RadioShack has made it through bankruptcy and is set to fight another day — sort of. The chain will begin the next chapter in its history as a much smaller company (1,743 stores), stocking fewer items (around 1,000) and sharing banner billing with Sprint at 1,440 locations.
As a Wall Street Journal article points out, the new owner of the company, Standard General, is currently using the RadioShack name. That situation may not continue, however, if it is not able to work out a deal to purchase the name from Salus Capital Partners, which, as the bankrupt company’s biggest creditor, owns the RadioShack banner, patents and intellectual property.
According to a report on the TWICE site, the new stores will initially use existing fixtures and include Sprint store-within-a-store sections. The new stores will only sell Sprint mobile devices. Eventually the stores will undergo a full remodel with an open layout and co-branded signage.
In a press release, Standard General said the new stores "will feature emerging technologies that enhance the traditional accessories, DIY electronics and innovation for which the company is known." It’s co-branded locations with Sprint will "further the company’s strategy of engaging the ‘mobile first’ generation."
Joe Magnacca, who was brought in from Walgreens back in 2013 to turn RadioShack around, left the company on Wednesday. While Mr. Magnacca made progress in redesigning stores to fit his concept of RadioShack as the "neighborhood technology playground," coming up with inventive advertising and cutting store inventory, he was unable to convince Salus of the need to dramatically downsize the chain’s store count. It was the weight of thousands of underperforming locations that caused RadioShack to file for bankruptcy in February.
Ron Garriques, a former Dell executive, has been named by Standard General to take over leadership of the new chain.
- Standard General Affiliate Acquires 1,743 RadioShack Stores – PRNewswire/NASDAQ
- RadioShack Is Dead, Long Live RadioShack – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Revamped RadioShack Re-Emerging April 10 – TWICE (tiered sub.)
- Ron Garriques to Lead Standard General’s RadioShack Stores – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Will New CEO Be the Right Rx For What Ails RadioShack? – RetailWire
- RadioShack to shutter 20 percent of its stores – RetailWire
Is the RadioShack name more of an asset or liability in the minds of the “mobile first” generation that the new company is seeking to attract? What will make the difference between success and failure for the new RadioShack chain?