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hhgregg Betting Big On Luxury Appliances With Fine Lines Surge

hhgregg is finally going wide with its Fine Lines premium appliance shops.

To date, the company only operates 14 of the stores, which were first introduced in 2004 and sit adjacent to the chain’s big-box locations.

Now, interim president/CEO and chief financial officer Robert Riesbeck has made them a key component of his growth strategy, and is planning to open upwards of 30 Fine Lines locations over the next two years.

Riesbeck signaled his plans in May, when he told investors on a fourth-quarter earnings call that he’d double the store count by March 2017 by adding 15 more of the boutiques. Of those, seven will be in place by the holidays, he later said.

See: How hhgregg’s Riesbeck Will Stop The Bleeding

In announcing the stepped up rollout, he described the shops as a “high-performing retail format” that further solidifies the retailer’s position as “the place to buy appliances.”

“Our Fine Lines locations have proved to be a strong-performing format and we expect that to continue in the future,” Riesbeck noted. “We believe our increased appliance footprint will continue to have a favorable impact on the growth and performance of these stores and the company overall.”

He continued, “We’ve recently seen strong momentum in appliances sales, and intend to continue that through the rest of the year and into the holiday season, assisted by the expansion of the new Fine Lines locations and the steady sales being generated, both in stores and online.”

Indeed, as of the fourth quarter ended March 31, majaps accounted for 56 percent of hhgregg’s sales mix, and enjoyed a 5 percent comp-sales bump in February and March with the launch of a free-delivery program.

Also fueling the gains were leadership changes made last year within the majap merchandising team, and an expansion of its bundled kitchen-suite offers.

The Fine LInes shops themselves feature such premium brands as SubZero, Wolf, Viking, Thermador, JennAir, KitchenAid, Bosch, GE Monogram and Miele, which are merchandised within lifestyle vignettes and offered with white-glove delivery and installation.