The bright side is that since today RadioShack. Radioshack Webster… has officially been bought by Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV), giving the struggling company a new lease on life. The disadvantage, a minimum of for folks like us, is that there are no instant plans to return the iconic electronic devices seller to its brick-and-mortar roots. As the name indicates, REV focuses on online retail, having formerly revamped the Web existence of other bankrupt companies such as Pier 1 Imports and Dressbarn.
While the press release does not straight-out preclude the possibility of brand-new physical RadioShack areas, it’s clear that REV thinks the future of retail isn’t to be discovered in your regional strip mall. As the US mulls even more lockdowns in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s difficult to disagree. There will be millions of bored kids and grownups searching for something to do throughout the long winter nights, and an electronic kit or 2 shipped to their door might be just the thing.
REV states they prepare to relaunch the rather outdated RadioShack site just in time for the company’s 100th anniversary in 2021. As of this writing the site presently says that sales have been temporarily halted to allow for inventory restructuring, though it’s unclear if this is directly related to the buyout or not. Getting an accurate count of just how much merchandise the company still has on hand after shuttering the majority of their physical locations in 2017 certainly sounds like something the new owners would wish to do.
We all understand how that story ended.
RadioShack’s shambling remains were offered another jolt of life today when they were purchased by another company that plans to relaunch the once-great merchant as an online-focused brand name.
The shop’s remains were bought by Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV), a startup founded in 2019 that’s been scooping up brand names from other faded retail giants too, including Pier 1, Modell’s Sporting Product, Dressbarn, and more. REV says RadioShack’s website currently has “strong existing sales and sales capacity,” and the company is “confident” it can even more raise awareness of the brand internationally.
REV claims it’s effectively turned around other companies it’s introduced as online brands. The Wall Street Journal reported that Dressbarn more than doubled its profits between the second and first quarter of 2020.
RadioShack was founded in 1921 and ended up being a retail staple in the ’80s and ’90s for anyone looking to get tech essentials. For a long time, that implied real radio parts, however wound up consisting of great deals of electronic toys (one Verge editor fondly remembers his Armatron) and ultimately phones. Its fortunes declined significantly as online shopping showed up, and the business applied for bankruptcy two times in the past 5 years. RadioShack still accredits its name to third-party “licensed” shops and offers branded items within some areas of HobbyTown, a crafts merchant– similar to how you can still find “Sharper Image” products at Kohl’s despite the fact that that seller shut its physical doors over a decade ago. REV didn’t state whether those RadioShack licenses would stick around. Radioshack Webster
REV says it will “soon relaunch” RadioShack’s site. So for those of you still sticking on to fond memories of the shop, there’ll be a familiar sufficient location to go when you want to purchase costly HDMI cable televisions and knockoff headphones.