As rumors continue to swirl around the possible demise of RadioShack, news has emerged that both Amazon and Sprint are in talks with the ailing firm about taking over some of its 4,000 or so stores across the U.S.
One or both of the companies could make their move following RadioShack’s expected bankruptcy filing, which the Wall Street Journal has reported may happen in the coming days.
According to a Bloomberg report Tuesday, Amazon is considering using some of RadioShack’s brick-and-mortar sites to showcase its hardware line-up that currently includes the Fire Phone, Echo speaker, and of course its various Kindle Fire tablets and e-readers.
While the online giant has up to now rejected the idea of a heavy brick-and-mortar presence, its expanding range of tech gear make the prospect increasingly likely. Such a set-up would, for example, allow customers to get more familiar with its gadgets by going hands-on, while trained staff could put their sales skills to work in face-to-face interactions.
It’s also possible that the RadioShack locations could be used as collection centers for those ordering goods from Amazon’s website, or even act as a distribution point enabling the speedier delivery of goods to nearby customers, a service the company has recently started from a new site in Manhattan.
Bloomberg’s unnamed source added that telecom giant Sprint is also in talks with RadioShack having expressed an interest in buying up to 2,000 of its sites. However, the source claimed that Sprint’s discussions include the possibility of co-branding the stores with RadioShack, suggesting the 94-year-old electronics company could still continue to operate in some form.
RadioShack has been experiencing financial difficulties for several years now. A rebranding campaign launched in early 2014 with a costly Super Bowl ad failed to turn the company’s struggling business around. With its problems ongoing, the New York Stock Exchange announced this week it was moving to delist the company’s stock and suspend trading in its shares.