retention is the key to reducing employee turnover. That might sound obvious, but employee retention is a difficult task.

Employees most commonly leave because they feel endangered or undervalued. Office politics often play a role in an employee’s decision to find work elsewhere. A sense that the organization is not as invested in the individual as the individual is expected to be in the organization is also a leading factor. Employers must be on the lookout for these conflicts, and implement employee retention best practices if they want to retain quality employees.

Everybody wants a competitive compensation package, and most workers expect annual salary raises. Workers also become disgruntled when they feel that their compensation packages are being slowly reduced in the form of fewer vacation or sick leave days, as well as in the form of annual insurance cost increases. Respect and quality communication between Managers and employees is also key. Investing in employees by providing team-building events such as annual company picnics and regular and accessible training opportunities not only makes for a better work environment with higher quality and quantity output, it makes employees feel that the organization is invested in them. Employees who feel invested in by their employers become likewise invested in the well-being and future of the organization; and invested employees are less likely to leave.

Management Training Systems, Inc. specializes in providing customized solutions for organizations in the areas of Strategic Management, Organizational Transformation, Building High Performing Teams and Personnel Selection.

Hastings developed from an enterprise named Western Merchandisers, Inc., founded by Sam Marmaduke. Regarded as an pioneer in the wholesale industry, Marmaduke started his career as a rackjobber in 1946 when he arrived in Amarillo, Texas, to take over the wholesale business left to him by his late father. In his mid-20s at the time, Marmaduke transformed his father's small business, West Texas News Agency, into a family fortune, creating an expansive wholesaling business that later spawned Hastings, the retail arm of his wholesale business. Initially, Marmaduke achieved success by keeping operating costs down, an important aspect of his managerial approach and a characteristic Hastings would later inherit. More significantly, it was Marmaduke's diversification into other product categories that propelled his wholesaling company forward and cemented his reputation as an industry maverick. "They said I was crazy," Marmaduke recalled, describing his colleagues' reaction when he diversified into wholesaling record albums in 1959. The bold, innovative move succeeded, however, leading to the incorporation of Western Merchandising, Inc. in 1961, the book and music wholesaling enterprise from which Hastings developed.
Hastings was formed in 1968 when the first Hastings Books & Music retail store opened in Amarillo. Marmaduke, who later confessed he made a belated entry into retail, succeeded in retail as he had in wholesale, cross-merchandising decades before other bookstores or music retailers. Along with Tower Records, Hastings was among the first chains to offer books and music within it stores. Marmaduke's unique approach was emulated by his son John, who was named president of the Hastings business in 1973 and watched over the company's first decade of expansion. By the end of the 1970s, there were 22 Hastings stores in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Kansas, all situated in small towns--a trademark of Hastings that the company employed as its expansion strategy in the years to come. Growth picked up pace for Hastings at end of the 1970s as John Marmaduke and his father decided to expand by acquiring other retail chains. In 1979 Hastings purchased 29 stores that sold music exclusively and that were located in regional shopping malls. Converted to the company's cross-merchandising strategy, the stores acquired in 1979 were followed by other acquisitions in 1981, 1983, and 1985. Expansion through acquisitions was coupled with internal expansion, as the Marmadukes used their profits to establish additional retail outlets, both freestanding units and stripmall stores. The first chapter of Hastings's corporate history ended at this point, with dozens of retail units located in small towns scattered throughout the Southwest and Midwest. The next era began in the mid-1980s, when strategic changes were implemented that altered Hastings's business philosophy and changed the characteristics of the chain that had developed between 1968 and 1985. The strategic repositioning of the company stemmed from the influence of Western Merchandisers' biggest customer, Wal-Mart.
