Troubled RadioShack Plans Comeback, To Open 100 Express Locations In HobbyTown Stores
Having been mired in bankruptcy and legal proceedings the past three years, electronics retailer RadioShack Corp. is planning a comeback through a partnership with HobbyTown USA.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer will open 100 RadioShack Express stores across the country within HobbyTown locations, USA Today reports. HobbyTown, which is a crafts, collectibles and toy retailer, is expected to increase RadioShack's presence in the suburbs.
“We are excited about the HobbyTown partnership, as it will allow us to re-engage and directly serve our core hobby and DIY (do-it-yourself) communities,” General Wireless Operations CEO Steve Moroneso said in a statement. General Wireless acquired RadioShack following its bankruptcy in April 2015.
These new 100 express stores will not restore RadioShack’s reach. At one point during its glory days the chain had some 7,300 locations in its portfolio and enough stores to be located within a 3-mile radius of most U.S. households, according to USA Today.
Heated competition from online electronics retailers ultimately led to RadioShack’s downfall.
During its first bankruptcy proceeding in 2015, Sprint Corp. and hedge fund manager Standard General took over up to 2,400 corporate-owned RadioShack stores while the remaining locations shuttered.
Sprint revamped roughly 1,400 locations into a store-within-a-store concept called Sprint RadioShack. By forging efforts through co-branding, the company aimed to better compete against rising e-commerce competitors and telecom giants AT&T Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc.
This endeavor ultimately failed, leading RadioShack to file bankruptcy again in early 2017. RadioShack creditors allege Sprint used confidential data about RadioShack to open competing stores, ultimately dooming its comeback in the process.
As a result, RadioShack’s creditors filed a lawsuit against Sprint seeking $500M in damages for “backstabbing RadioShack and destroying any hope of a great American comeback story,” The Verge reports.
RadioShack shuttered more than 1,000 stores over Memorial Day weekend last year following its second filing for Chapter 11 protection. Sprint grabbed about 350 of the best-performing stores, leaving the retailer with about 70 company-owned stores and 500 dealer-owned franchisees remaining in its portfolio as of May 2017.
RadioShack was founded in 1921.