Amazon To Buy RadioShack’s Stores For Physical Presence
Amazon is in talks with RadioShack to buy some of the troubled company’s brick-and-mortar stores as it filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
It is being speculated that Amazon is considering to use these stores as showrooms for its hardware, along with providing as a store for pick and drop of the online ordered items. It does not come as a surprise though, considering how Amazon has been expanding its product line with its own range of hardware products like Kindle tablets, Fire smartphone and the new Echo speaker. These stores might just be the place to try these items out, before purchase.
Neither RadioShack nor Amazon made any statements regarding the deal, but people somewhat related to it gave a nod in the direction speculations are being made.
Last year, RadioShack had announced it would close down 1,100 of its stores, leaving just 4,000 across the States. Many efforts had been made to reinstate the brand image, but are yet to bear fruit.
RadioShack has been seeing a rapid and severe loss in its money since the past two years, and saw its shares drop by 13 percent on Monday to $0.24. Its shares had been at less than $1 since November. The 92-year-old company saw another slip down the bankruptcy drain on Tuesday as it was suspended from trading on the New York Stock Exchange today after it notified NYSE that it did not intend to submit a business plan.
However, Amazon isn’t the only angel in disguise for the crumbling RadioShack. Mobile carrier, Sprint, has also reportedly discussed purchasing between 1,300 and 2,000 of the company’s more than 4,000 U.S. stores, and may even co-brand the venues with both companies’ names.
Where tech competitors like Apple have always maintained a high profile retail presence in shopping area, Amazon has mostly kept its retail business online, occasionally opening pop-up stores in malls to create hype or show their specific hardware. The company has previously considered a physical presence on shopping streets, as last year in December word got out that Amazon would open a store in New York’s Midtown for the holidays, but the word never came into action.
If Amazon manages to grab the RadioShack stores, it will definitely mark the company’s deepest plunge into the traditional brick-and-mortar retail, and act as a fairly ironic reminder of the meteoric growth of Internet shopping.