Amazon looking to buy some RadioShack stores to establish retail presence - report

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2015
Following the news that tech retailer RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy, a new report claims that online megastore Amazon has expressed interest in buying some of the company's brick-and-mortar locations.


An Amazon warehouse, via The Dallas Morning News.


Citing two people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg says Amazon has discussed purchasing some of the storefronts and turning them into pick-up and drop-off centers for online customers. RadioShack has more than 4,000 U.S. retail locations, and its bankruptcy plan calls for it to sell a portion of them and close the rest.

Other companies interested in RadioShack's retail space include Sprint and the investment company behind Brookstone. Wireless provider Sprint is said to be interested in buying as many as half of RadioShack's stores and "co-branding" them.

There have been rumors for years that Amazon, which to date has had an online-only presence, might build storefronts to allow customers to pick up items. A retail presence would also allow Amazon to push its own hardware, such as its Kindle Fire tablets that compete with Apple's iPad, and and the Fire TV products that take on Apple TV.

As of the end of last quarter, Apple had 265 heavily-trafficked retail stores inside the U.S. Exactly how many RadioShack stores Amazon might buy and repurpose, if any, remains unknown.

Apple Store Staff


The company dabbled in retail last fall with a series of pop-up stores in California. Amazon was also rumored to open its first permanent retail store in Manhattan in time for Christmas, but those claims didn't pan out.

The demise of RadioShack, meanwhile, brings to an end a store that once catered to technology enthusiasts and hobbyists with hard-to-find gadgets, components and accessories. But as the retail space changed, and enthusiasts increasingly went online to buy products at inexpensive prices, RadioShack attempted to adapt and become primarily a smartphone reseller.

That plan failed, however, leaving RadioShack with two straight years of losses and headed to bankruptcy court. Trading of the Texas-based company's stock was suspended on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    Amazon should buy all of them.
  • Reply 2 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    Apple only has a few items it sells hence a store works! Amazon not so much.

    I use Amazon as I am sure most people do, so I can do it from my couch and have access to millions of choices and not have to leave the house for them to get here. I wonder if the real reason is a transition away from home delivery with Prime to 'Go and collect your package from store #126 which is only two miles form you'. Perhaps Home delivery will then be + delivery costs. Maybe making a profit is starting to seem like a good idea at last?
  • Reply 3 of 46
    Apple only has a few items it sells hence a store works! Amazon not so much.

    I use Amazon as I am sure most people do, so I can do it from my couch and have access to millions of choices and not have to leave the house for them to get here. I wonder if the real reason is a transition away from home delivery with Prime to 'Go and collect your package from store #126 which is only two miles form you'. Perhaps Home delivery will then be + delivery costs. Maybe making a profit is starting to seem like a good idea at last?

    I think after the shares dropped $40~ in one day, Bezos realized his grip was not as secure as he'd expected.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,590member
    Pick up I understand, but drop-off?
  • Reply 5 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    ireland wrote: »
    Pick up I understand, but drop-off?

    Wait a minute ... perhaps he is going to start exactly that , pick up and drop off (heck I return a shit load of things I try out, camera lenses etc.)... and take those small package stores out of the picture. He then moves goods to and from main UPS and FedEx depots?
  • Reply 6 of 46
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,614member

    If Amazon acquires brick and mortar presence across the country, that means the end of sales tax-free purchasing for everyone.  Personally, that's a negative for me but it levels the playing field and helps local job retention.

  • Reply 7 of 46
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,570member
    Just means more loses for Amaizon investors to deal with. I never seen a company finding more ways to lose money than Amazon. However, their lose is my gain, like the cheap prices and free shipping.
  • Reply 8 of 46

    RadioShack is invaluable for the occasional electronic component - a resistor, a relay, a diode, an LED - for a project or repair. I can get any of these items the next day from Mouser, but that involves a day of waiting and a much higher price by the time I add shipping costs. Sure, $1.29 for 5 resistors at RadioShack seems like a lot when I can buy 100 for a few dollars more from Mouser, but I'd end up giving 95 of them away as stocking stuffers! To me and many other hobbyists and DIYers, those four stacks of drawers full of components are RadioShack - the rest is overpriced, low-quality, knock-off junk. Perhaps another retailer such as Best Buy will find 16 sq. ft. of retail space for those items.

  • Reply 9 of 46
    jonljonl Posts: 210member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post



    Just means more loses for Amaizon investors to deal with. I never seen a company finding more ways to lose money than Amazon. However, their lose is my gain, like the cheap prices and free shipping.



    There is always some new spending initiative within a week or so of Amazon earnings reports.

