Electronics and appliance retailer to end operations after 62 years in business.
Hhgregg, the bankrupt electronics and appliances retailer, announced yesterday that it was unable to find a buyer for the company and will now close all of its 220 stores in 19 states.
Early last month, the retailer announced plans to close 88 stores or 40% of its overall network as well as three distribution centers, in an effort to regain stable footing and exit bankruptcy a leaner, more profitable company.
Hhgregg CEO Bob Riesbeck said the company "continued to fight for the future" since March 6th, when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
"While we had discussions with more than 50 private equity firms, strategic buyers and other investors, unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our plan to secure a viable buyer of the business on a going-concern basis within the expedited timeline set by our creditors," Riesbeck said.
It's been a rough decade for the chain.
Hhgregg, under the ticker symbol HGG, went public on July 20th 2007 at $13 per share. On May 28th, 2010 the stock reached its all time high of $30.01. The stock tanked shortly thereafter, reaching $20.11 September 20th, 2013, for what would be the last time ever. On December 30th, 2016, the stock closed at $1.43, before arriving at today's share price of four cents a share.
In February, the company said it would lay off 100 people, including 70 workers at its Indianapolis headquarters. Strangely, the number of job "opportunities" listed on its website has increased this month with eleven new jobs added today, 35 yesterday, 12 Thursday and another 33 since April 1. Most amazingly, all of the current 420 current "opportunities" have been posted since the company filed for bankruptcy March 6th.
Hhgregg entered the Atlanta market in 2002, and grew its presence in the market to a total of 14 stores. The Buckhead store, at Buckhead Trangle shopping center, was the chain's last Atlanta area store to debut when it opened in fall 2012 in place of a former Circuit City store.
According to hhgregg's website, the last store it opened was in Matthews, North Carolina, a Charlotte suburb. The Matthews store opened in late 2014, and was not included on last month's closure list, but is now closing. Hhgregg renovated and celebrated grand re-openings of stores in Orlando and Tampa in 2015 that showcased the company's then new store design.
In Atlanta, closing sales are already well underway at the four previously announced store closures including the aforementioned Buckhead store, in addition to those in Duluth near Gwinnett Place Mall, in Morrow near Southlake Mall, and in Lithonia near the Mall at Stonecrest. These four stores, which are currently offering between 60-90% off retail prices, are all expected to close no later than this coming Wednesday, but possibly sooner depending on inventory levels.
Following Friday's announcement, ten other Atlanta area hhgregg stores have begun liquidation sales that are expected to last until late May. In all, 132 hhgregg stores will begin sales nationwide.
The stores that are included in the final wave of closures are now offering patrons 5-30% off retail prices with many items, like computers and televisions, reportedly at the minimum discount, and items like Keurig K-cups more significantly discounted.
The Atlanta area stores that just started their liquidation sales are:
Cumberland Crossing Shopping Center on Cumberland Boulevard in Smyrna
Snellville Pavilion on Scenic Highway in Snellville
The Plaza on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta
Barrett Pavilion on Cobb Place Lane (Just off Ernest Barrett Parkway) in Kennesaw
In an outparcel of Mall of Georgia on Woodward Crossing in Buford
Eisenhower Crossing on Billy Williamson Drive in Macon
Next to Columbus Park Crossing on Whittlesey Boulevard in Columbus
Fayette Pavilion on Pavilion Parkway in Fayetteville
Near Arbor Place Mall on Concourse Parkway in Douglasville
Newnan Crossing on Newnan Crossing Bypass in Newnan
Snellville Pavilion has been hit especially hard with the center having only recently backfilled the former Staples retail space to Ashley Furniture Homestore, and still sitting on a vacant Anna's Linens. Fortunately, Sports Authority, which closed all of its stores last summer, was located in a separate nearby center on 78.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about the hhgregg in Kennesaw is its phone number, (770) 919-1991.
Hhgregg's store closure announcement follows announcements from a half dozen other retail chains closing all or some of their stores. Family Christian Stores, which dates from 1932, is currently winding down operations of their entire chain, including 240 locations nationwide. Kmart, Sears, Macy's, The Children's Place, Payless ShoeSource, Gander Mountain, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Bebe and other retailers have all announced significant reductions in their store counts. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based teen retailer Rue21 operates over 1,100 stores nationwide, including over 30 in Georgia, and could file for bankruptcy as soon as this month, according to a report from Reuters.
Click here for a cool history lesson on the hhgregg brand and a collection of the chain's commercials.
Are you surprised hhgregg was unable to find a buyer? Do you think hhgregg opened too many stores in metro Atlanta? What would you like to see open in place of your local hhgregg?
Please share your thoughts below