62-Year-Old Retailer hhgregg Is Latest Retail Casualty

Indianapolis-based electronics/appliance retailer hhgregg announced on Friday that it will close its doors by early June, making it the latest brick-and-mortar retail casualty.

The 62-year-old chain told employees that, despite having discussions with more than 50 private equity firms, it has been unable to find a buyer since filing for bankruptcy protection in March, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Word of the chain’s demise, comes weeks after RadioShack announced that it was filing for bankruptcy for the second time in two years and closing 200 stores.

On March 2, hhhgregg announced the closing of 88 of its 220 stores and three distribution centers. The chain had planned to begin liquidating merchandising this past weekend and was expecting to close its remaining 132 stores in about eight weeks.

From the IBJ report:

Before store-closing-related job cuts, the company employed more than 5,000 workers.

HHGregg, founded by central Indiana's Throgmartin family, lost its way after going public in 2007 and launching an aggressive push to go national. The expansion coincided with price deflation and increased competition in consumer electronics, which used to generate most of its sales.

The company has reported 13 consecutive quarters of losses.

In an interview with IBJ in early February, [CEO Bob] Riesbeck said many of the company’s problems were of its own making—most notably its failure to change course when Amazon, falling prices, and other forces upended consumer electronics.

“We didn’t adapt to that change fast enough,” said Riesbeck, a former executive at Marsh Supermarkets and other consumer businesses who joined HHGregg in September 2014 and landed the top job last year. “And now we are playing catchup.”

The retailer was founded in 1955 by Henry Harold Gregg and his wife Fansy in an 800-square-foot appliance showroom and office in Indianapolis.