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hhgregg Halts New Store Openings And Other Reveals From CEO Dennis May

hhgregg has put its plans to become a nationwide chain on temporary hold, CEO Dennis May said.

In an interview with the company’s hometown Indianapolis Business Journal, May said the 60-year-old multiregional retailer is taking a breather after opening over 200 stores in the last 16 years.

The appliance, CE and home furnishings chain will use the time to concentrate on its turnaround efforts amid continuing losses, while execs “figure out what the [store] format looks like,” he said.

Among May’s other shared insights:

* hhgregg’s TV business has declined from nearly $1 billion to about $650 million due to the category’s “significant duress,” although he’s optimistic about 4K this holiday season as the TVs drop to “power-alley price points”;

* online is the company’s fastest-growing area, with web sales nearing 10 percent of the business;

* furniture too is nearing 10 percent of sales, and hhgregg hopes to double that “very high-margin category”; and

* in hindsight, the company should have opened 50 of its Fine Lines luxury appliance shops instead of 11, given their double-digit growth.

The full interview is available here.