hhgregg (NYSE: HGG ) may be 50 years old, but it's still a young growth company at heart. It made its debut on Wall Street last week, with a $45.3 million IPO to raise capital to pay down debt. Investors offered a warm welcome, as the share price has jumped nearly 11% in its first two days.
The specialty retailer focuses on high-end video products and home appliances and operates under two brand names: hhgregg and Fine Lines. There are more than 79 stores in eight states, so the company has a small presence compared with competitors like Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) , Circuit City (NYSE: CC ) , and even Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) . So how does hhgregg compete against the biggies?
It focuses on premium products, which allows for higher margins. There are more than 100 models of flat-panel televisions from brands like Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sony (NYSE: SNE ) , and Toshiba. In addition to its top-quality products, the company distinguishes itself by employing an extensively trained sales staff. The commissioned employees use an approach including consulting and education to give customers an exclusive purchasing experience.
As for home appliances, hhgregg sells top-of-the-line dishwashers, freezers, and refrigerators. Some of the premium brands include Bosch, KitchenAid, Subzero, Thermador, Viking, and Wolf. The company's major supplier is Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR ) .
Of course, premium products can be found on the shelves at Best Buy and Circuit City, but hhgregg offers something unique that has led to customer loyalty -- services including same-day installation, in-home repair and maintenance, and extended service plans.
The company offers a juicy financial model as well. A typical store generates positive cash flow within three months of opening, and the cash payback occurs in less than two years. The average store generates about $13.4 million per year in net sales, and overall sales in the past year grew 17.7% to nearly $1.1 billion.
According to hhgregg, the long-term growth potential is about 400 stores in the U.S. With a balanced merchandise mix and strong financial model, the company has demonstrated more stability in cash flows and growth compared with its rivals. So for Foolish investors looking for an interesting retail growth play, hhgregg is a new player to keep an eye on.
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