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RadioShack will close 1,100 stores



Published: Wed, March 5, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

NEW YORK

There soon will be about 1,100 fewer places to buy batteries.

RadioShack said Tuesday that it plans to close up to 1,100 stores, or about a fifth of its U.S. locations. The news came as the retailer reported a wider quarterly loss after a disappointing holiday season. Its stock tumbled 16 percent in afternoon trading.

RadioShack operates 11 stores in the Mahoning Valley and near New Castle, Pa. There was no word from the company Tuesday evening about the fate of those locations.

CEO Joseph Magnacca said the closings would leave the company with more than 4,000 U.S. stores. That’s still far more than Best Buy, which has roughly 1,400 U.S. locations, and makes RadioShack stores nearly as common as Walmarts.

RadioShack didn’t immediately identify which stores will close or how many jobs would be affected. A call to the company, based in Fort Worth, Texas, was not returned.

The closings represent just the latest setback for RadioShack, which is fighting to update its image and compete with the rise of online and discount retailers.

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.

“Since I joined the company, it has been clear we need to change the conversation about RadioShack,” Magnacca said during a call with analysts.

Business writer Tom McParland contributed to this report.


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