The remnants of RadioShack's retail empire went on the auction block on Monday, giving bidders the first chance to snap up the company's trademarks; patents; leases; and the names, email addresses and phone numbers of millions of RadioShack customers. For RadioShack itself, the stakes are enormous. Bloomberg News reported Tuesday morning that Standard General, a hedge fund that's one of RadioShack's creditors, has won the auction. Hanging in the balance on Thursday, when a federal bankruptcy court is expected to approve or reject the asset sale, is the continuation of the 94-year-old retailer's operations.
"Inside RadioShack's Slow-Motion Collapse" is the headline of a six-page cover story in Bloomberg Businessweek last month. Why did RadioShack bite the dust? Let's take a tour of the Businessweek story to find out. As Businessweek pointed out, "It didn't have to be this way." If only RadioShack management didn't keep switching identities. If only RadioShack managers didn't keep rearranging the stores. If only RadioShack's employees weren't so aggressive. If only …
To win, retailers have to accept that the online channel has transformed offline retail. By collecting valuable data from customers across multiple channels, retailers are given numerous opportunities to drive purchasing decisions wherever the customer prefers shopping. To obtain and use big data, retailers need to do the following:
In an alternate universe, RadioShack would rule the world, supplying all of your electronics needs from computers to cellphones, and even making them. But in this world, RadioShack is almost bankrupt, having missed almost every opportunity to be the center of the technology revolution. Last week, the electronics retailer announced its latest quarterly loss — $119.4 million — and said that it might not have enough capital to continue as a "going concern." The announcement was a surprise to no one. RadioShack, despite some terrific marketing, has been in turnaround mode for almost two decades.
During the Super Bowl, RadioShack aired an ad that kicked off the retailer's new "Do It Together" marketing campaign. Two zoned-out red shirts stand in an old outlet-mall RadioShack store. The doors bust open. Enter Hulk Hogan, Cliff from "Cheers," Mary Lou Retton, Alf, Sargeant Slaughter and others. They scour the premises for their favorite stuff and carry everything out the door, leaving the red shirts standing alone. The tagline? "The '80s called. They want their store back." Cool ad, but it missed the point. It's the RadioShack of the 2000s, and even the 2010s, that people hate.
eBay Now is a same-day delivery service, but not for items offered on eBay.com by its millions of sellers — at least not yet. Instead, the eBay Now service is exclusively for local brick-and-mortar retailers in certain cities: San Francisco and the Peninsula, San Jose, parts of New York City, Chicago, and Dallas. While Best Buy, AutoZone and Toys"R"Us were among the first retailers to participate in eBay Now, the list of retailers now participating include the following featured stores: Home Depot; Office Depot; Walgreens; GNC; Radio Shack; Macys; Microsoft; Guitar Center; Bloomingdale's; and Urban Outfitters.
These are rough times for America's brick-and-mortar retailers. Last week, it was Radio Shack announcing plans to close 20 percent of its stores and Staples shuttering 12 percent in North America. Last week, it was Best Buy, announcing plans to cut 2,000 managers. Before that, Blockbuster going out of business, or J.C. Penney reporting another round of bad, bad news. Battered by the economy and the growth of e-commerce, the signs of decline of the American retailer have been many and hard to miss.
Staples will close 225 stores in North America by the middle of next year as the office supply retailer tries to trim costs in the face of weaker sales. The store closings will come to about 12 percent of its stores in North America. The closings build upon the 40 stores it closed in the region in 2013. Staples said it's aiming to save $500 million annually through the closings and other cost-cutting measures. The announcement comes two days after electronics retailer RadioShack announced plans to close up to 1,100 stores, or about 20 percent of its locations.
Following a disappointing holiday season, expectations were low ahead of RadioShack's fourth-quarter report. But the results were a shock, raising concerns about its chances for survival in today's marketplace. RadioShack's Chief Executive Joseph Magnacca, along with the company's new CFO John Feray, sought to reassure investors. Feray, who joined in January, said on a call that RadioShack, which plans to shut up to 1,100 stores, isn't considering "prepackaged bankruptcy" to get out of store leases quickly. He added RadioShack has "sufficient liquidity to meet its obligations" this year.
RadioShack plans to close up to 1,100 of its underperforming stores in the U.S. and reported a wider loss for its fourth quarter as customer traffic slowed during the critical holiday season. CEO Joseph Magnacca said in statement that the planned store closings would leave RadioShack with more than 4,000 U.S. stores, including more than 900 dealer franchise locations. The company didn't immediately identify what stores are being closed. The electronics retailer said that the stores to be closed are being selected based on location, area demographics, lease duration and financial performance.