By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
A number of RadioShack stores across the country will indeed be closing, including the one in Keizer.
When asked last week by the Keizertimes about the rumored closures, both the store manager in Keizer and a company spokesperson declined having any knowledge of company plans.
“We don’t have any specific information to share at this time regarding stores or markets,” the spokesperson said in an e-mail Feb. 3. “We do not have any comments related to the ongoing speculation about the plans for the business as a whole.”
The company’s stance has changed since then.
The Texas-based company, started in 1921, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Feb. 5.
According to a news release from the company, RadioShack has signed an agreement with Standard General for the latter to acquire between 1,500 and 2,400 of the U.S. RadioShack stores. In turn, General Wireless has agreed to establish a “store within a store” Sprint mobile phone retail presence in up to 1,750 of the acquired stores, pending court approval.
RadioShack currently has about 4,000 company-owned stores in the U.S. Stores outside of this country are not covered by the agreement.
Company leaders announced 1,784 stores are expected to be closed by the end of March, with closures set to happen in three waves.
The Keizer store, located in the Keizer Creekside Shopping Center at 5410 River Road, is among the 17 Oregon stores making the list for closures. The Keizer store is part of the second wave, meaning it will close by Feb. 28, though an exact closing date has not been listed yet.
The RadioShack in Salem’s Lancaster Mall is among the 162 stores in the first wave, scheduled to be closed by Feb. 17. The second wave includes 986 stores. A third wave of stores, 636 in total, is expected to be closed by the end of March.
The news saddened some shoppers at the Keizer RadioShack on Tuesday.
“I’m disappointed,” said Dorene Standish, a RadioShack shopper of 35 years. “They had served the community well.”
Doris Ditter is also a longtime shopper.
“I’m sorry to see it close,” she said. “People here are always helpful and they know what they’re talking about. We’ve lived here for 30 years and this is where we come for help.”
In a FAQ on the company website, the company indicated it has asked the court to honor all returns and exchanges, as well as customer warranties.
“These steps are the culmination of a thorough process intended to drive maximum value for our stakeholders,” RadioShack CEO Joe Magnacca said in a statement.