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Sprint shacks up with RadioShack in last ditch effort to save 1,435 store locations

Despite the somewhat antiquated name, RadioShack has been an icon in the world of electronics retailers, having operated for nearly a century. Sadly, earlier this year the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced it would sell roughly half its stores and close the rest.

The deal saw 1,743 stores sold to Standard General, who entered into a partnership with Sprint, allowing the carrier to move into 1,435 of the locations. As of today, Sprint has officially moved in to all 1,435 of the targeted stores, Twice reports.

RadioShack may live on in name, but it is all but a shell of its former self. So far, only about a quarter of the stores have been officially branded as Sprint stores on the outside, but the full transition is expected to be complete by the end of the year. On the rebranded stores, it’s clear that Sprint is the lead brand, with the RadioShack branding present but less prominent. Sprint occupies 600 square feet of the co-branded stores, and operates as the sole wireless carrier.

Sprint is responsible for building and staffing its in-store locations, but while this may seem like a good deal for RadioShack, it’s a much better one for Sprint. The company says that this deal alone allowed it to double its retail presence nationwide in one move.

While RadioShack was initially known for general electronics — hence the name — in recent years, the company saw most of its profit from smartphone sales, though it was also focused heavily on Dish Network sales. This transition will now see the stores focusing almost exclusively on mobile devices.

It seems that Sprint needs all the help it can get in the meantime. Long the number two wireless carrier in the U.S., the company recently lost that title to T-Mobile, who is continuing to gain market share. A larger retail presense may help the company regain its former standing.

As for RadioShack, this is essentially the company’s last chance at staying alive as a brand, but it isn’t yet clear if it will be enough, or if the name will be quietly disappear into the night, leaving the stores as simply Sprint retail locations.

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