Bankrupt Radio Shack Corp. is closing hundreds of stores across the U.S., though Red Wing in the only southeastern Minnesota one slated to close up shop.
Radio Shack is also closing another 25 stores. Most are in the Twin Cities. Area stores in Rochester's Apache Mall, as well as in Winona and Austin, will remain open.
However, wireless provider Sprint will most likely become primary brand name on each as part of a deal to establish a “store within a store” in up to 1,750 of the acquired RadioShacks.
The 94-year-old Fort Worth-based retail icon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday.
The consumer electronics chain, which began in Boston in 1921 as a mail-order operation supplying ship radio equipment, made the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, listing assets of $1.2 billion and total debt of $1.3 billion.
The company also announced an agreement with Standard General, a New York hedge fund which provided a rescue loan to the company last fall, to purchase between 1,500 and 2,400 of the 4,000 company-owned RadioShack stores.
The remaining RadioShack stores will be closed and their inventory sold off, if approved by the bankruptcy court.
“These steps are the culmination of a thorough process intended to drive maximum value for our stakeholders,” said RadioShack’s chief executive Joseph Magnacca in a statement. RadioShack has also secured about $285 million in debtor-in-possession financing.
The Chapter 11 filing ends a long period of decline for what was once known as America’s Technology Store, which ushered in the electronics revolution with calculators, laptop computers and cell phones but was unable to adjust to the latest wave of change.
RadioShack, named for the part of the ship that houses radio equipment, began in Boston by two brothers in 1921 as a small retail and mail-order business. In 1963, it was acquired by Fort Worth’s Tandy Corp., a leather goods company, and moved here. The name became synonymous with its first mass-marketed personal computer, the TRS-80. Tandy Corp. changed its name to RadioShack in 2000.