hhgregg to close Waldorf store, Brandywine facility
Retailer is exiting MidAtlantic market, all 11 Maryland stores closing
Indianapolis-based appliance, electronics and furnishings retailer hhgregg, Inc. announced Thursday that as part of its turnaround efforts, the company plans to close three distribution facilities and 88 store loca- tions, including a store in Waldorf and a distribution center in Brandywine, ac- cording to a news release.
“We are strategically ex- iting markets and stores that are not financially profitable for us,” Robert J. Riesbeck, hhgregg’s president and CEO, said in the release. “This is a proactive decision to streamline our store footprint in the markets where we have been, and will continue to be, im- portant to our customers, vendor partners and com- munities. We feel strongly that the markets we will remain in are the right ones for our customers and our business model. Our team is dedicated to moving forward and being a profitable 132-store, multi-regional chain where we will continue to be a dominant force in appliances, electronics and home furnishings.”
The company is closing all of its stores and facili- ties in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as the Southeast. All hhgregg retail locations in Maryland, which includes 11 stores and the distribution facil- ity in Brandywine, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia are set to close next month.
Current inventory in the affected stores will be sold over the coming weeks, with final closings expected to be complete by mid-April, according to the release. The closings will result in the elimi- nation of approximately 1,500 positions company wide.
“There are approxi- mately 24 employees at the Waldorf store and approximately 63 at the Brandywine Regional Dis- tribution Center,” Chantal Kowalski, hhgregg’s com- munication manager, told the Maryland Indepen- dent in an email.
“We do not know the exact closing date for each store location at this time,” Kowalski said in the email. “The stores will remain open until current inventory is sold, which we expect will be com- plete within the next 5-6 weeks.”
The retail chain’s distribution and delivery centers located in Bran- dywine, Miami and Phil- adelphia will continue to support customer orders of all products sold in the closing locations until ev- erything has been deliv- ered, the release stated.
According to Bloomberg News, the 61-year-old company may file for bankruptcy soon. It had expanded in recent years to 220 stores in 19 states. By mid-April, 88 locations will be shuttered, and the company will have effectively exited regional markets it had expanded into not long ago.
“The management team has worked tirelessly over the past year to return hhgregg to profitability,” Riesbeck said in the release. “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.”