Moribund RadioShack prepares to pull plug; NYSE suspends trading

“RadioShack Corp. is preparing to shut down the almost-century-old retail chain in a bankruptcy deal that would sell about half its store leases to Sprint Corp. and close the rest, according to people with knowledge of the discussions,” Lauren Coleman-Lochner, Jodi Xu Klein, and Scott Moritz report for Bloomberg. “The locations sold to Sprint would operate under the wireless carrier’s name, meaning RadioShack would cease to exist as a stand-alone retailer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public.”

“The discussions represent the endgame for a chain that traces its roots to 1921, when it began as a mail-order retailer for amateur ham-radio operators and maritime communications officers,” Coleman-Lochner, Klein, and Moritz report. “It expanded into a wider range of electronics over the decades, and by the 1980s was seen as a destination for personal computers, gadgets and components that were hard to find elsewhere. In more recent years, though, competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and an army of e-commerce sellers hurt customer traffic.”

“In a sign of RadioShack’s escalating woes, the New York Stock Exchange said Monday it would suspend trading of the stock immediately. The exchange took the step after RadioShack failed to submit a business plan that would address its lack of compliance with NYSE rules. Companies listed on the exchange are required to have an average market value of at least $50 million for 30 straight days or shareholder equity of that amount,” Coleman-Lochner, Klein, and Moritz report. “RadioShack currently has more than 4,000 company-operated U.S. stores. Sprint is discussing the acquisition of 1,300 to 2,000 locations, the people said. In one possible scenario, RadioShack considered keeping the name alive as a store-within-a-store concept involving wireless carriers, two of the people said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When you have a good chunk of time, read this, it’s a fascinating cautionary tale:

Eulogy for RadioShack, the panicked and half-dead retail empire.

Related articles:
Eulogy for RadioShack, the panicked and half-dead retail empire – December 1, 2014
Beleaguered RadioShack: Bankruptcy could be imminent – September 10, 2014
Apple’s retail market share grows as RadioShack and Best Buy shrink – March 7, 2014
Beleaguered RadioShack to close up to 1,100 U.S. stores – March 4, 2014
RadioShack cuts $20 off AT&T iPhone 5 models through December 15th – December 5, 2012
Sprint iPhone 4S to hit RadioShack this weekend, 16GB only – November 19, 2011
RadioShack to sell Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS – November 7, 2009
RadioShack CEO: We’re selling all the Apple iPods we can get – October 21, 2005


  1. While I understand that Radio Shack’s demise was a result of their own lack of vision, I am nevertheless saddened by this news. I made many a trip to Radio Shack during my child hood getting parts for my latest endeavor. It will be sad to no longer see their stores dotting the American landscape.

  2. This saddens me. I was just in a Radio Shack last week buying a small multimeter and some electrical components for tinkering with an Arduino board. I realize they don’t make a lot of money on this stuff. You can’t support 4000+ stores selling electrical components, but it was always handy to go to a local store to buy a handful of resistors, switches or LEDs rather than ordering online.

  3. So I need a voltage regulator chip, a couple of resistors, a battery, and a few diodes. I walk into Radio Shack and there’s one small rack of those items among the proliferation of radio controlled toys and cheap Chinese consumer electronics. I am immediately accosted by a high school age clerk/salesman to whom I have to explain what a diode is as he “helps” me look for what I want. I find most of what I want and I have to wait for a clerk to get done selling a cell phone to somebody. As I wait it occurs to me that the battery is available at the Kroger across the street for 50% less. I pay cash for my $10 worth of stuff and watch as they fill out a hand written receipt, and then they want my address and phone number. That about sums up the last 5 or 6 times I visited Radio Shack. I gave up on them long ago.

  4. Yep as relevance to Radio Shack and reasons to go there have faded over time so have my trips bend reduced to near zero. The last time I bought something there a few months ago for an iPhone car charger it was DOA. The store was a ghost town.

    They failed to reinvent themselves effectively. There was no great joy going there any longer, not for the last 10 years or more. The impression you got is the merchandise only got cheaper in quality and broader in nature not being particularly attractive to either consumers nor electronics tech types.

  5. There are some businesses that are no longer viable in the 21st century. Radio Shack is a perfect example. The stock they hold has to be very wide ranging and turnover is pretty low. As a result prices have to be rather high and the quality of the goods is often disappointing.

    Mail order for specialised goods is a much more viable proposition these days. An on-line business has significantly lower overheads and can control stock levels much more efficiently. The trade-off for the customer is that they can no longer get stuff the same day that they need it, but on the other hand, it’s been a long time since a Radio Shack store could provide all that was needed for a given project over the counter.

  6. I too am saddened by this. I have many good memories of RadioShack and getting things like solder, circuit boards, caps and resistors for various projects. True, not as much lately, but for the most part when I’d need to go there, there would be one person at least who was really helpful and knowledgeable about what I was looking for.

  7. So few companies have contributed so much to American culture, both bad and good. CUE-CAT lol.

    I am sad. This was a long time coming, yet it seems to be happening so fast. There was a lot of hope for the Christmas shopping season, yet they did not reach their goals. The top has given up, after raping the company for what it’s worth.

  8. Here’s how to test if a company is doing well, or not.

    Look at the packaging on the shelves. Is the plastic yellowing or perfectly clear? If it’s yellowing, then the company is in trouble.

    Another company with this very same problem? OSH, unfortunately. I find stuff on their shelves, all the time. They have aging inventory. BAD BAD BAD.

    1. I bought my first computer from Radio Shack, a TRS-80 Model 1, with custom desk, dual 5 1/2″! floppy drives, BASIC (you basically had to write your own software), 32K RAM (upgrade, 16K standard), Centronics line printer (very noisy), and a cassette player for loading the operating system from tape to start it (it took 20 minutes, if there were no errors). This cost me $3,900 in 1978. The computer had to be restarted every few hours if there were any fluorescent lights nearby, because the electrostatic discharges from the lights corrupted the RAM.

      It was great fun for a few months, until I realized I didn’t want to be a programmer and give up my social life. So, under a sheet it went until I got my first Mac in 1984 for $2,499. I ended up giving the TRS-80 system to a local Civic Theater in the ’90s to use as a prop in their productions.

    2. I learned BASIC and Pascal on a TRS-80 in high school back in ’83-’85. The school had this lab set up which was a network of TRS-80s with one master unit that had the floppy drives in it. I’d go in there during study hall and put computer games on the disks — at least one I wrote myself, another was typed in from a magazine with some improvements I thought of. They were pretty popular, and it was the first time the other students thought I good for anything other than throwing spitwads at or tripping in the hallway. 😀


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