RadioShack could shut down for good at the end of May unless it’s able to work out a restructuring plan with creditors in bankruptcy court, the company warned in a state filing.
The Fort Worth-based retailer, which downsized significantly during a 2015 trip through bankruptcy court, said in a WARN letter filed with the Texas Workforce Commission Friday that it cannot predict whether its restructuring efforts this time around will be successful.
If not, it plans to permanently close its Fort Worth headquarters, laying off 150 workers, starting on May 26 or soon thereafter.
“If the company is able to develop a viable restructuring plan, it is our hope that any employment losses at Company Headquarters can be minimized,” said the letter, required by federal law to give notice of impending layoffs. “However, if the company is unable to develop a viable restructuring plan, it is likely that the company will be forced to permanently close Company Headquarters.”
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Some headquarters employees could lose their jobs before May 26 as the company explores its reorganization options and business circumstances change, the company said.
RadioShack and its parent company, General Wireless Operations, filed for bankruptcy on March 8, marking its second trip through bankruptcy court in three years. In court documents, the company said it planned to close 552 stores nationwide by the end of March, and then reassess the future of the remaining 1,000 stores.
According to the RadioShack website, a store at the Southwest Plaza shopping center in Arlington is closing, while another at the Cross Pointe shopping center in Saginaw will be converted into a Sprint location. Also, a “Store Closing” sign has been hung on a Bedford RadioShack store at Highway 121 and Cheek-Sparger Road, where the Sprint displays have been removed.
According to Business Insider, 42 RadioShack stores are slated to close in Texas, though some may be converted into Sprint stores.
The 96-year-old company, which has been a fixture in the Fort Worth business community for half a century, said it was forced to seek bankruptcy protection earlier this month after its partnership with Sprint failed to generate projected revenues.
RadioShack went through bankruptcy in 2015, closing more than half of its 4,000 stores. It came out of bankruptcy after a group led by the Standard General hedge fund joined with Sprint to keep about 1,700 stores open, including about 1,000 co-branded with Sprint.
In bankruptcy documents, Dene Rogers, president and chief executive officer of General Wireless Operations, said RadioShack considerably improved its operations last year but that Sprint sales fell sharply in the fourth quarter.
RadioShack came to Fort Worth in 1963, when business mogul Charles Tandy purchased the small Boston-based electronics chain and made it part of his Tandy Corp.
RadioShack expanded rapidly as electronics reshaped the world, opening thousands of stores across the country and creating a valuable brand name. For years, RadioShack was a manufacturer as well, gaining fame with its first mass-marketed personal computer, the TRS-80. In 2000, Tandy Corp. changed its name to RadioShack, and five years later, the company moved its headquarters from the Tandy Towers to a new modern headquarters campus built along the Trinity River.
But over the past decade, the company has struggled to compete in an era of rapidly changing technology and new rivals from big-box retailers to wireless phone companies to Amazon.com.
RadioShack continues to be based on the west end of that riverfront complex, which is now mostly occupied by Tarrant County College.