Changes underway at RadioShack as Sprint pulls out of some stores

RadioShack stores have launched sales after Sprint pulled its displays from stores.
RadioShack stores have launched sales after Sprint pulled its displays from stores. Star-Telegram

Sprint has pulled wireless product displays out of some area RadioShack stores amid reports that the consumer electronics retailer is considering another pass through bankruptcy court.

At RadioShack stores in Bedford and Arlington, walls formerly devoted to Sprint’s “store within a store” had been emptied by Monday, while outlets in Fort Worth remained stocked with Sprint phones and tablets. Signs in the windows announced storewide sales.

Questions about the future of Fort Worth-based RadioShack started circulating Friday after Bloomberg News reported that General Wireless Operations, the joint venture which has operated RadioShack with Sprint since it came out of bankruptcy in 2015, is preparing a bankruptcy filing that could come within days.

Late Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that General Wireless could file Chapter 11 bankruptcy as soon as Tuesday and that RadioShack had recently laid off dozens of headquarters employees and started to close about 200 stores.

Sprint hooked up with RadioShack two years ago when Standard General, a hedge fund that was the retailer’s biggest shareholder, joined with Sprint to buy about 1,700 stores as part of RadioShack’s bankruptcy. Sprint then set up stores inside about 1,435 RadioShack locations.

Officials with both Sprint and RadioShack did not respond to requests for comment on Monday. But changes were apparent at several stores on Monday.

In the RadioShack store near Little Road in southwest Arlington, Sprint products had been removed and the entire store was festooned with signs advertising 30 percent to 50 percent markdowns of merchandise. A sign on the door said “All Sales Final/No Returns.” An employee there declined to comment.

A store in Bedford also had been stripped of its Sprint merchandise. And in Omaha, the World-Herald reported that Sprint locations inside RadioShack stores had been closed as well.

At the same time, a RadioShack store on Western Center Boulevard and North Beach Street in north Fort Worth was fully stocked with Sprint phones and staffed with a Sprint employee. Similarly, the RadioShack store in La Gran Plaza in east Fort Worth still included Sprint merchandise and an employee.

Staff writers Andrea Ahles and Max B. Baker contributed to this report.