hhgregg Reportedly Considering Bankruptcy, Other “Strategic Initiatives”

Image courtesy of Daniel Oines

Appliance and electronics retailer (and lower-case letter enthusiast) hhgregg has been in trouble financially for a while now, having lost money in each of the last 13 quarters. While the company is trying to avoid a bankruptcy filing, maybe you should dig out any gift cards that you have and use them now.

Most retail bankruptcies wipe out the value of outstanding gift cards from the current iteration of the business, even if most of the stores remain open. Customers typically will have up to a month after the bankruptcy filing to use up their gift cards.

The information about a possible bankruptcy came from unnamed “people familiar with the matter,” and CEO Robert Riesbeck wouldn’t confirm or deny that information to Bloomberg, which broke the story.

“We’re focused on continuing to execute our business strategy, as planned, and returning this company to profitability,” he said in a statement.

The same general retail industry trouble that has led department and discount stores to announce store closures and retailers in other sectors to file or consider bankruptcy have affected hhgregg.

There are simply more places to buy appliances now, from big-box home improvement stores to the return of appliances to JCPenney stores. Industry experts also explain that shoppers are more interested in buying experiences than things, and in shopping online over browsing in-person.

The bankruptcy filing could come as soon as next month, though the company is looking for a way to raise cash and stay in business without having to go to court for what would be a Chapter 11 (reorganization) filing.

While hhgregg is a publicly traded company, the value of its stock has fallen so much that the New York Stock Exchange warned that it could be delisted. As of this morning, it’s at $.26 per share and still falling.