University of Indianapolis Associate Professor of Finance Matt Will says Indianapolis-based hhgregg’s bankruptcy has likely been "in the works for many years." He says the electronics and appliance retailer has struggled with leadership and innovation since the death of former Chief Executive Officer Jerry Throgmartin, who he calls "the Walt Disney of the company." Will says he’s particularly interested in who the company’s buyer is, and why hhgregg is keeping it secret at this point.
Will says hhgregg, like many brick-and-mortar companies, has "been beaten up pretty bad by Amazon." However, he says it’s all part of an advancing economy. Will says Indiana’s strength in distribution and third-party logistics will allow it to succeed economically despite the closure of some brick-and-mortar chains.
"I bet many years ago Indiana was the hub of making horse and buggy parts," says Will. "But that industry died, and then we made auto parts. So that was a good evolution."
hhgregg filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana and says it has signed a term sheet with an anonymous buyer to purchase its assets. The company says its remaining 132 stores will continue to operate through the bankruptcy process, which it expects to take around 60 days. Last week, the retailer said it would close 88 stores and three distribution center, impacting about 1,500 employees. None of those closings are in Indiana.
You can see the filing by clicking here.