Oconomowoc RadioShack remains open
Two years ago, the RadioShack store in the Fox Run Shopping Center, at 2140 W. St. Paul Ave., survived three successive waves of nationwide closures for the electronics retail chain after the company filed for bankruptcy.
That luck has run out.
The Fox Run store was among the latest round of RadioShack closures that came on the heels of the company's second bankruptcy filing in as many years earlier this month. As a result, RadioShack's parent company, General Wireless, said it plans to close 187 stores in March. General Wireless is a joint venture of hedge fund Standard General and Sprint.
Two other Waukesha RadioShacks, one in the Westbrook Shopping Center at 2120 E. Moreland Blvd. and the other in the Silvernail Shopping Center at 2122 W. Silvernail Road, closed in February 2015 shortly after the first bankruptcy filing, which ultimately resulted in about 2,400 store closings.
A maintenance worker was seen fiddling with overhead fluorescent lights inside the empty Fox Run storefront Thursday, March 16. A piece of Xerox paper taped to the entrance encouraged customers to shop online at www.radioshack.com, and the company's sign has been removed from the building.
However, another Waukesha County RadioShack location, in the Whitman Park Shopping Center in Oconomowoc, remains open, and should while the company evaluates options on it.
The chain, based in Fort Worth, Texas, said it is also closing the RadioShack portion of the 360 stores that it shares with Sprint, and evaluating whether to do the same in 971 other shared stores. A list of the stores closing was not released.
About 1,850 of RadioShack's 5,900 employees are expected to be affected by the moves.
Over the years, RadioShack evolved from a store frequented by hobbyists needing electrical and electronic supplies for homemade radios and similar projects to a chain mostly aimed at popular finished electronic goods.
It ince sold the first mass-marketed, fully-assembled PC, the TRS-80, for which a young Bill Gates wrote an operating system before going on to found Microsoft.
The chain more recently established itself as a neighborhood destination for loudspeakers, mobile phones, satellite TV, batteries and toys.
As recently as 2013, the company was the eighth-largest consumer electronics dealer but, according to the latest bankruptcy filing, by 2014 it was losing $200 million annually in the mobility business alone.