Cover Story: Reason to Smile
Along with the new e-commerce platform that it's rolled out, hhgregg is launching a new mobile platform as well. Expected to be live before the start of the holiday shopping season, the site will have a fully integrated mobile strategy which will include the ability to comparison shop, access customer reviews, make purchases and more.
hhgregg is also active on Facebook, counting nearly 75,000 fans (as of press time) of the brand. The retailer uses the social media site to announce special promotions, marketing events and new technologies, as well as to support its product manufacturers (e.g., promote the fact that Samsung is launching a new tablet PC).
Trying Not to Mess it Up
Being both modest about his own achievements and deferential to those who preceded him, May believes the biggest contribution he can make to hhgregg is to be a steward for what's already been created. He credits former company chairman and CEO and current executive chairman and director Jerry Throgmartin for creating a culture of sound ethics where employees deeply care about the company and each other. This has made my job a whole lot easier, May says.
"We have a great team of people here that are very competitive for the consumer's interest," May notes. "They have a real passion for execution, competing for the consumer and competing for market share. I never have to get up and worry about, 'Boy, are these folks motivated? Do they care?' The real question is, 'What are the tools they need, what's the structure and support that they need to be successful?' They need direction, they need support, but they go get it done every day. They make me a lot better than I am."
In the rare times that May is away from his desk — he confessed to being a retail junkie and workaholic — he enjoys spending time with his family, which includes his wife (whom he met while they were both in high school) and 17-year-old son. His hobbies include playing golf with his son — who frequently beats him nowadays — and running. And if he can find the time to get away for a vacation, May and his family enjoy escaping the harsh Midwest winters in favor of a warm, sandy beach in the Caribbean.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.