RadioShack files for bankruptcy a second time

Electronics retailer RadioShack has filed for its second bankruptcy in two years and will close about 200 of its 1,500 stores.

The Fort Worth, Tex.-based company previously filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Since then, General Wireless, a joint venture of hedge fund Standard General and Sprint, acquired the chain and ran 1,700 stores.

General Wireless announced Thursday that it had entered a Chapter 11 filing in the U.S Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

RadioShack is closing about 200 stores and is evaluating options on the remaining 1,300, the company said. Stores remain open for business, as does its website RadioShack.com, which promoted a clearance sale on its home page.

The first Radio Shack store opened in Boston in 1921 ham radios and other radio equipment, according to Twice Magazine's "96 Years of RadioShack History."

Over the years, RadioShack established itself as a neighborhood destination for loudspeakers, mobile phones, satellite TV, batteries and toys. It also sold the first mass-marketed, fully-assembled PC, the TRS-80, for which Bill Gates once wrote the operating system.

As recently as 2013 sales, the company was the eighth-largest consumer electronics dealer, according to Twice.

By 2014, RadioShack was losing $200 million annually in the mobility business alone, according to the bankruptcy filing. The company has been run as a privately-held company since the 2015 bankruptcy.

“Over the course of the past two years, our talented, dedicated team has worked relentlessly in an effort to revitalize the Company and the RadioShack brand, while providing outstanding service to our customers. We greatly appreciate their hard work and dedication," said RadioShack CEO and President Dene Rogers in a statement.

Last year, RadioShack reduced operating expenses by 23% while increase gross profit by 8%, with the help of partner Sprint, which managed wireless sales at the stores, Rogers said. The chain sold more than one million RadioShack headphones and speakers in the U.S., while also adding FedEx services in 140 stores.

"However, for a number of reasons, most notably the surprisingly poor performance of mobility sales, especially over recent months, we have concluded that the Chapter 11 process represents the best path forward for the Company," Rogers said. "We will continue to work with our advisors and stakeholders to preserve as many jobs as possible while maximizing value for our creditors.”

 

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