If you’re looking for fuses, speaker wire, a prepaid cellphone, walkie-talkies, a flat screen TV, a remote controlled helicopter, or any of the other thousands of products available at Newtown’s RadioShack store in Sand Hill Plaza, have no fear.
Responding to a call from The Newtown Bee, the operators of Newtown’s local electronics retailer said on March 4 they will remain open even as its corporate owners are announcing the closure of about 1,100 other company-owned stores across the country.
RadioShack Corporation announced on Tuesday that it plans to close about a fifth of its US locations. The news came as the retailer reported a wider quarterly loss after a disappointing holiday season.
Joseph C. Magnacca, chief executive officer, said via press release, “Our fourth quarter financial results were driven by a holiday season characterized by lower store traffic, intense promotional activity particularly in consumer electronics, a very soft mobility marketplace and a few operational issues. Even in this environment, we’re continuing to make progress on the five pillars of our turnaround plan: repositioning the brand, revamping the product assortment, reinvigorating the stores, operational efficiency and financial flexibility.
“Our brand equity remains strong, reflected in the sales growth we’re seeing in our new Concept Stores which redefine the RadioShack store experience,” the CEO continued. “We have also been encouraged by the positive response to our new brand positioning around ‘Do It Together,’ which we kicked off with our award winning Super Bowl commercial.
“Importantly, our key hires during the fourth quarter in merchandising, global sourcing, planning and allocation and, more recently, our new chief financial officer, round out our new leadership team as we continue to re-build the business.”
Mr Magnacca said the closings would leave the company with more than 4,000 US locations, including over 900 dealer franchise locations. The Newtown location, in Sand Hill Plaza, is an independently owned shop. That is still far more outlets than Best Buy, which has roughly 1,400 US locations, and makes RadioShack stores nearly as common as Walmart.
Nevertheless, the company’s stock tumbled 16 percent in afternoon trading.
Long known as a destination for batteries and obscure electronic parts, RadioShack has sought to remake itself as a specialist in wireless devices and accessories. But growth in the wireless business is slowing, as more people have smartphones and see fewer reasons to upgrade.
In addition to slashing costs and shuffling management, RadioShack has been renovating its stores with a more modern look.
The company said that the stores targeted for closings are being selected based on location, area demographics, lease duration, and financial performance.
Associated Press content was used in this report.