The hottest new releases in music, videos and DVDs can all be found under one roof when Hastings entertainment superstore opens next month.
Get ready — the store is opening its doors for a special one-day event from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, June 24, at their new location in the old Walgreen’s building in the Valencia Plaza shopping center, next to Albertson’s.
“We’ve been trying to bring a Hastings store to this area for the past 10 years,” said store manager Joe McCray, who came from Albuquerque to launch the Los Lunas store. “The proper location was always a problem. Now is the right time.
“We’ve become a close-knit team,” McCray said of the 34-employee staff. “This is so exciting for us all. Everywhere we go, we’re treated like rock stars.”
Theresa Gueldenzoph, assistant director of the Los Lunas-Bosque Farms Chamber of Commerce, says the store has a lot to offer the community.
“It’s wonderful. We’re looking forward to it. I’ve talked to a lot of people down here who are really excited about it opening,” she said. “We don’t have anything like this. Pretty soon, we won’t have to go to Albuquerque. It’s great because we get to keep the tax dollars and jobs here.”
Like other Hastings in Albuquerque, the Los Lunas store will carry the latest books, movie rentals, video games, DVDs, compact discs and cassettes. Also, the store will buy back used compact disks, DVDs and video games.
Hastings has everything from those hard to find movies to recent box sets. The staff will even order specialty items or “anything they can get their hands on” at no extra charge.
Look for a few changes, such as the Hardback Café, where customers can enjoy bagels, danishes and muffins with frozen drinks and hot coffee before browsing through the store. Fountain drinks, flavored coffee, bottled water, candy and popcorn are also for sale.
“There’s something for everyone inside this store. We’ll have storytelling, where our employees will dress in costume and read for the kids,” McCray said.
“The older crowd can meet in the cafe, read the newspaper and catch up on the day’s news.”
The new store will also feature a Christian area, complete with magazines, music and inspirational books and tapes.
Special events will be held throughout the store, such as showcasing local talent with an open mic night and listening parties for new music releases.
“That’s quite unique to the store,” McCray said. “We really want to try and get the community involved.”
McCray is expecting a huge turnout on Monday. “The staff is excited. They have a sense of ownership of the store. We started with nothing and put everything together,” he said. “It’s great to see all our hard work pay off. We want people to feel welcome.”
Hastings is also the place to find music accessories and instruments, such as clarinets, guitars, flutes and keyboards. The new store will carry a small line of VHS and DVD players, along with small stereos and computer software. A long list of novelties and gifts, from stickers, journals and strobe lights to lava lamps, are also available.
The store’s No. 1 promotion, McCray says, is focusing much of its efforts on literacy awareness. Hastings is donating $1,000 to the Valencia County Literacy Council.
“We have a program where schools can fill out pre-purchase orders to acquire certain items,” the manager said.
McCray is inviting the public to the special one-day event on Monday to see the new store, when all rentals will be half off. “Take a look at the store, see what we have. This is a chance for our staff to train and for the public to get a sneak peak,” he said.
Hastings will officially be open for business at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 27. The big day will feature guest celebrities, local bands and plenty of grand-opening specials.