The home electronics and appliance retailer H.H. Gregg announced March 2 that it is closing 88 stores nationwide in the wake of a January report that company sales had fallen almost 24 percent year over year in the third quarter of its fiscal year, which ended Dec. 31, 2016.

  Among the stores closing in Illinois are those located in Schaumburg, Bloomingdale, Arlington Heights, Niles, Springfield and Champaign. The company’s store in North Riverside at 7250 Cermak Road will remain open for business.

“We are strategically exiting markets and stores that are not financially profitable for us,” said Robert J. Riesbeck, H.H. Gregg’s president and CEO in a press release. “We feel strongly that that markets we will remain in are the right ones for our customers and our business model.”

The store closures will result in the loss of about 1,500 jobs, according to the company’s press release, and the stores affected ought to shut their doors for good by mid-April.

H.H. Gregg has 220 stores in the eastern half of the country and closing 88 locations amounts to a 40-percent reduction in the number of stores the company operates. H.H Gregg entered the Illinois market in 2011, building about 15 stores in the Chicago area.

In May 2011, the North Riverside Village Board granted a three-year sales tax rebate incentive to H.H. Gregg to build a 30,000-square-foot store on Cermak Road on land that once housed Wickes Furniture, which closed in 2008.

 While the North Riverside store is not on the list of locations slated for closure on March 2, officials are wary of the future given a similar scenario last year regarding Sports Authority.

According to Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr., no one from H.H. Gregg has reached out to the village to comment on what to expect in the future.

“No one has heard anything,” Hermanek said. 

Exactly one year ago, on March 2, 2016, Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced it was closing 140 of its 460 stores around the nation. The closures included five Chicago area stores, but spared North Riverside’s store at 1800 Harlem Ave.

But assurances from that company to village officials turned out to be temporary. The North Riverside store didn’t make it through 2016 and the large retail space remains vacant today. 

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