If home electronics and appliance retailer H.H. Gregg can’t find a buyer within a week, its store at 7250 Cermak Road in North Riverside could begin liquidating its inventory by April 8 and close its doors by the end of May.
At the beginning of March, H.H. Gregg announced it was closing 88 of its 220 retail stores in the face of flagging sales, including several locations in the Chicago area. At that time, however, the North Riverside location was slated to remain open.
On March 6, just four days after announcing the store closures, H.H. Gregg filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the same time the Indianapolis-based retailer stated it had signed a letter of intent with an anonymous party to purchase the company’s assets, which would have allowed H.H. Gregg to exit bankruptcy proceedings debt free and to continue to operate.
But the company announced that deal had fallen through on March 16, and on March 31 filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana asking permission to enter into consulting agreements with two liquidation firms, Tiger Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC.
The filing also set a deadline of April 7 for obtaining a viable bid for its assets, stating, “This decision was reached only upon considering all reasonable alternatives, exploring and entertaining creative restructuring solutions and pursuing both strategic and operational business partners.”
Failure to find a bidder will result in the closure of the 132 remaining H.H. Gregg locations, including North Riverside’s, and the company’s 14 distribution centers.
Judge Robyn L. Moberly, presiding over the case in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana, has set April 7 at 10 a.m. as the hearing date on H.H. Gregg’s motion to enter into a consulting agreement with the liquidation firms and to begin closing all of its remaining stores.
H.H. Gregg entered the Illinois market just six years ago, in 2011. North Riverside’s village board welcomed the company by approving a three-year sales tax rebate incentive to take over and expand the former Wickes Furniture store, which closed in 2008.
If next week plays out as expected, it would be the second major retailer to depart North Riverside in the past year.
In March 2016, Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced it was closing a third of its stores, though not the one in North Riverside. But the reprieve for the store at 1800 Harlem Ave. was a brief one. The sports equipment retailer ended up closing all 460 of its stores last year.