• Clint Engel

Hhgregg brings in advisor to evaluate strategic alternatives

INDIANAPOLIS — Struggling furniture, electronics and appliance retailer Hhgregg said it has hired two subsidiaries of Stifel Financial to pursue “strategic and financial transactions,” that support its work to return to profitability and improve liquidity.

The company brought in Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. and Miller Buckfire & Co. as financial advisor and investment banker but said there’s “no assurance that this review process will result in a transaction or other strategic alternative of any kind.” The Indianapolis-based retailer said it doesn’t plan to provide updates on the process unless disclosure is “appropriate or required.”

“We are committed to improving our results through our business strategy, including investments made to shift our focus to appliances and furniture, and additional expected cost reductions,” Hhgregg President and CEO Robert Riesbeck said in a statement.

He said it was time “to explore potential strategic transactions,” and “as the company undertakes this exploration process, we are focused on the execution of our business strategy and remain fully committed to serving our customers’ needs.”

The 220-store chain’s stock has plunged as losses have mounted and same-store sales have declined despite promise it sees in its newer furniture and bedding business. In January, the retailer reported its fiscal third quarter net loss more than doubled to $58.3 million. Same-store sales for the period ended Dec. 31, dipped 22.2%

Earlier this month, the company said it risks suspension and delisting from the New York Stock Exchange if it can’t return to compliance on rules over minimum market capitalization, stockholder equity and share price.

The company’s stock has been trading for less than $1 per share, but the latest news helped boost shares by about 10% to 47 cents per share in late morning trading.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

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