NEW YORK -- Sprint’s latest plan for luring new subscribers is to occupy the remains of RadioShack, which is expected to close eight stores in Middle Georgia.
The long-struggling consumer electronics chain filed for bankruptcy protection last week. Part of its plan is for Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier, to open mini-shops in as many as 1,750 of RadioShack’s remaining stores.
Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint Corp. has been aggressively trying to draw subscribers from its bigger rivals, Verizon and AT&T.
It’s had some recent success, adding nearly 1 million new customers in its latest quarter. And if approved, the deal would greatly expand its presence in front of U.S. shoppers, more than doubling the number of Sprint company-owned stores.
RadioShack, which was founded nearly a century ago, said in its Chapter 11 filing that it plans to sell 1,500 to 2,400 stores to its largest shareholder, investment firm Standard General. It is seeking to close the remainder of its 4,000 U.S. stores.
RadioShack’s “potential store closure list,” according to its website, includes the following locations in Middle Georgia: 610 North Ave. and 4659 Presidential Parkway in Macon; 2724 Watson Boulevard and 494 Booth Road in Warner Robins; 2600 N. Columbia Avenue, Milledgeville; 1003 St. Patricks Drive, Perry; 2103 Veterans Boulevard, Dublin; and 895 N. Church St., Thomaston.
Sprint has a deal with Standard General to open its mini-shops in stores Standard General is buying. It would take up about one-third of the retail space in each store, and Sprint employees would sell mobile devices and Sprint plans.
Sprint would be the primary brand on those RadioShack storefronts and marketing materials.
The deal is expected to be wrapped up in the coming months. But other parties could bid for RadioShack’s stores in the bankruptcy process.
Fort Worth, Texas-based RadioShack is also in talks about selling all of its remaining overseas assets.
RadioShack Corp. introduced one of the first mass-market personal computers and used to be the go-to stop for consumers’ home electronics needs. But it struggled as shoppers increasingly moved online and growth in its wireless business slowed. It has suffered years of losses.
RadioShack had warned of a possible bankruptcy in September but received rescue financing that kept it afloat. Still, its CEO recently cautioned the chain might not be able to find a long-term plan to stay in business.
Telegraph staff writer Linda S. Morris contributed to this report.