Is Anyone Still Expecting Amazon to Take Over Radio Shack Store Leases?

It’s been some two weeks since RadioShack officially announced its bankruptcy, and there’s still one major question left unanswered: What’s happening with Amazon?

bezos bath and beyond

Rumors circulated in the days before the bankruptcy that Amazon was interested in acquiring some of the store leases, but when the smoke cleared Amazon was nowhere to be found. Instead, RadioShack’s leading debtor/investor is going to peel off between 1,500 and 2,400 of the 4,000 RS stores in the US, and then sublet space in around 1,700 stores to Sprint.

If Amazon is still interested, no one is talking.

I was reminded of that silence earlier today when Janet Asteroff pondered on  Mediashift on the topic of what Amazon might do with the space:

It is widely believed that Amazon will want some of the remaining stores for their advantageous real estate locations to provide the e-commerce giant with a physical venue for products and services.

If Amazon were to buy RadioShack locations now, or establish a physical presence at some point in the future, what are the likely outcomes and what would we like to see happen?

The short answer is that Asteroff thought that Amazon would use the former RS spaces in much the same way that it is using the unstore it launched on the Purdue University campus earlier this month (although Asteroff didn’t explicitly make the connection).

I happen to agree with the conclusion that Amazon would use the space for delivery/returns, customer service, and so on, but I’m not so sure that I share her assumption that everyone believes that Amazon is still interested.

I was expecting to hear the news 12 days ago, and when it didn’t happen I began to doubt that it would. And as each week goes by without any rumors, much less an announcement, I think the odds that Amazon is still pursuing the option continues to shrink.

But I could be wrong; what do you think?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. puzzled17 February, 2015

    This is why they’re called rumours…

    I also like how Janet uses ‘widely believed’. Amongst which universe? In this case, it may just be amongst the Amazon rumourmongers. This is akin to the media (whoever they are) reporting speculation by other members of the media as ‘has been reported…’

    1. Nate Hoffelder17 February, 2015

      I am of the opinion that Amazon did look into buying the leases. It would be a good idea for them to at least look, but I also think they decided against it.

      They have one store to test the idea; they don’t need more.

  2. DaveMich18 February, 2015

    I’m pretty sure the ‘rumors’ were a negotiating ploy.

    1. Nate Hoffelder18 February, 2015

      It wouldn’t be the first time someone floated this type of rumor for exactly that reason.

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