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Consumer electronics/appliance retailer to close stores


Hhgregg is cutting lose its weakest locations.

The struggling chain said it plans to close three distribution facilities and 88 stores as part its effort to improve liquidity and return to profitability. The closings, expected to be completed by mid-April, will leave the retailer with 132 stores.

The announcement comes just days after the New York Stock Exchange delisted Hhgregg for failing to meet the minimum listing requirement, and amid rumors the chain plans to file for bankruptcy protection.

“We are strategically exiting markets and stores that are not financially profitable for us,” said Robert J. Riesbeck, Hhgregg's president and CEO. “This is a proactive decision to streamline our store footprint in the markets where we have been, and will continue to be, important to our customers, vendor partners and communities.”

Hhgregg has reported losses in 13 straight quarters. It has come under increased competition from both online retailers and more traditional ones such as J.C. Penney, which is expanding its appliance selection with dedicated in-store departments. In mid-February, the company announced it was pursuing strategic and financial options with outside advisers.

The Hhgregg stores slated for closure are in 15 states: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The distribution centers slated to close are in Brandywine, Maryland, Miami, and Philadelphia.

“We have determined that the economics of the affected locations will not allow us to achieve our overall goal of becoming a profitable company again,” said Riesbeck. “After scrutinizing our real estate portfolio, we have identified a number of underperforming stores, as well as store locations that are no longer strong shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape.”

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