Everyone’s favorite specialty retailer is finally riding off into the sunset. Say good-bye, because the RadioShack you and I know today won’t be around for much longer.
The company officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday, announcing plans to close its most underperforming locations while selling off up to 2,400 of its U.S. stores. The brand will live on as a kind of zombie-fied store-in-store per an agreement with Sprint and Standard General.
These new hybrid locations will see Sprint occupy about one-third of the retail space of certain RadioShack locations. Although they’ll be co-branded, Sprint will be the primary brand on storefronts and in marketing materials. Going forward, if you visit one of these brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll see your usual hodgepodge of gadgets RadioShack sells, along with Sprint representatives hocking mobile devices and Sprint plans (which also includes plans for Boost and Virgin Mobile).
Today’s news is actually good for Sprint. The carrier currently operates over 1,100 company-owned retail stores, which means Sprint could essentially more than double its retail efforts overnight. The deal still has to be approved by the bankruptcy court, however, which could be completed within the next few months.
RadioShack made efforts to stay afloat over the past few years as the retail landscape changed, but the iconic brand failed to keep up; the company hasn’t posted a profit since 2011, and closed as many as 1,100 stores in 2014. It was inevitable, but the plug has finally been pulled. If there’s a RadioShack location in your area, you might want to pop in for old time’s sake. The end of an era is nigh.
It’s a sad end to one of America’s most storied stalwarts.