Indianapolis - hhgregg plans to open up the Chicago market this fall with as many as 20 stores.
The move would make the Windy City area the largest market for the CE and appliance chain, with 11 percent of its 174 stores, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The company is leasing former Circuit City, Linens 'n Things and Wickes Furniture sites, and plans to open a distribution center to support the Chicagoland expansion.
hhgregg has opened 46 stores over the last 12 months and plans to open 35 to 45 more this year. Besides Chicago, the company is planning a push into Miami and Pittsburgh beginning this spring.
Executive VP/COO Gregg Throgmartin said the retailer is "absolutely" eyeing some of the 200 storefronts marked for closure by the bankrupt Borders Group, which would support its ultimate goal of becoming a national 600-store chain.
He added that the current downturn in CE retail presents market share opportunities for regional chains. "The electronics business is clearly in a little bit of a lull," Throgmartin told the Tribune, "but it will get back to normal."