Struggling electronics retailer RadioShack which filed for bankruptcy for a second time earlier this month plans to close 552 of its stores, including 75 California locations.
The first wave of 187 closures are already underway and the remaining 365 are expected to close by the first week of April.
Local closures will affect stores across Southern California — Newhall, Woodland Hills, Pasadena, Sylmar, Long Beach, El Monte, Covina, Riverside, Ontario and Anaheim will all see their stores close.
The company has nearly 5,900 employees according to its bankruptcy filing, but it’s unclear exactly how many jobs will be affected by the closures. A representative at one RadioShack store said three employees work there. Closures at just the Southern California could displace more than 1,650 employees.
The Pasadena location at 825 N Lake Ave. is scheduled to close by April 2, and Pasadena resident Manny Gee isn’t happy about it. Gee, 67, has been a RadioShack customer for more than 30 years.
He likes the idea of walking into a store that stocks the kinds of electronic parts that wouldn’t be found in most other outlets.
“I’ll come in to get a jack of some sort or batteries for my phone or flashlight,” he said. “I’m going to miss this place because it’s convenient. I just live up the street.”
The store’s front window herald’s the pending closure with signs that read, “Store on sale!” and “Everything 40 to 90 percent off!” Many of the store’s shelves had already been picked over and a display rack near the front that had everything marked 50 percent off was totally empty.
Brandon Lamar stopped in at the Pasadena store on Wednesday to see what kinds of deals he could find.
“I’m just looking for — whatever,” the 24-year-old Pasadena resident said.
A representative with another RadioShack store at 624 W. Holt Blvd. in Ontario said that location will be closing its doors on Friday. An answering machine at RadioShack’s Anaheim store at 1005 N. State College Blvd. offers a message that seems to indicate that location may already be closed.
“The person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time,” the message said. “We’re sorry for any inconvenience they may cause.”
The Fort Worth-based retail chain previously filed for bankruptcy in 2015, a move that resulted in about 2,400 store closures. Soon after, the company was acquired by General Wireless Operations Inc., a joint venture of hedge fund Standard General and Sprint, which ran the remaining 1,700 locations.
Earlier this month, RadioShack announced that it filed petitions under Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The company initially said that it would be closing another 200 stores this time and evaluating another 1,300, but the number of targeted closures were subsequently boosted to 552 .
RadioShack President and CEO Dene Rogers noted recently that the company has made significant progress in stabilizing its operations in the wake of its initial bankruptcy. It reduced operating expenses by 23 percent, boosted gross profit by 8 percent and sold more than a million RadioShack private-brand headphones and speakers.
But in a March 8 bankruptcy announcement he acknowledged that the Chapter 11 process “represents the best path forward for the company.”
Rogers said the company will continue to work with its advisors and stakeholders to preserve as many jobs as possible while maximizing value for creditors. RadioShack officials could not be reached for comment.
Burt Flickinger III, managing director for the retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, said RadioShack has been walloped by the number of factors including bad management, a costly marketing campaign that hasn’t resonated with consumers, stores that are outdated and increasing competition from both brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers.
“This was kind of expected given what companies like Fry’s Electronics and Best Buy have done,” he said. “They have expanded their range of products with a lot of the same kinds of things RadioShack has.”
RadioShack has been further pummeled by e-commerce retailers like Amazon.com and Newegg.com, which offer virtually any kind of electronic product a consumer might want — products that can be ordered from the comfort of home and shipped almost immediately.