The Duncan Banner
Though Duncan Hastings Entertainment will see its last day Aug. 9, there may be a brighter side to its end.
Chris Deal, president of Duncan Chamber of Commerce, said there is some interest from a large retailer in coming to Duncan and the Hasting’s space may work just right. Deal keeps his ear to the ground on business happening in the city in order to prepare for instances such as this.
“I did know for some time, about six months ago, that this (Hastings closing) might be a possibility,” Deal said. “It goes back to investigation, because I’m always trying to configure new retail into Duncan.”
The Hastings building was built for Kmart, which moved out in 1989, Deal said. It sat vacant for a few years until Hastings moved in around 1996. Deal is hoping to not have that long of a vacancy after the entertainment retailer has moved out.
“They began consolidating stores a couple years ago and I was looking at that,” he said. “I’m always disappointed when our market doesn’t demonstrate to retailers that we’d be a good place to sell our products.”
Not only does that aspect of the store closing hit Deal, but he also said personally he will miss all that Hastings provided for the community. This especially included books.
“For those of us who love the tangible book you can hold, they provided a great outlet for us and will be missed for that,” he said. “Also, the loss of jobs is disappointing.”
Because Duncan does not have another business to go to where physical books can be found in the variety that Hastings has, Deal believes that if an entrepreneur wanted to fill that niche on a smaller scale, they would be successful. He even said a plan could be made with the help of the Chamber and Jackie Jacobi at Red River Technology Center.
Despite the closing of Hastings, Deal said there is a lot going on in the retail business of Duncan, much of which he could not make a formal comment on. He did say to keep an eye on the movement of businesses in the shopping center near Walmart.
In this area, Hibbett Sports is moving into the former Fashion Bug store and Maurices is going into a space in the old Goody’s location. Horne Properties continues to have a sign that the old Goody’s space is available for lease. It was divided and most recently, rue 21 moved into a portion of that space.
“It’s hard for some people to think Duncan has a waiting list but there’s just not a lot of big spaces available and most retailers don’t want to build out somewhere by themselves,” said Deal.
“We do have some interest and hopefully that interest becomes stronger. Now that Hastings has opened up, this might be the bright side of that and we hope to have someone make a deal to go into that spot.”