As Hastings developed into a regional retail chain, Western Merchandisers achieved prominence and robust financial growth by becoming a primary supplier to the Wal-Mart chain of discount retail stores. Hastings was similar to Wal-Mart in that both formats sold a variety of merchandise rather than a single product category, although Wal-Mart's merchandise diversity was greater, to be sure. In 1985, however, Hastings increased the breadth of its cross-merchandising approach, adding video rentals to the books and music it retailed. The addition of a video department led to a new name, Hastings Books, Music & Video, Inc., and, more importantly, signaled the company's decision to embrace the entertainment superstore concept. The first store to offer the three product categories, touted as the company's first "triple combo" unit, opened in 1985 in Amarillo's Wolfin Village Shopping Center. Equally as important as the foray into videos was a change in the company's pricing strategy, an alteration that underscored the chain's similarity to Wal-Mart. In 1986, searching for ways to beat back mounting competition, Hastings began discounting its merchandise. The experiment worked wonders, driving sales upward and convincing the Marmadukes that Hastings's future lay as a discount chain. By the end of the 1980s, the company's strategy was firmly set. The larger, all-media discount units the company was operating were realizing greater profits and sales. In response, the Marmadukes turned away from adding any more mall-based stores. Mall store leases were allowed to expire, directing management's focus on Hastings's blueprint for the 1990s: discount, triple combo, superstores.
With a prototype for future expansion established, the company pursued physical growth in its unique way. The prevailing characteristic of the chain was the location of its stores, nearly all of which were situated in small towns with populations ranging between 10,000 and 50,000. The company's niche was in towns such as Warrensburg, Missouri, Marshalltown, Iowa, and Stephenville, Texas, communities where competition was limited and residents often were delighted to have the opportunity to purchase a broad selection of books, music, and videos close to home. "When we go to open a new store in a small town," John Marmaduke explained, "and the people learn we are from headquarters, they don't just want to meet us--they want to hug us!" For these small rural towns, isolated from the wealth of merchandise showered upon their urban counterparts, Hastings offered what one company official described as "discovery opportunities" by cross-merchandising. From a practical standpoint, the intent was simple, effective, and profitable: "We want to sell mysteries to people who come in and buy music, and we want to sell music to people who come in to by mysteries," explained John Marmaduke.
1991: Marmadukes Forge Agreement with Wal-Mart
Although Hastings operated a number of stores in larger metropolitan areas with populations in excess of 250,000, the majority of the chain's stores were in small towns, which represented the basis of the company's strategy for expansion. The company used this approach to expand rapidly during the 1990s, a decade that began with Hastings's sister company, Western Merchandisers, falling under the control of another company. Although separate companies, Hastings and Western Merchandisers were woven closely together, with the fate of one company having an equal effect on the other. Accordingly, when Wal-Mart acquired Western Merchandising in 1991, the corporate life of Hastings was affected as well.
Following Wal-Mart's acquisition of its primary wholesaler, Hastings remained under the ownership of its founder and chairman, Sam Marmaduke, but both companies shared the same president and chief executive officer, John Marmaduke. Western Merchandisers and Hastings also shared overhead, distribution services, and headquarter support, and held their annual conventions together. Under this arrangement, the two companies prospered in the shadow of the sprawling Wal-Mart chain, but the close-knit relationship between Western Merchandisers and Hastings did not last. The numerous ties connecting the two companies were strained not from poor performance by either company, but from the success of each. Under the agreement reached with Wal-Mart in 1991, John Marmaduke was supposed to divide his time evenly between Western Merchandisers and Hastings. As Wal-Mart expanded its operations vigorously during the early 1990s, however, Western Merchandisers was forced to keep pace with the distribution demands of a fast-growing retail chain, which required an increasing amount of Marmaduke's attention. He was spending two-thirds of his time matching the gallop of Wal-Mart, leaving Hastings, whose all-media superstore concept was demonstrating encouraging success, without the full attention it required. "When you dance with an 800-pound gorilla," Marmaduke remarked, "the gorilla leads." After several years, the two sister companies could no longer effectively share the familial ties that had characterized their relationship since Hastings's creation in 1968. By the end of 1993, several months after Sam Marmaduke died of a massive heart attack, John Marmaduke decided not to renew his contract with Western Merchandisers and Wal-Mart. For the first time in its history, Hastings was going to be a truly independent entity.

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