This all has to do with the non-news that Radio Shack is in financial trouble, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and one of the two sugar daddies ready to swoop in and save the venerable chain’s stores from oblivion is… insert drum roll here… our old friend Amazon.
Here’s the preface. Apple has something that few of its competitors can match. Almost 500 retails stores scattered across humandom’s most popular and populous locales.
Microsoft has a few retail stores; mostly within walking distance of an Apple Store, but to be honest, the Windows maker’s stores have more Microsofties than customers.
A year or so ago it looked as if Radio Shack was gearing up to bite the dust and become a nostalgic relic of a bygone era. Sales were lagging, profits were gone, floor traffic was in decline, and the only saving grace Radio Shack could provide a would-be suitor was a few thousand retail locations.
Who needs retail stores scattered all over the country?
Way back in February of 2013 I pointed out that Apple has a secret weapon that competitors do not. Apple Stores. And I advocated that Amazon could improve its competitive position by buying Radio Shack.
Almost a year later I pointed out in an article entitled 2 Train Wrecks Made For Each Other that Amazon could do the world a favor and get all retro by buying Radio Shack and turn it into a storefront for Amazon’s new hardware, and a nearby neighborhood pickup point for Amazon packages.
Two train wrecks of monumental proportions could easily be avoided only if shareholders and executives of both companies could see that both are made for each other at this point in time. Radio Shack needs a sugar daddy and a raison d’être. Amazon needs a public face, some neighborhood visibility, a physical space where would-be customers can touch and feel Amazon’s gadgets, pickup orders, and maybe get some bona fide customer support, face-to-face.
If the news and rumors are true (is there really a difference anymore?) Sprint might buy some of what Radio Shack has, and Amazon might get into the bidding, too, despite Radio Shack’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing. Owning a thousand or two Radio Shack stores would give Amazon some head-to-head with Walmart, a good place to showcase Amazon’s own branded wares, and provide a convenient neighborhood pickup for those of us who hate to order from Amazon because we’re never home when the deliver arrives.
Win, win, win. And I told you so. Except for that bankruptcy thing.