Radioshack Franchisee On Martha’s Vineyard To Close, Store Dog Will Also Retire

Radioshack’s bankruptcy last year led to the closure of more than half of its stores, and the sale of others to one of the company’s major secured creditors. Yet the bankruptcy also affected the 700 or so remaining RadioShack dealers and franchisees, including Vineyard Electronics, a franchisee that has kept the island supplied with gadgets since 1981, and is now closing.

You may not be familiar with the idea of RadioShack dealers and franchisees, but they were a key strategy for the company to sell merchandise in small, remote towns. Local general stores became dealers that could use RadioShack as a supplier to stock the latest electronics, and local franchisees operated their own stores under the RadioShack brand, or at least stocked with RadioShack merchandise.

That’s what Vineyard Electronics is. The store’s owner, who was originally an employee and bought the business in 1984, says that she was unable to find a new supplier with reasonable prices: for some items, she told Martha’s Vineyard Times, it would be cheaper to buy them on Amazon than from the wholesalers. Yet island residents and vacationers could order directly online and have next-day delivery, even on an island.

While the bankruptcy of RadioShack really hurt the store, it began losing money when it moved to a new location in 2012: owning their building saved money on rent, but sales plummeted.

The 73-year-old owner of Vineyard Electronics says that she doesn’t feel ready to retire, and will probably look for a job in someone else’s store after the going-out-of-business sale is over. However, store dog Gracie the black Lab is 11 years old and looking forward to retirement.

Vineyard Electronics turns out the lights [MV Times]

RadioShack’s small town strategy ruled [Dallas Morning News]

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