2017 TOP STORIES: HHGregg ends 63-year run

December 30, 2017

Homegrown staple HHGregg Inc. had been struggling for years in the ultra-competitive consumer electronics market.

After searching for a buyer to rescue its 220 stores, HHGregg informed its employees in April that it was unsuccessful, prompting it to begin a liquidation process that put the 62-year-old appliance and electronics retailer out of business within eight weeks.

Founders H.H. and Fansy Gregg opened the first store at 4930 N. Keystone Ave. in 1955, and family members helped build the chain to more than 200 locations in the decades that followed.

It was under Jerry Throgmartin, a third-generation family member, that the company enjoyed its golden age, ratcheting up expansion while remaining true to what had driven its success.

Throgmartin was serving as executive chairman of the company when he died unexpectedly in January 2012 at just 57. His family said he was felled by complications from meningitis while visiting his ranch in Colorado.

The company’s fortunes went steadily downhill from there. It eventually was done in by a long list of problems—including overexpansion and a collapse in sales of consumer electronics, once its biggest business.•

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