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hhgregg Extends Store Closings To Chicagoland

hhgregg’s Wisconsin store closures are extending into Illinois.

The chain, which is shutting all five Badger State stores, will also close a location in the affluent Chicago suburb of Vernon Hills, Ill., the company confirmed.

The closures are expected in mid-October, and will leave the company with about 220 locations across 19 states.

“As a natural course of business, we regularly evaluate our real estate positions to determine when and where new store openings, relocations, or at times closings make the most sense for our customers and our company,” the chain said in a statement issued to TWICE.

On a first-quarter earnings call, recently named CEO Robert Riesbeck said the stores had fallen victim to a consolidation of the company’s Chicago and Indianapolis distribution centers into a new facility near Cincinnati.

Improved logistics and supply-chain efficiencies could realize upward of $25 million in annualized savings by 2018, Riesbeck said last spring.

No further “significant store closures” are anticipated, he said on the call — nor store openings, apparently. In lieu of new locations, the focus has been on hhgregg’s dozen-plus Fine Lines premium appliance boutiques, which sit adjacent to its flagship stores. Upwards of 30 new majap shops are now set to open over the next two years.

The restructuring of its distribution network, together with the store closings, will help fuel the Fine Lines expansions and contribute to hhgregg’s drive toward profitability, the company said.

The retailer entered Wisconsin in 2012 with three stores in Milwaukee and two in the Green Bay area following its push into Chicagoland the previous year.