RadioShack is reportedly pulling the plug on its approximately 4,000 remaining retail stores, half of which may be sold off to Sprint in a potential bankruptcy deal.
RadioShack has fallen on hard times, perhaps because of a disconnect, as it were, with the consumer.
About a year ago, the struggling electronics retail chain originally founded in 1921 closed about 1,000 stores as its market share continued to dwindle.
Although this is ancient history, RadioShack was once the go-to store for electronics hobbyists and amateur radio operators to obtain resistors, capacitors, wire, and other random DIY-related parts and various devices. And let’s not forget the monthly battery club. In the late 1970s, RadioShack came out with one of the first mass-produced personal computers, the TRS-80.
Up until about 2004, RadioShack stores also insisted on an infuriating store policy of demanding your name and address each time you made a purchase to populate a mailing list.
Even as it got into wireless, some financial analysts maintained the Fort Worth, Texas-based electronics retailer in its contemporary iteration has not done enough to transform itself into a destination for mobile shoppers or become cool enough to entice younger consumers perhaps given its outdated image, inventory, and lack of competitive pricing, as well as the rapid growth of alternative, online retailers.
About Radio Shack’s current troubles, TheNextWeb opined that “RadioShack is like that friend you had in high school that never grew up. While everyone else went to college or moved away to start their own lives, RadioShack kept hanging out in front of the school parking lot talking about the good old days when all you needed was batteries and s****y stereo systems to be king of the world.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, RadioShack is, or was, preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after losing money in the last 11 consecutive quarters, with hedge fund Standard General LP as the lead bidder in a bankruptcy auction.
Citing unnamed insiders, Bloomberg Business is reporting that RadioShack may sell off approximately 50 percent of its store leases to Sprint and close down the rest of its outlets.
“The locations sold to Sprint would operate under the wireless carrier’s name, meaning RadioShack would cease to exist as a stand-alone retailer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public. The negotiations could still break down without a deal being reached, or the terms could change. Sprint and RadioShack also have discussed co-branding the stores, two of the people said. It’s also possible that another bidder could emerge that would buy RadioShack and keep it operating…”
This evening, the New York Stock Exchange announced that it is delisting RadioShack and suspending trading in the stock immediately. The company’s stock price has fallen more than 90 percent in the past year.
Watch a news video about the continuing financial static involving RadioShack.
[image credit: Coolcaesar]