RadioShack’s shambling remains were given another jolt of life today when they were purchased by another company that plans to relaunch the once-great retailer as an online-focused brand.
The store’s remains were purchased by Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV), a startup founded in 2019 that’s been scooping up brands from other faded retail giants as well, including Pier 1, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Dressbarn, and more. REV says RadioShack’s website already has “strong existing sales and sales potential,” and the company is “confident” it can further raise awareness of the brand internationally.
REV claims it’s successfully turned around other companies it’s launched as online brands. The Wall Street Journal reported that Dressbarn more than doubled its revenue between the first and second quarter of 2020.
RadioShack was founded in 1921 and became a retail staple in the ’80s and ’90s for anyone looking to grab tech basics. For a long time, that meant actual radio components, but wound up including lots of electronic toys (one Verge editor fondly remembers his Armatron) and eventually phones. Its fortunes declined vastly as online shopping arrived, and the company filed for bankruptcy twice in the past five years. RadioShack still licenses its name to third-party “authorized” stores and sells branded products within some locations of HobbyTown, a crafts retailer — similar to how you can still find “Sharper Image” products at Kohl’s even though that retailer shut its physical doors over a decade ago. REV didn’t say whether those RadioShack licenses would stick around.
REV says it will “soon relaunch” RadioShack’s website. So for those of you still clinging on to fond memories of the store, there’ll be a familiar enough place to go when you want to buy overpriced HDMI cables and knockoff headphones.