RadioShack’s Rollercoaster History of Boom and Bankruptcy

RadioShack’s Rollercoaster History of Boom and Bankruptcy

The Beginning

RadioShack is an American chain of electronics stores that has experienced both highs and lows throughout its long history. Brothers Theodore and Milton Deutschmann founded it in 1921 to sell ham radio equipment. The company originally consisted of a single location for retail and mail order sales. RadioShack issued its first catalogue in 1939, and even extended into the high fidelity music market by producing its own private label products with the brand name Realist. Throughout its history, the company constantly attempted to rebrand itself, changing its name, slogan, management, and purpose time after time.

Bankruptcy and Changing Strategies

By the 1960s, RadioShack had expanded its mail order business and had 9 stores. Soon the company fell on hard times, however, and had to file for bankruptcy. Luckily for RadioShack, entrepreneur Charles Tandy took an interest and bought the company for $300,000 in 1962. Tandy Corporation was interested in expanding their leather goods company into other hobby businesses. In order to make RadioShack viable again, Tandy ended the mail-order business and credit sales and dropped most of the upper management positions. Tandy led the ailing company through a period of growth and success in the ‘60s and ‘70s before his death.

In the ‘80s, RadioShack attempted to edge into the IBM PC compatible market. This didn’t last long though, as the company struggled against rivals like Dell. In 1982, people were moving towards owning their own phones instead of renting them after the breakup of the Bell System, and RadioShack jumped on board by offering 20 different models of home phone.

In the ‘90s, RadioShack once again attempted to change, this time having to restructure over 200 store locations. The company wanted to shift away from components and cables towards more mainstream consumer electronics. It continued to do so into 2015 by selling things like cell phones. In 1994, the company began to offer inexpensive, non-warranty repairs for over 45 brands of electronics. In 1998, RadioShack claimed to be the largest seller of consumer telecommunications products in the world. By 2011, smartphone sales accounted for over half of the company’s revenue.

2015 Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Unfortunately, management issues and tough competition led to several bouts of restructuring, purging of management, and financial instability after the turn of the century. In 2005, a switch in the wireless providers that RadioShack featured caused a huge decline in profits. This along with management problems led to several cuts in 2006. Nearly 500 stores closed down, and stock prices plummeted. The company also attempted to cut overhead expenses by laying off a fifth of its headquarters workforce.

Since 2006, RadioShack has continued to close more stores and lay off more people. At the beginning of 2015, the company faced over $1 billion in debt and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the hopes that another restructuring would save it. Late in 2015, the bankruptcy plan was approved, and RadioShack began the liquidating funds to pay off its creditors. The chain was forced to close nearly all of its remaining 4,000 stores.

In September of 2015, many problems still faced RadioShack’s Chapter 11 plan. Standard General LP and Wells Fargo claimed that RadioShack was obligated to pay the substantial legal fees accrued from lawsuits with junior creditors, estimated at around $15-20 million. This stipulation would have probably led to the collapse of all of the creditor repayment plans. Luckily, the junior creditors decided to drop the lawsuit instead.

2017 Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

As part of the restructuring plan, Standard General bought RadioShack’s brand and saved around 1,700 stores. Standard General, Wells Fargo, and other banks provided $9.4 million in cash and savings to a liquidation trust. As part of the RadioShack restructuring, the company has switched focus to pushing the Sprint brand for mobile phones.

Standard General created an affiliate company called General Wireless to operate RadioShack’s brand and assets along with Sprint. Together, Sprint and General Wireless opened co-branded stores under Sprint’s name that sold products from both brands.

In March, 2017, RadioShack was forced to close 187 more stores. This accounts for about 9% of its remaining 1,943 locations. This move affected around 1,850 of the company’s 5,900 employees. The company again filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and stated plans for closing many of its locations that are shared with Sprint.

Sprint also paid $12 million as a “wind down payment” to General Wireless. In return, Sprint received the leases for 115 stores and the equipment from 245 other locations where Sprint was primarily in control.

Time will tell if Standard General and General Wireless will manage to salvage anything from RadioShack’s remains. For now, the company retains control of over 1,000 locations. If the struggles continue, this longstanding household name might go down in history as yet another company that failed to keep up with the speed of modern technological advances.

