News Column

RadioShack Unplugs Store Closing Plan

May 9, 2014

Associated Press

RadioShack store in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (Coolcaesar, Creative Commons)
RadioShack store in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (Coolcaesar, Creative Commons)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) RadioShack is scaling back on plans to close as many as 1,100 stores after it failed to come to an agreement with lenders, sending shares plunging close to an all-time low Friday.

RadioShack became the place to go for batteries and obscure electronic parts by opening locations across the country, making it available almost everywhere to consumers. But the lightning-fast rise of online sales, on top of fierce competition from discounter stores outpaced the retailer's expansion.

The company has struggled to update its image and the strategy of remaking itself as a specialist in wireless devices and accessories sales has stumbled amid a broad consumer shift to smartphones.

RadioShack announced a plan in March to aggressively begin closing stores to stop the bleeding as losses piled up. The original agreement with creditors allowed for the shuttering of only 200 stores each year, with a maximum of 600 closings in all.

But when it announced the store closings, it also reported losses of $400 million for 2013, much wider than the $139 million in losses it posted in the prior year.

On Friday, the Fort Worth company said that the terms on which lenders would consent to the more aggressive plan was not acceptable.

RadioShack, which has more than 4,000 stores in the U.S., said it would close fewer stores and find other ways to cut costs.

Shares fell more than 9 percent to $1.33 Friday, within a nickel of the previous intraday low for the company's stock. Shares have lost almost half their value this year.

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Original headline: RadioShack backs off aggressive store closing plan


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