By Patrick Yeagle
Electronics retailer hhgregg announced on Feb. 2 the closure of 88 stores across the country, including the store at White Oaks Mall in Springfield.
Accompanied by the closure of three distribution facilities, the move is part of hhgregg’s “turnaround efforts” as it struggles with profitability.
“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.”
Chantal Kowalski, a spokesperson for hhgregg, says the stores will remain open until current inventory is sold, which she estimated to happen within five to six weeks.
The publicly traded company has seen its stock plummet from more than $30 per share in 2010 to just 12 cents per share this week. Riesbeck said hhgregg will continue to operate 132 stores after the current closures. The closures mean hhgregg is eliminating about 1,500 jobs.
“The management team has worked tirelessly over the past year to return hhgregg to profitability,” Riesbeck said. “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. 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.”
The Springfield location of hhgregg opened at White Oaks Mall in 2012.