There was once a time where Radio Shack was the place to go for all of your electronic needs. No matter what it was you had a need or desire to pick up, chances are Radio Shack had it. In the last 10-15 years or so Radio Shack even began selling cell phones plans with wireless service. The absolute need to head to Radio Shack has since disappeared thanks to larger electronics retailers like Best Buy, and online sources like Amazon carrying everything you could need and then some. As such there was talk within the last couple of days that Radio Shack may soon be closing its doors and filing for bankruptcy.
That wasn’t the whole deal though as there were also rumors that Sprint may end up buying a portion of Radio Shack locations and re-branding them as Sprint stores, or that they might reach some sort of joint agreement that would see the stores continue to operate with a focus on Sprint service and products exclusively. As it turns out Radio Shack is indeed in the process of filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy and they have reached an agreement with Sprint and General Wireless Inc. who is Radio Shack’s largest shareholder, to expand Radio Shack’s stores into a co-branded unit that will still continue to sell Radio Shack products, but also give about a third of the retail space up to Sprint to essentially operate a Sprint store within the Radio Shack retail locations with exclusive focus on Sprint’s brands.
The terms of the deal state that the co-branded retail outlets will sell mobile devices, wireless services, and accessories from within Sprint’s entire brand portfolio, so things won’t be limited to just Sprint service and products, but will also include all of Sprint’s other brands which include Boot Mobile and Virgin Mobile, Sprint’s two biggest MVNO’s. Although Radio Shack, and both Sprint and General Wireless Inc. have reached an agreement to keep things up and running, the deal still has to be approved before things can move forward through the transition. If however the bankruptcy court approves the deal, the co-branded retail locations which would be transformed from Radio Shack’s current 1,750 stores would add to Sprint’s own 1,100 company-owned and operate retail stores, which is more than double, effectively spreading their reach to potentially grab in more customers. Sprint states that we should expect to see the deal finalized and approved in the coming months.