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Can Hhgregg get omnichannel religion fast enough?

Less than a year after joining Hhgregg to lead the retailer’s digital initiatives, Kevin Lyons has been elevated to the role of SVP of e-commerce.

The Indianapolis-based operator of 228 stores said Lyons’ promotion to SVP from VP of e-commerce resulted from the creation of an ambitious online development and promotional strategy. As a result, Hhgregg has improved website navigation, driven positive social media engagement among key customer groups and integrated online and in-store marketing, resulting in double-digit growth in sales and conversions.

“Kevin’s demonstration of leadership makes his promotion much deserved,” said Julie Lyle, Hhgregg’s chief marketing officer. “His expertise has allowed him to spearhead his team’s efforts to improve the online shopping experience for our customers, while also driving traffic to our stores. Kevin's passion for H.H. Gregg, its people, and innovation to drive our future success, set the standard for not only e-commerce, but all shopping channels.”

Lyon’s promotion comes as the company is in the midst of a search for a new EVP and COO following the Feb. 11 announcement that Gregg Throgmartin would leave the company after 13 years effective March 31. His departure comes as Hhgregg is reeling from an 11.2% decline in same store sales during the company’s third quarter ended Dec. 31. The lack of top line growth and compressed margins caused profits at the company to decline to $5 million, or 17 cents a share, from $17.4 million, or 51 cents a share, during the comparable period the prior year.

Although president and CEO Dennis May did not comment specifically on the retailer’s omnichannel efforts at the time, he did note that, “the broadening distribution and heightened promotional nature of the consumer electronics category during the holiday period reinforces our strategic decision to continue transforming our business toward a broader assortment of home products, including appliances and home furnishings.”

May said the company was pleased with the strength of appliances and home furnishings during its third quarter as they logged a tenth consecutive quarter of comparable growth.

“We plan to continue to invest in initiatives to drive profitable sales and customer traffic in these categories and management remains committed to transforming the company's sales mix and broadening its reach to both new and existing customers,” May said.

Omnichannel efforts under the leadership of Lyons and a soon-to-be-named COO are sure to figure prominently into the company’s strategy.