RadioShack to close 1,100 stores in rebranding effort

Electronics retailer RadioShack said Tuesday it is planning to shutter up to 1,100 stores around the country as it pushes ahead with a major rebranding strategy.

The company’s stock price tumbled about 15 percent after the announcement.

The potential closure of one-fifth of its stores is the latest setback for the firm, which said it had a dismal holiday shopping season. The company blamed slow customer traffic through stores and unusually harsh winter weather. Like many retailers, it also offered deep seasonal discounts, but that was not enough to provide a boost during its critical fourth quarter. It also acknowledged “operational” problems, though it did not detail what they were.

RadioShack reported a $191 million fourth-quarter loss — more than double the loss it reported during the same period last year. Same-store sales fell 19 percent during the fourth quarter.

The electronics company was in the news most recently for its self-deprecating Super Bowl ad that featured famous 1980s characters “taking their store back.” The ad and Tuesday’s store-closing announcement are part of RadioShack’s ongoing effort to “reinvigorate” its stores, Joseph Magnacca, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

As part of the effort to modernize the brand, RadioShack is going to update its product lineup, change the look of its stores and make them more efficient, Magnacca said.

RadioShack didn’t say which stores would be closed or how many jobs would be eliminated. There are about 50 stores in the Washington area.

Despite the closures, the firm will still have a sizeable footprint with thousands of stores throughout the United States, Mexico, Malaysia and other parts of the world.

Amrita Jayakumar covers federal government contracting for Capital Business, The Post's local business publication.
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