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Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Riding a motorcycle is a wonderful sensation, but there are a lot of dangers associated with them. Because of a motorcycle’s size, other drivers have a harder time seeing them on the road. If a collision occurs, motorcycles provide almost no protection from injury. If you or a loved one have experienced a motorcycle accident as the result of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. By using the services of an experienced personal injury attorney such as Dan Higson, you will increase the likelihood of getting the most compensation possible.

Common Motorcycle Accident Causes

Even if you’re the safest driver in the world, accidents can happen to you. It’s impossible to control all of the factors around you, including road conditions and other drivers. Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:

Inattentiveness. Inattentive drivers account for a large amount of motorcycle accidents each year. Inattentive drivers are often responsible for head-on collisions and left-turn collisions. They happen when a driver is not fully aware of their surroundings. With the ever-increasing presence of smart phones in drivers’ hands, this hazard has become even more commonplace.

Recklessness. Many collisions occur because of reckless driving. Examples of this include drivers going over the speed limit or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Bad communication. It’s important to be able to communicate with other drivers around you. Whether you’re riding with a group of motorcyclists or determining whether another car is taking a turn in front of you, communication, such as properly using signals, is key to surviving on the road.

Road hazards. Hazardous road conditions include loose gravel, potholes, uneven asphalt, and other issues. State and local governments maintain most roadways, but government agencies often fail to address problems on the road. Unaddressed road hazards are responsible for many motorcycle accidents.

What to Do When in a Motorcycle Accident

When a motorcycle accident occurs, it’s important to understand that the other driver and the insurance companies are not necessarily on your side. Because of this, there are several important steps to take after an accident occurs to protect your personal and legal safety. If you are seriously injured, wait for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene and worry about legal issues after your safety is ensured. If you are able to, acquire further information. Below, are some steps to keep in mind after you’ve been in a motorcycle accident:

  1. Seek medical attention. Even for minor injuries, it’s important to get official medical records that can be used to support your claim. Sometimes injuries do not become apparent until days or even weeks after an accident, so have these injuries checked out as soon as they develop.
  2. Gather information. Accurate, detailed information is crucial for your case. If safe to do so, take photographs of the crash site, the condition of your motorcycle, and your injuries. Get the contact information of the other drivers involved and any witnesses.
  3. File a police report. If possible, call the police to the site of the accident. By cooperating with the police and making a statement, you provide even more evidence for your case. Make sure to inform the police of any witnesses that might have relevant information.
  4. Hold off on repairs. Hold off on making any repairs to your motorcycle until an insurance claim is opened. If you preserve the damages done to your motorcycle throughout the examination process, it will make it easier to determine what compensation is needed. If this is not possible, keep detailed records of all repairs that are done.

California Motorcycle Laws

California has a few unique motorcycle laws that don’t necessarily exist in other states. In California, lane-splitting is legal. Lane-splitting is when motorcyclists ride between the lanes of traffic when it has slowed down. This practice is risky to the motorcyclist, so be careful whenever you attempt to do so. When lane-splitting, the motorcyclist can be ticketed if they drive recklessly. Thus, it is advisable that motorcyclists travel at a safe speed when lane-splitting so that he/she can react to sudden movements by the surrounding cars. Surrounding cars are not allowed to impede motorcycles between lanes, and they can be punished if they attempt do so.

Motorcyclists should also be aware that any negligence on their part, such as unsafe operation of your motorcycle while lane-splitting, could be used as evidence to reduce their recovery in a subsequent trial. This is because California uses the “comparative fault” system to offset an injured person’s recovery for any percentage of negligence that is attributed to their own conduct. For example, if a person suffers $50,000 in damages and is determined to be 50% at fault for their own accident, they would only be entitled to recover $25,000.

More up-to-date information can be found online at the California Department of Motor Vehicles motorcycle handbook page.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another person’s negligence, let Dan Higson help you get through the paperwork and insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve. It’s possible to receive compensation for a variety of damages such as medical expenses, motorcycle repair, lost wages, therapy, disability, and pain and suffering.

Getting yourself and your motorcycle back in peak condition after an accident can be expensive. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can mean the difference between fully covering your accident costs and paying everything out of pocket.

Call Ventura Attorney Daniel A. Higson at 805-644-7111