General Wireless Operations, the RadioShack successor created by a partnership between Overland Park-based Sprint Corp. and the defunct retailer’s owners, is preparing to file for bankruptcy, sources said.
A filing could happen within the coming days and will probably result in liquidation, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public. The beleaguered company, which does business as RadioShack, operates outlets that share space with Sprint’s retail locations, as well as franchising the name to other stores.
The bankruptcy would deal another blow to the RadioShack brand, an almost-century-old source of electronics that struggled to compete with online merchants and big-box retailers. The General Wireless venture was designed to help the RadioShack name live on following the demise of the original chain. But pressures on the business, including sluggish foot traffic at shopping centers and a shift to e-commerce, have persisted.
RadioShack Corp. filed for bankruptcy in 2015. The company closed about half of its 4,000 stores and sold 1,700 to creditor Standard General LP, which teamed up with Sprint to form General Wireless. The deal created 1,400 co-branded locations with Sprint, plus several hundred franchised units.
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Sprint, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, declined to comment. Standard General didn’t have an immediate comment.