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hhgregg Enters Wisconsin

Greenfield, Wis. – hhgregg has expanded into Wisconsin with five stores along Lake Michigan.

The showrooms, which extend from Racine in the south to Green Bay in the north, follow the company’s push one year ago into nearby Chicagoland, where the CE and majaps chain operates 16 locations.

According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the new Wisconsin stores occupy former Circuit City, Linens ’n Things, and Borders sites, following the company’s strategy of leveraging the depressed commercial real estate market to further its expansion plans.

The largest location, a 44,000-square- foot store located here in this Milwaukee suburb, will serve as a central training center and a hub for Milwaukee area deliveries, regional manager Andrew Eaton told the newspaper.

Grand-opening celebrations will be held in late September, Eaton said.

The Wisconsin arrivals follow last week’s opening of four stores within the St. Louis market, together pushing the chain past the 220 store-count mark.  But the stubborn recession, soft CE market and a $5.7 million first-quarter loss has prompted hhgregg to scale back plans for new market expansion in its quest to become a national 400-store chain and backfill existing trading areas.