hhgregg to close Mall of Louisiana store

    Troubled retailer hhgregg is closing all of its Louisiana stores, including its Mall of Louisiana location, in an attempt to improve its financial position.

    The Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics chain announced the closures today, saying it would shutter a total of 88 stores nationwide and distribution and delivery centers in Maryland, Florida and Pennsylvania. The closures will eliminate 1,500 jobs across the country.

    “We are strategically exiting markets and stores that are not financially profitable for us,” says Robert J. Riesbeck, hhgregg’s president and CEO, in a statement. “This is a proactive decision to streamline our store footprint in the markets where we have been, and will continue to be, important to our customers, vendor partners and communities. We feel strongly that the markets we will remain in are the right ones for our customers and our business model.”

     Jacob Wilson, the Mall of Louisiana’s general manager, could not be reached for comment by this afternoon’s publication.

    hhgregg opened its Baton Rouge store in November 2012, celebrating with a grand opening event that featured LSU cheerleaders and the university’s mascot. The chain also opened stores in Metairie and Harvey.

    Riesbeck says remaining in the affected markets would not have not allowed the company to become profitable again. Inventory at the affected stores will be sold in the coming weeks, with final closings expected to be complete by mid-April.

    Last week, Bloomberg reported that hhgregg was grappling with slumping sales and that weak holiday sales pushed the retailer to the edge. The chain is preparing to file for bankruptcy, Bloomberg also reported. 

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