  • Reply 10 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    maestro64 wrote: »
    Just means more loses for Amaizon investors to deal with. I never seen a company finding more ways to lose money than Amazon. However, their lose is my gain, like the cheap prices and free shipping.

    Assuming Jeff hasn't totally lost his marbles, I have to think that this is a trial run on a way to cut costs not raise them. The only way i see that happening, given the cost of stores, is a huge saving on shipping as per my post earlier. That is an end to Prime home deliveries, instead Prime is free (maybe) if you collect and drop off returns. If not then you are right because there is no way in hell Amazon fits in a retail environment.

    Unless these stores are to mimic Apple with only a few products such as Amazon's hugely successful tablets and phones ... in which case sell your Amazon stock fast!

    Maybe even both of the above?
  • Reply 11 of 46
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,032member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zroger73 View Post

     

    RadioShack is invaluable for the occasional electronic component - a resistor, a relay, a diode, an LED - for a project or repair. I can get any of these items the next day from Mouser, but that involves a day of waiting and a much higher price by the time I add shipping costs. Sure, $1.29 for 5 resistors at RadioShack seems like a lot when I can buy 100 for a few dollars more from Mouser, but I'd end up giving 95 of them away as stocking stuffers! To me and many other hobbyists and DIYers, those four stacks of drawers full of components are RadioShack - the rest is overpriced, low-quality, knock-off junk. Perhaps another retailer such as Best Buy will find 16 sq. ft. of retail space for those items.


    I've already found a real electronic component store within easy driving distance even though we have a small Radio Shack in town. I've been in the RS store maybe two times in the last 10 years and I seem to remember actually getting something like a cordless phone battery but that was all. Our town isn't large enough for an Apple store but the RS is on the main street downtown so it's in a good location. At 800 sq ft it might be the smallest Apple Store but it would be closer than the nearest current one (over an hour away) and could compete with the brand new Verizon store for iPhone sales on multiple networks (Radio Shack is closest AT&T dealer). I see a lot of people in this town with iPhones and the nearest Best Buy, also in talks to shut down, is 30 minutes away. 

     

    It's funny hearing about companies wanting to buy out the building who would get rid of everything Radio Shack sold. Sprint wouldn't keep anything except cell phones while Brookstone just sells "luxury" junk items (see yesterday's postings). Amazon only wants the pre-existing floorspace so why not have mini Apple Stores in smaller towns. The space is already zoned retail. We have a lot of retirees giving them something to do as Apple sales people selling and training people their own age. Before people say this would never work, you need to understand that many of these retirees have a lot more disposable income than the kids Apple sells to. Maybe I could even go back to work part time (ugh!) Just a thought Apple; are you listening????

  • Reply 12 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Apple only has a few items it sells hence a store works! Amazon not so much.



    I use Amazon as I am sure most people do, so I can do it from my couch and have access to millions of choices and not have to leave the house for them to get here. I wonder if the real reason is a transition away from home delivery with Prime to 'Go and collect your package from store #126 which is only two miles form you'. Perhaps Home delivery will then be + delivery costs. Maybe making a profit is starting to seem like a good idea at last?



    No, it makes perfect sense.  Not everyone wants their packages sitting on their doorstep all day.  If you are picking up packages, you would also see the latest Amazon product in person.  What doesn't make sense is why FedEX or UPS doesn't do this.

  • Reply 13 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    rob53 wrote: »
    I've already found a real electronic component store within easy driving distance even though we have a small Radio Shack in town. I've been in the RS store maybe two times in the last 10 years and I seem to remember actually getting something like a cordless phone battery but that was all. Our town isn't large enough for an Apple store but the RS is on the main street downtown so it's in a good location. At 800 sq ft it might be the smallest Apple Store but it would be closer than the nearest current one (over an hour away) and could compete with the brand new Verizon store for iPhone sales on multiple networks (Radio Shack is closest AT&T dealer). I see a lot of people in this town with iPhones and the nearest Best Buy, also in talks to shut down, is 30 minutes away. 

    It's funny hearing about companies wanting to buy out the building who would get rid of everything Radio Shack sold. Sprint wouldn't keep anything except cell phones while Brookstone just sells "luxury" junk items (see yesterday's postings). Amazon only wants the pre-existing floorspace so why not have mini Apple Stores in smaller towns. The space is already zoned retail. We have a lot of retirees giving them something to do as Apple sales people selling and training people their own age. Before people say this would never work, you need to understand that many of these retirees have a lot more disposable income than the kids Apple sells to. Maybe I could even go back to work part time (ugh!) Just a thought Apple; are you listening????

