RadioShack files for bankruptcy, faces liquidation

By Eric DuVall  |  Updated March 8, 2017 at 10:21 PM
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March 8 (UPI) -- The owners of RadioShack filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in two years, potentially spelling the liquidation of the longtime electronics retailer.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer has 1,700 stores. Its parent company, General Wireless, Inc., made the filing Wednesday night, listing assets and liabilities both in the range of $100 million to $500 million.

General Wireless was created in 2016, after RadioShack filed for bankruptcy the first time. The company was a partnership between RadioShack debtor Standard General and wireless company Sprint. The deal saw RadioShack turn over significant store space and employees to Sprint in a bid to revitalize RadioShack's position in the retail electronics sector.

At the time, RadioShack handed General Wireless rights to the company's brand and some 1,700 stores for $26 million. The company then lined up $75 million in financing to underwrite the new venture.

CEO Dene Rogers told The Wall Street Journal the bankruptcy was as a result of "surprisingly poor" mobile electronics sales as consumers flocked to Apple and online retailers like Amazon to purchase cellphones and high-profit accessories like cords, batteries and cases.

RadioShack filed for bankruptcy in February of 2015, after which it closed more than 2,300 stores nationwide. The restructuring plan was meant to capitalize on the brand recognition RadioShack enjoys with consumers, while repositioning it from its longtime reputation for hardware to consumer electronics.

Citing anonymous sources familiar with the filing, Bloomberg News reported it's likely the bankruptcy will result in liquidation.

RadioShack is not the only brick-and-mortar electronics retailer to face headwinds. Best Buy, the nation's largest electronics retailer, posted a dim forecast earlier this month. Smaller competitor HHGregg filed for bankruptcy Monday, announcing plans to close 88 stores.

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