Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hhgregg, gggone! All Stores Closing

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


Greenwave said...

Anything worth making a trip to buy at these stores? I have no idea what they sell anymore as I have not been to one in years.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad to see this happen. I have been to the Cumberland HH Gregg several times and purchased many items. Good service. As long as you know your product and price they would always bargain with you until you received a fair price. Lowes WOULD NEVER MATCH THEM after I would show them the HH Gregg price. Don't be fooled they are hard on their price. Home depot was fair price but would never match as well. Best buy was high or the SKU number would not exactly match. Brandsmart was a total mess. So now they are leaving this makes competition harder and fewer bargains. Guess I have to pay FULL PRICE now. SAD!

Dee Johnson said...

so...are that many people realllllly shopping online? I remember Circuit City, HiFi Buys and Service Merchandise were some similar stores that shuttered. Who's next, Fry's ?

Anonymous said...

I went to the HHGregg store in Buckhead in 2013. I looked at a few specific pieces and unfortunately gave them my name and address. I purchased a few days later at Lowe's and a week after that got a call from HHGregg saying my merchandise was on the truck and would be delivered C.O.D. I NEVER told them I would purchase anything!

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe it hasn't happened sooner. Target and Walmart practically give away TV's to get you in the store; same goes for appliances and Home Depot and Lowes, and you can accomplish so much more at either of them. I went to HHGregg two years ago to look at refrigrators, then found it online cheaper.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a jimmied up COD. I don't believe that there is legit COD in 2013. I bet they were desperate for sales and told you that just to get The potential for a sale going… I've been there 2 times every time on there I'm the only person in the store. They totally messed up my order for a high end JennAir fridge, dented it while loading the truck and asked me if I wanted it. Sounded like they wanted bait and switch to get rid of a (discounted) damage from inventory claiming it was mine that suddenly damaged. Based on that I bet your cod was a sham to get a sale going.

Jodyml813 said...

Probably.. Their stores are empty, dirty and customer service generally lacking

Anonymous said...

so...are that many people realllllly shopping online?

Online has increased but people with true disposable income are not spending. The consumers you see out spending buying cars and homes, eating out at restaurants they are spending money they don't have. The US economy has been all smoke and mirrors. More to come.

Anonymous said...

Replace these large big boxes with Mercedes Benz dealerships those electronic appliances are not conspicuous enough. Beamer Benz or Bentley those can be seen.

Anonymous said...

Had a lot of trouble at the Cumberland store. Bought a refrigerator and dishwasher for a condo that I used to live in but was about to put on the market. Had to be delivered separately. Paid for the icemaker to be set up, and had to pay someone else $80 to come later and make the connection inside the refrigerator. The guys from HHGregg that showed up with the dishwasher wanted me to sign a waiver that if it leaked, they were not responsible. Supposedly, it was because of the design of my plumbing. I told them to take it back. Went to the store to get my money, and the manager kept playing games and called the police when I demanded the money back for the dishwasher. Police just told him to give me my money back and waited until he did it. LOL! Bought a dishwasher from Lowe's and it was installed with no problem and no mention of a waiver. Glad this place is closing!

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