Indiana-based retailer HHGregg was founded in 62 but quickly grew to expand, regionally, and now has 220 stores across 19 different states. As a matter of fact, the company, at one time, came quite close to overtaking Circuit City’s place as the second largest home electronics retailer in America.
Unfortunately, that market has not had an easy time and now the electronics, appliances, and furniture retailer has announced plans to close what is left of its big-box stores across the country. This includes its big locations in Highland, Merrillville and Orland Park; the overall layoff process will effect approximately 4,200 employees.
With that in mind, HHGregg President and CEO Bob Riesbeck warrants, “Since filing for financial protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy code on March 6, 2017, we have continued to fight for the future of our company. 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. We have, however, received and accepted a bid for liquidation of our assets.”
Obviously, online stores—aka “e-commerce”—has been consistently breaking down the traditional brick-and-mortar business model throughout the United States. 2017, in particular, has been quite a troubling year for traditional retailers, as well as for commercial real estate. Major retailers have been shutting their doors left and right so for HHGregg to go the way of the dodo is not, exactly, that much of a surprise. Big names like Payless, Family Christian, The Limited, Wet Seal, Sears Appliance and Hardware, Kmart, have all closed at least some of their physical stores. Even Macy’s and JC Penney have had to close some of their department stores all over America.
At the very least, this is good news for fans of HHGregg fans as the stores will start liquidation sales this Saturday. The liquidation will last for the next month or more (and can depend, of course, on how long the remaining merchandise takes to sell). Of course, all sales will be final, but the company has said that it will accept returns on defective items, even those purchased during the closing sale. Also, the company says that they will honor all gift cards that have been issued before the bankruptcy filing; however, each customer will have a $2850 limit (per bankruptcy code).