Even as the number of remaining RadioShacks dwindled to below 100, the once-popular retailer held off on closing the one store left in its hometown of Fort Worth, TX. But when that lone holdout shutters this weekend, it will leave a huge swath of Texas without a RadioShack for the first time in decades.
Let’s review some RadioShack corporate history. The retailer began in Boston, and was acquired by the Tandy Corporation of Fort Worth in 1962. Officially, the company’s name was still Tandy Corporation until 2000. The new owners expanded physical stores and shut the retailer’s mail order business, and brought the chain into its glorious peak in the middle and end of the 20th century.
Now, though, the company that was once a proud local business with a beautiful riverfront headquarters in Fort Worth won’t even have a store in the region anymore. The last one, in the Fort Worth suburb of Weatherton, closes tomorrow.
The chain is down to fewer than 70 corporate-owned stores across the country, its e-commerce operation, and a few hundred dealers and franchisees that it still supplies with gadgets. Oh, and there’s the memorabilia auction that cleans out the corporate archives, which may be one of the Shack’s most successful sales pushes of the last decade.
Even Len Roberts, the chain’s beloved former CEO, told the Weatherton Star-Telegram that the memorabilia auction caught his interest but made him sad.
“What happened to RadioShack since I left [in 2005] is sad for all the associates, our city and our customers,” he told the newspaper. “Such a successful ride is made up of a billion wonderful memories. Not dollars. But about memories involving 40,000 ordinary associates doing truly extraordinary things.”
Unfortunately, memories aren’t enough to sustain thousands of stores across the country. The deal that RadioShack signed with Sprint starved the new version of the company of cash, leading to its second bankruptcy in two years.