Local future uncertain as RadioShack files for bankruptcy

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Local future uncertain as RadioShack files for bankruptcy … store’s manager said he could not comment on what the bankruptcy means for his store.

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RadioShack, the long-struggling consumer electronics chain, filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday. Part of its plan is for Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier, to open mini-shops in as many as 1,750 of RadioShack’s remaining stores.

Whether Walla Walla’s RadioShack will survive the move remains in question.

In a news release, the Fort Worth, Texas-based Radio Shack said a list of the stores slated for closure will be posted in the near future on the restructuring information section of the company’s website, and that stores that are closing are expected to sell remaining inventory.

The Walla Walla store’s manager said he could not comment on what the bankruptcy means for his store.

RadioShack, which was founded nearly a century ago, said in its Chapter 11 filing that it plans to sell 1,500 to 2,400 stores to its largest shareholder, investment firm Standard General. It is seeking to close the remainder of its 4,000 U.S. stores.

Sprint has a deal with Standard General to open its mini-shops in stores Standard General is buying. It would take up about one-third of the retail space in each store, and Sprint employees would sell mobile devices and Sprint plans.

Sprint would be the primary brand on those RadioShack storefronts and marketing materials.

The deal is expected to be wrapped up in the coming months. But other parties could bid for RadioShack’s stores in the bankruptcy process.

Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint Corp. has been aggressively trying to draw subscribers from its bigger rivals, Verizon and AT&T.

It’s had some recent success, adding nearly 1 million new customers in its latest quarter. And if approved, the deal would greatly expand its presence in front of U.S. shoppers, more than doubling the number of Sprint company-owned stores.

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first published: 2015-02-05 18:56:15