U.S. electronics chain RadioShack Corp (RSH) filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday for the second time in a little over two years, faced with a challenging retail environment and an unsatisfying partnership with wireless provider Sprint Corp (S).
The Chapter 11 filing comes after RadioShack, owned by General Wireless Operations Inc, tried to revitalize its business by co-branding stores with the wireless carrier in an effort to compete against their largest rivals.
General Wireless, an affiliate of hedge fund Standard General LP that acquired the RadioShack brand in 2015, filed for a Chapter 11 reorganization and listed assets and liabilities in the range of $100 million to $500 million in the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Delaware district.
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RadioShack will close approximately 200 stores and will evaluate options on the remaining 1,300, the company said in a statement.
RadioShack, a nearly 100-year-old chain that captured the heart of electronics enthusiasts for its specialty products such as “walkie talkies,” first filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after the rise of mobile phones caught it off-guard and customers abandoned its stores for big box competitors including Best Buy Co Inc (BBY) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN).
In its first bankruptcy, RadioShack was ultimately bought by General Wireless, an affiliate of one of its creditors, hedge fund Standard General LP.
In an attempt to keep the doors open on 1,740 stores, RadioShack struck a partnership with Sprint during its bankruptcy, inviting the mobile carrier to co-brand with the company and set up smaller stores within its own. At the time, Sprint viewed RadioShack’s retail footprint as a way to quickly scale up its own business.
But, in the years since RadioShack has emerged, both Sprint and RadioShack have struggled.