Report: Amazon Wants To Buy Some RadioShack Stores, Too

amazonshackRadioShack built its brand by creating a vast nationwide network of stores across the country: they still have 4,300 of them, which has been a significant burden for the company as it has struggled to stay relevant and make money. As the Shack prepares to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, those stores are a tempting asset for other retailers looking to expand their retail footprints, like mobile carrier Sprint…and now Amazon.

Amazon, as you may recall, recently signed a lease on a building near the Empire State Building that has first-floor retail space, leading to speculation that the company would be opening its first Amazon Store. Amazon plans to use the building for warehouse and office space, as it turns out, and sublet the retail floor to another company. Taking over much smaller stores in areas with significantly lower rent than Manhattan is a tempting proposition, though.

Bloomberg reports (warning: auto-play video) that according to sources who are familiar with the Radio Shack pre-bankruptcy negotiations, Amazon has joined Sprint in talks to possibly take over some store leases. Initial reports were that the chain planned to sell about half of its store leases to Sprint and shut down the rest.

Amazon wouldn’t just use the stores as a showcase for its Kindle and Fire lines of e-readers, tablets, phones, and streaming-video devices. They would also use the stores as pickup and return centers for customer orders.

Radio Shack could also stay open, running co-branded stores with Sprint. Instead of closing down the chain and selling off stores, it’s possible that someone could see Radio Shack as a good investment and bid to take the whole thing over.

The Chinese investment group that now owns Brookstone, Sailing Capital and Sanpower, are also reportedly interested in bidding on some current Radio Shack stores.

Amazon in Talks to Buy Some of RadioShack’s Stores [Bloomberg News] (Warning: auto-play video)

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