Today marks the end of an era in retail, as the iconic electronics chain RadioShack filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, weeks after a final warning from the NYSE that its stock would be delisted for falling below market capitalization requirements. While I was too young to really know RadioShack in its heyday, the company that got its start on mail-order ham radio gear in the 1920s, there probably aren't too many people in America who haven't at least walked into one. And, let's be honest, probably promptly walked out, at least if we're talking about the past 15 years.
But fear not, those of you with deeply nostalgic sensibilities: like all good American brands, RadioShack will live on in a tortured zombie limbo state for years to come, thanks to the company's largest shareholder (Standard General) and, of all things, Sprint.
Sprint will move into 1750 existing RadioShack locations, which will be rebranded as RadioShack / Sprint "hybrid" locations, but really, this just probably means a Sprint store that sells RadioShack-branded power strips and crappy headphones and Sprint smartphones. The Sprint branding, allegedly, will dominate these locations, with RadioShack taking a secondary role. Other RadioShack locations not part of the 1750 in consideration for Sprint zombification will be closed.
Sprint and Standard General have not yet provided a timeline for the transition, but if you're looking for good deals on breadboards or some speaker wire, you'll probably have some decent clearance deals to take advantage of pretty soon.