    I've thought about that but I suspect Apple would not want anything but the 'best experience' and a small hole in the wall Apple Store could never achieve that. Perhaps if they were designed and branded as something entirely different so as not to have the same expectations it could work. Apple Kiosk or something.
  • Reply 14 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    esummers wrote: »

    No, it makes perfect sense.  Not everyone wants their packages sitting on their doorstep all day.  If you are picking up packages, you would also see the latest Amazon product in person.  What doesn't make sense is why FedEX or UPS doesn't do this.

    Oh don't suggest collecting from UPS ... FedEx maybe. My new Mac Pro was a collect from UPS event just before Christmas last year. It was our city's main UPS depot. It took them an hour and several different people to find it and I was treated like shit. It was if it was my problem they couldn't find it and I was a nuisance not giving up and going away when they couldn't find it. They couldn't work their own tracking system and it ended up that it was in a pile out for return to Apple! When they did eventually find it a quite angry guy throws the small box on the counter. I had to point out it was a $5,000 box he'd just tossed.

    Horrible experience.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    I've already found a real electronic component store within easy driving distance even though we have a small Radio Shack in town. I've been in the RS store maybe two times in the last 10 years and I seem to remember actually getting something like a cordless phone battery but that was all. Our town isn't large enough for an Apple store but the RS is on the main street downtown so it's in a good location. At 800 sq ft it might be the smallest Apple Store but it would be closer than the nearest current one (over an hour away) and could compete with the brand new Verizon store for iPhone sales on multiple networks (Radio Shack is closest AT&T dealer). I see a lot of people in this town with iPhones and the nearest Best Buy, also in talks to shut down, is 30 minutes away. 

     

    It's funny hearing about companies wanting to buy out the building who would get rid of everything Radio Shack sold. Sprint wouldn't keep anything except cell phones while Brookstone just sells "luxury" junk items (see yesterday's postings). Amazon only wants the pre-existing floorspace so why not have mini Apple Stores in smaller towns. The space is already zoned retail. We have a lot of retirees giving them something to do as Apple sales people selling and training people their own age. Before people say this would never work, you need to understand that many of these retirees have a lot more disposable income than the kids Apple sells to. Maybe I could even go back to work part time (ugh!) Just a thought Apple; are you listening????




    I see it as more of a UPS store type atmosphere.  Radio Shack stores are usually in the same type of locations.  Probably at a minimum they would stock Amazon electronics and third party products that compliment them.  Hopefully they keep the components.  Not everyone has a big component store to run to if they need a capacitor or resistor right away.  AmazonBasics electronic components maybe?

  • Reply 16 of 46
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    esummers wrote: »

    I see it as more of a UPS store type atmosphere.  Radio Shack stores are usually in the same type of locations.  Probably at a minimum they would stock Amazon electronics and third party products that compliment them.  Hopefully they keep the components.  Not everyone has a big component store to run to if they need a capacitor or resistor right away.  AmazonBasics electronic components maybe?

    I see a Service Merchandise type store.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    I see a Service Merchandise type store.

    Or ... Maybe Jeff is opening book stores ... ;)
  • Reply 18 of 46
    Apple only has a few items it sells hence a store works! Amazon not so much.

    I use Amazon as I am sure most people do, so I can do it from my couch and have access to millions of choices and not have to leave the house for them to get here. I wonder if the real reason is a transition away from home delivery with Prime to 'Go and collect your package from store #126 which is only two miles form you'. Perhaps Home delivery will then be + delivery costs. Maybe making a profit is starting to seem like a good idea at last?

    That's a long chain of reasoning but I think it sounds plausible.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Oh don't suggest collecting from UPS ... FedEx maybe. My new Mac Pro was a collect from UPS event just before Christmas last year. It was our city's main UPS depot. It took them an hour and several different people to find it and I was treated like shit. It was if it was my problem they couldn't find it and I was a nuisance not giving up and going away when they couldn't find it. They couldn't work their own tracking system and it ended up that it was in a pile out for return to Apple! When they did eventually find it a quite angry guy throws the small box on the counter. I had to point out it was a $5,000 box he'd just tossed.



    Horrible experience.



    Yeah, I've had the same experience before.  They are set up only for pickups as a last resort.  If a signature is required and three delivery attempts have been made.  If they allowed pickups from a retail location, I think it would be better implemented including some sort of web API for websites to integrate with that allows you to pick a delivery location.

  • Reply 20 of 46
    jonljonl Posts: 210member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post



    I see a Service Merchandise type store.

    I remember Service Merchandise. Those were big department store type things. Radio Shacks, are, well, little shacks.

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