Everyone wants to cut a piece off of RadioShack’s corpse
After nearly a century of doing business, it looks like RadioShack is on its deathbed. There was a time when Blockbuster was THE place to get your hands on movies and television shows and RadioShack was THE place to look for whatever electronics tickled your fancy, but those days are long gone. Although RadioShack has fought valiantly to remain afloat by consolidating its stores and attempting to restructure its business, the company is inevitably going to suffer the same fate as Blockbuster: selling off the rest of its stores in a bankruptcy deal.
I haven’t even set foot inside of a RadioShack for God knows how long, and I’m sure most of you haven’t either, but it’s still sad to see it go. The franchise wasn’t just a hub for electronics hobbyists to acquire the components or tools they needed to complete whatever project was on their mind, it was an integral part of the computer revolution that helped make personal computers as central to many of our lives as they are today, or at least, as they were before the rise of mobile devices.
Bloomberg was the first to report that RadioShack was officially drawings its last breaths and detailed how the company was in talks with Sprint to sell a large chunk of its remaining stores to the wireless carrier:
“RadioShack currently has more than 4,000 company-operated U.S. stores. Sprint is discussing the acquisition of 1,300 to 2,000 locations, the people said. In one possible scenario, RadioShack considered keeping the name alive as a store-within-a-store concept involving wireless carriers, two of the people said. Merianne Roth, a spokeswoman for Fort Worth, Texas-based RadioShack, declined to comment, as did representatives for Standard General and Brookstone. Sanpower didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment outside of business hours in China.”
Sprint isn’t the only company looking to cut off a piece from RadioShack’s corpse, however. According to another report from Bloomberg that was released shortly after the first one, Amazon is also in talks with the dying franchise to acquire some of its remaining stores which it use to not only showcase its own hardware, but would turn the stores into pickup and drop-off centers for its customers.
The report doesn’t go into much detail about the acquisition itself but it does highlight how big this move is for Amazon to become more competitive against the likes of Apple by expanding its physical footprint, whereas now Amazon is almost entirely a digital company:
“The possible move, discussed as part of RadioShack’s looming trip to bankruptcy court, would represent Amazon’s biggest push into traditional retail. Amazon joins other potential bidders, including Sprint Corp. and the investment group behind Brookstone, in evaluating RadioShack stores, people familiar with the situation said. RadioShack has more than 4,000 U.S. locations and is moving toward a deal to sell a portion and close the rest, according to some of the people. Sprint has discussed buying 1,300 to 2,000, they said.”
Even though RadioShack might not have had the best customer service, as Jamie Lendino notes in an article for PC Magazine, its passing will still be mourned by many. Amazon and Newegg have long since replaced RadioShack as my first stop for acquiring electronic components and whatnot, but it was always a fun experience to walk into one of its stores in the mall and be surrounded by all of these interesting gadgets and tools.