Going out of business signs went up in North Riverside on April 8. | Bob Uphues/Editor

Electronic and appliance retailer H.H. Gregg began liquidating merchandise in all of its stores nationwide on April 8 after a federal bankruptcy judge in Indianapolis on April 7 granted the company’s motion to shutter 132 of its remaining locations, including the store at 7250 Cermak Road in North Riverside.

The company’s president and CEO, Bob Riesbeck, said in a press release that the company could not find a viable buyer despite talks with more than 50 private equity firms and other interested parties.

“We have, however, received and accepted a bid for liquidation of our assets,” Riesbeck said. “This process will begin Saturday, April 8, 2017.”

H.H. Gregg filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 6, just days after announcing it was closing 88 of its 220 stores in the face of falling revenue. At that time, the company had signed a letter of intent with an unnamed firm to purchase H.H. Gregg’s assets, which would have allowed the company to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings intact.

However, on March 16 the company revealed that the deal had fallen through and at the end of March set April 7 as the deadline by which it had to find a buyer of its assets or liquidate all of its stores.

H.H. Gregg has hired Tiger Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC to conduct a sale of merchandise and furnishings at the company’s retail stores and 14 distribution centers.

The retail stores are expected to close their doors by the end of May, according to a March 31 court filing.

H.H. Gregg’s location in North Riverside has been open since 2011, when the Indianapolis-based company expanded into Illinois. The village of North Riverside gave the company a three-year sales tax rebate incentive to locate on Cermak Road in a spot that formerly housed Wickes Furniture.

 

Payless Shoes files for bankruptcy

Meanwhile, Payless Shoe Source, which has two North Riverside locations, announced on April 5 that it would be closing about 400 “underperforming” stores nationwide after seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Neither of budget shoe retailer’s North Riverside locations, at 2210 Harlem Ave. in the North Riverside Plaza shopping center and at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, was on the list of stores to be closed.