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RadioShack closing 1,100 stores as troubles grow

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 5:12 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 5:14 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Pat Wellenbach)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010 photo, a shopper leaves a RadioShack store in Brunswick, Maine. Electronics retailer RadioShack Corp. on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 said it plans to close up to 1,100 of its underperforming stores in the U.S. and reported a wider loss for its fourth quarter as traffic slowed during the critical holiday season. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach, File)

NEW YORK – There will soon be about 1,100 fewer places to buy batteries.

RadioShack said Tuesday that it plans to close up to 1,100 stores, or about a fifth of its U.S. locations. The news came as the retailer reported a wider quarterly loss after a disappointing holiday season. Its stock tumbled 16 percent in afternoon trading.

CEO Joseph Magnacca said the closings would leave the company with more than 4,000 U.S. stores. That’s still far more than Best Buy, which has about 1,400 U.S. locations, and makes RadioShack stores nearly as common as Wal-Mart stores.

RadioShack didn’t immediately identify which stores will close or how many jobs would be affected. A call to the company, based in Fort Worth, Texas, was not returned.

The closings represent just the latest setback for RadioShack, which is fighting to update its image and compete with the rise of online and discount retailers.

Long known as a destination for batteries and obscure electronic parts, RadioShack has sought to remake itself as a specialist in wireless devices and accessories. But growth in the wireless business is slowing, as more people have smartphones and see fewer reasons to upgrade.

In addition to slashing costs and shuffling management, RadioShack has been renovating its stores with a more modern look.

“Since I joined the company, it has been clear we need to change the conversation about RadioShack,” Magnacca said during a call with analysts.

He pointed to the success of the company’s Super Bowl ad as an example.

– The Associated Press

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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