Electronics store RadioShack files for bankruptcy again

Thu Mar 9, 2017 11:43am EST
 
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By Lauren Hirsch

(Reuters) - U.S. electronics chain RadioShack Corp filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday for the second time in a little over two years, faced with a challenging retail environment and an unsatisfying partnership with wireless provider Sprint Corp.

The Chapter 11 filing comes after RadioShack, owned by General Wireless Operations Inc, tried to revitalize its business by co-branding stores with the wireless carrier in an effort to compete against their largest rivals.

General Wireless, which acquired the RadioShack brand in 2015, listed assets and liabilities in the range of $100 million to $500 million in the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Delaware district.

RadioShack will close approximately 200 stores and will evaluate options on the remaining 1,300, the company said in a statement.

Sprint will convert several hundred locations into Sprint corporate-owned stores, the wireless provider said in a separate statement.

RadioShack's bankruptcy filing and subsequent store closings are not material to Sprint’s overall sales results, Sprint added.

RadioShack, a nearly 100-year-old chain that captured the heart of electronics enthusiasts for its specialty products such as "walkie talkies", first filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after the rise of mobile phones caught it off-guard and customers abandoned its stores for big box competitors including Best Buy Co Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

In an attempt to keep the doors open on 1,740 stores, RadioShack struck a partnership with Sprint during its bankruptcy, inviting the mobile carrier to co-brand with the company and set up smaller stores within its own.   Continued...

 
The exterior of a RadioShack store is seen in New York February 5, 2015.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid