None of Whidbey Island’s three RadioShack stores are closing despite news this week that RadioShack Corp. filed for bankruptcy and is shuttering more than 1,700 stores nationwide.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Feb. 5 and announced a wave of stores to potentially be closed.
RadioShack’s stores in Oak Harbor, Freeland and Clinton are included in a document titled “Potential store closure list” on the radioshackcorporation.com website.
The Freeland and Clinton stores are independently owned and operated. The Oak Harbor store, however, is owned and operated by corporate, said the manager, David Davenport.
“We are locally-owned as always,” said Mike Rains, owner of the South Whidbey stores.
“People always forget we’re not a corporation.”
According to an Oak Harbor RadioShack employee who identified himself as Rick, that store’s staff was not told of any changes.
“They haven’t informed us,” he said Monday afternoon.
It was, he said, “business as usual.”
Of the chain’s 4,000 stores, as many as 1,750 may be purchased and operated as a “store within a store” by Sprint Wireless and Standard General, according to a RadioShack Corp. news release.
South Whidbey’s stores aren’t likely to see Sprint phones, however, Rains said, because there are no Sprint cell towers on South Whidbey.
While the stores carry the RadioShack logo, signs and have the franchise look, Rains said his stores’ business includes items beyond RadioShack Corp’s product offerings.
“We concentrate more on things outside of RadioShack, things that people need: computer repair, virus removal, TVs, ink, MP3 players,” he said.
On South Whidbey, electronics retailers are hard to come by, leaving RadioShack with a near-captive audience.
Part of Rains’ marketing and branding plan is to accentuate the different services and additional products past standard RadioShack stores, he said.
“The Greatest Generation knew us from RadioShack,” Rains said.
“Unfortunately, their kids don’t.”