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Radio Shack, Again   no comments

Posted at 10:33 pm in commentary

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Back on 20 April, I decided to finally see "Logan" before it left first-run theaters. As it happened, I was at the beach, and as also often happens, the Myrtle Beach theaters had their own notions of what was "current". In the end, I had to run to Conway to catch the show.

As I overplanned the transit-time, I had a few minutes to drive around the shopping area near the theater, and the Radio Shack above caught my eye. I knew they had had a second bankruptcy by then, so I wasn't surprised to see it closing, but the chain kind of slipped out of my mind again after that, and I didn't really have any idea how things were proceding. 'Not well', is the answer:

Over the Memorial Day weekend, RadioShack—which filed for bankruptcy twice in two years—closed over 1,000 stores, leaving just 70 corporate locations and 500 dealer stores in operation across the U.S. Throughout the weekend, the consumer electronics retailer announced a liquidation sale that played out on social media. Social media represents a new plot twist for America's dying retailers: How do you toast a brand's final days when the world is watching?

RadioShack opted for unadulterated bleakness. The company's social media handle on Twitter shared photos that depicted the sale of store fixtures, $25 grab bags stuffed with items pieced at $5 apiece, and deeply discounted printers. Here are some tweets that highlighted the carnage.

Take that in for a second. I don't know if it's more surprising that they still had over 1000 stores, or that they closed over 1000 stores in a weekend, but it's impressive in its own grim way.

The dealer stores will probably make do; I think they are mostly small market independant electronics stores that basically use the Radio Shack affiliation to signal that they're a step up from Uncle Bob's convenience store that has phone chargers. I don't see what the point of a corporate store is at all with just 70 though.

Patrick Stewart deserves a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, by the way.

Written by ted on June 1st, 2017

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