The Blockbuster of electronics stores, RadioShack is reportedly in talks to shutter half its stores and sell the rest to Sprint.
As part of a bankruptcy deal, the “locations sold to Sprint would operate under the wireless carrier’s name, meaning RadioShack would cease to exist as a stand-alone retailer,” sources close to the deal told Bloomberg. Negotiations could still break down or details could change as nothing has been publicly announced.
Other options include co-branding the stores, or another bidder could emerge to keep RadioShack open.
“The discussions represent the endgame for a chain that traces its roots to 1921, when it began as a mail-order retailer for amateur ham-radio operators and maritime communications officers,” writes Bloomberg. “It expanded into a wider range of electronics over the decades, and by the 1980s was seen as a destination for personal computers, gadgets and components that were hard to find elsewhere. In more recent years, though, competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and an army of e-commerce sellers hurt customer traffic.” Bloomberg adds that RadioShack has “lost more than 90 percent of its value over the past year.”
Sprint, however, has plans for store expansion this year. No official comment was given from either company on the potential buy at this point.
If you remember, it was only a year ago that RadioShack tried a rebranding campaign, which included this Super Bowl spot: “The ’80s called. They want their store back.”