John Linenberger owns J & L Electronics in Beatrice — a Radio Shack store. Linenberger says being a dealer-franchise means he’ll likely be able to stay in operation.
“We went through that bad recession and times were tough but business has been picking up, traffic in the store has picked up,” Linenberger says. “It’s unfortunate this should happen now, just as we were starting to get some wind in our sails.”
The Beatrice store is among about 1,000 dealer-franchise stores. Nationwide, there are about 4,000 corporate-owned stores carrying the Radio Shack brand.
“About half of the corporate stores will be taken over by Sprint through their bankruptcy agreement with General Standard,” he says.
There’s still demand for all types of electronics and components, but Linenberger says there’s less demand for electronic repair services.
Radio Shack is closing at least three stores in Nebraska, one each in Omaha, Bellevue and Scottsbluff. At last report, those that will remain open include stores in: Beatrice, Nebraska City, Crete, Columbus, York, Norfolk, Omaha, Council Bluffs, Papillion and Lincoln.
According to a news release, Radio Shack has signed an asset purchase agreement with General Wireless to acquire between 1,500 and 2,400 of Radio Shack’s corporate-owned stores. General Wireless has agreed with Sprint to establish a “store-within-a-store” retail presence in up to 1,750 of those corporate stores.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice