HHGregg seeks help
It’s been a tough month for Indianapolis-based HHGregg, an appliance and electronics retailer.
First, it was put on notice by the New York Stock Exchange for failure to meet minimum share-price listing requirements.
And this week, it announced it was turning to outside advisers, including a restructuring specialist, for help returning the company to profitability.
The company announced it has engaged Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. and Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC — each subsidiaries of Stifel Financial Corp. — to pursue a range of potential strategic and financial transactions that will support the company’s initiatives to improve liquidity and return to profitability.
“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,” said Robert J. Riesbeck, HHGregg’s president and CEO. “We believe it is an appropriate time to explore potential strategic transactions. 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.”
Stifel Nicolaus and Miller Buckfire have been engaged as HHGregg’s financial adviser and investment banker.
There’s no timetable for the process, nor is their “assurance that this review process will result in a transaction or other strategic alternative of any kind.”
Sales dropped 24% in the quarter ended Dec. 31, while losses widened to $58.3 million.
Shares of HGG were trading at about 50 cents on Thursday morning.
Retail sales inch higher in January
Things are looking decent for the retail market this winter.
Advance estimates of U.S. retail sales for January 2017 came in at $472.1 billion, up 0.4% from December and 5.6% from last January. That's adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.
Additionally, the November 2016 to December 2016 percent change was revised from up 0.6% to up 1.0%.
Retail trade sales were also up — 0.2% from December 2016, and up 5.6% from last year.
Gasoline station sales saw the biggest boost, up 14.2% from January 2016, followed by nonstore retailers (up 12.0% from last year).
Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers had sales that were up 0.3% from December and 3.8% year-over-year.