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RadioShack Files For Bankruptcy. Again

RadioShack's parent company filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The electronics chain filed for bankruptcy in 2015.
Joe Raedle
Getty Images
RadioShack's parent company filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The electronics chain filed for bankruptcy in 2015.

RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy for the second time.

Just over two years ago, the electronics chain declared bankruptcy and then reorganized its business, closing thousands of stores and selling others to a hedge fund called Standard General, which took over the remaining business through its affiliate General Wireless.

The plan was to reinvent the once-booming retail electronics business to compete in a market that has increasingly leaned toward online retailers. More than 1,000 RadioShack stores co-branded with the wireless company Sprint.

On Wednesday, General Wireless filed for bankruptcy, listing assets and liabilities each between $100 million and $500 million.

Sprint issued a statement saying it was planning to take over some RadioShack co-branded locations, and that it would "provide opportunities for all Sprint employees working at Sprint-RadioShack locations to transition to another Sprint store," continuing:

"We had the opportunity to work with RadioShack as it emerged from its previous bankruptcy in the spring of 2015. We invested in high quality store-within-a-store formats in more than a thousand RadioShack locations. ... Some people may have questions about how today's news affects Sprint. RadioShack's bankruptcy filing and subsequent store closings are not material to Sprint's overall sales results."

In addition to the dissolving partnership with Sprint, Bloomberg reported that General Wireless plans to close 200 RadioShack franchise stores.

As we have reported, RadioShack started out selling radio supplies to officers on ships in 1921:

"According to a CBS News history of the store, it later expanded to stores and the mail-order business. It struck it big with two products: first CB radios, then the TRS-80, one of the first mass-produced personal computers.

"From there, CBS News reports, the company made a series of missteps. It slowed its sales of computers and it missed the digital revolution by first refusing to sell products online.

"In recent years, it tried to make itself cool, but instead it ended up with an odd array of products on its shelves that failed to draw customers in."

RadioShack was removed from the New York Stock Exchange in 2015.

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Rebecca Hersher (she/her) is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports on outbreaks, natural disasters, and environmental and health research. Since coming to NPR in 2011, she has covered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, embedded with the Afghan army after the American combat mission ended, and reported on floods and hurricanes in the U.S. She's also reported on research about puppies. Before her work on the Science Desk, she was a producer for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered in Los Angeles.