RadioShack may shut down around 500 retail stores

By on February 4, 2014, 6:45 PM

Electronics retail pioneer RadioShack is preparing to shut down 500 stores as part of a continued restructuring effort according to people familiar with the matter as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The company currently operates around 4,500 stores although it’s unclear which locations will be the first to go and when it’ll take place. 500 fewer stores would put the total around 4,000 which is about 1,000 less than the more than 5,000 stores in existence a decade ago.

The sources added that it isn’t unusual for a company going through restructuring to close stores.

The news comes just days after the Fort Worth, Texas, retail chain aired one of the most popular ads during Super Bowl XLVIII. The commercial, which used a bevy of ‘80s-era entertainment personalities to poke fun at the store’s outdated image, boosted share value by seven percent the next morning.

The electronics chain has been struggling for quite some time now and a sales strategy focused on smartphones has failed to improve revenue over the past couple of years. As such, RadioShack was forced to take out $835 million in loans last October to refinance around $625 million in debt. The remainder of those funds was set aside for restructuring efforts.

RadioShack declined to comment on the matter, saying it’s their policy not to comment on speculation or rumor. Share value is down nearly five percent on the news as of writing.




User Comments: 10

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tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Cute commercial might be a bit too late for this company. Use to manage one for them down here in the south during the time of the Tandy Computer Center Stores which failed also. They moved that operation into the Radio Shack Technology Center but that didn't make it either even with the free battery of the month club. Funny back in the early 80's Lafayette Radio Electronics which was around since the 60s they also ended up closing all they stores. Now Radio Shack trying to stick it out. Stores like Best Buy moved into pretty much doing the same gimmick along with Target and Walmart Super Center.

ikesmasher said:

Radioshack needs a niche, right now its just a small version of best buy with mediocre prices....

alcarin2030 alcarin2030 said:

Finally. I still have no idea how they have lasted this long. Oh yeah, they are owned by 7/11.

Guest said:

In Canada, they shut down January 2007, in their locations with same stock/image they became "The Source"

JC713 JC713 said:

Awesome commercial and a great store. I rely on them for electronic prototyping equipment. It is sad to see them struggling, but they cannot compete with bigger names like BestBuy and even Microcenter.

p51d007 said:

Radio Shack use to be about hobbyist electronics, which has pretty much died out.

I use to go into RS, ask a question about an electronic circuit, or a component, and

9 times out of 10 the person knew what I was talking about. You could find electronic

kits of all kinds to build yourself, and they had some amateur radio equipment.

With the advent of computers, cell phones, hobbyist electronics kind of died out.

73's

KB0GNK

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Radio Shack use to be about hobbyist electronics, which has pretty much died out.

I use to go into RS, ask a question about an electronic circuit, or a component, and

9 times out of 10 the person knew what I was talking about. You could find electronic

kits of all kinds to build yourself, and they had some amateur radio equipment.

With the advent of computers, cell phones, hobbyist electronics kind of died out.

73's

KB0GNK

This is actually becoming less true (in many markets)... The maker movement and Arduino / Raspberry Pi / internet of things hacking mentality is actually thriving and growing, particularly in the younger crowd. It's the same kind of tech tinkering mentality that birthed Radio Shack in the first place, but the Shack just isn't quite following the trend enough. If they were something more like a Sparkfun or Adafruit, stocking and selling DIY hobby gadgets and things like 3D printers, they might be attracting the right crowds to keep them going. As it is now, 80+% of the store is cell phone and other stuff that can be found at any Best Buy, with a sparse selection of cables and connectors, and just one little section in the back corner devoted to actual electronics kits and parts. Going back to their roots and catering to the hobbyists by providing a source for the harder to find items might help them survive. Trying to just do what so many other big box stores are already doing is a recipe for doom.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Radio Shack was loosing money with the hobbies stuff. That's why they changed over to what you see today. But it doesn't work. Just have way to many doing the same thing.They're in debt now, so loosing money and still hanging on.They're like Kmart, SEARS just not making money but just hanging on to a small share.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They're like Kmart, SEARS just not making money but just hanging on to a small share.
I think of them more as a Dollar Store that charges a premium. When I walk in Radio Shake, I don't see quality merchandise, but I do see quality prices. I will shop at Radio Shake, if I have no other options.

IKROWNI said:

I use to use radio shack quite often back in the day when they weren't an overpriced cellphone provider. When they stopped selling small electronics parts is when I lost all interest.

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