Sprint to set up shop as RadioShack files for bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) - Sprint's latest plan for luring new subscribers is to occupy the remains of RadioShack.

The long-struggling consumer electronics chain filed for bankruptcy protection last week. Part of its plan is for Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier, to open mini-shops in as many as 1,750 of RadioShack's remaining stores.

Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint Corp. has been aggressively trying to draw subscribers from its bigger rivals, Verizon and AT&T.

It's had some recent success, adding nearly 1 million new customers in its latest quarter. And if approved, the deal would greatly expand its presence in front of U.S. shoppers, more than doubling the number of Sprint company-owned stores.

RadioShack, which was founded nearly a century ago, said in its Chapter 11 filing that it plans to sell 1,500 to 2,400 stores to its largest shareholder, investment firm Standard General. It is seeking to close the remainder of its 4,000 U.S. stores.

Sprint has a deal with Standard General to open its mini-shops in stores Standard General is buying. It would take up about one-third of the retail space in each store, and Sprint employees would sell mobile devices and Sprint plans.

Sprint would be the primary brand on those RadioShack storefronts and marketing materials.

The deal is expected to be wrapped up in the coming months.

Published: Mon, Feb 09, 2015