Route 12A RadioShack Closes

Route 12A RadioShack Closes

West Lebanon — The RadioShack store on Route 12A, a longtime presence on the West Lebanon commercial strip, closed for good last week, another victim of the Fort Worth, Texas-based company’s February 2015 bankruptcy.

Last year, the electronics retail chain filed for bankruptcy and sold 1,700 of its stores to Standard General, a hedge fund that entered into a co-branding agreement with Sprint Corp. to sell the mobile phone provider’s products and service out of RadioShack stores.

But not all of Standard General’s RadioShack stores were part of the joint venture with Sprint, including the corporate-owned West Lebanon outlet. Mobile phone service in the Upper Valley is dominated by Verizon and AT&T.

Still, the closing of RadioShack in West Lebanon was a surprise because the store was not on the list of thousands of RadioShack outlets that were slated to be closed as a result of the parent company’s bankruptcy and assets sale. At the time of the bankruptcy, the West Lebanon RadioShack’s manager said she expected the store to remain open.

A handwritten notice posted last week on the door of the empty West Lebanon RadioShack apologized “for any inconvenience” and recommended customers “visit our other locations” in Claremont and Keene, N.H., and Rutland and Barre, Vt. (A RadioShack dealer-franchise within Welch’s True Value Hardware store in South Royalton shut down within the past year, although Welch’s continues to sell electronics equipment.)

Managers at the Claremont, Keene, Barre and Rutland RadioShack outlets said they didn’t know anything about the closing of the West Lebanon store and directed inquiries to RadioShack’s corporate office in Texas.

Messages to the corporate office, as well as the company’s regional director in Boston, were not returned.

RadioShack’s closing leaves another vacant storefront in West Lebanon as online shopping continues to siphon off business from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. A storefront in the Kmart Plaza formerly occupied by a mattress seller has remained vacant for more than a year, as has the space formerly occupied by the Mouse Menagerie gift shop in the North Country Plaza.

Two stand-alone restaurant buildings that once were occupied by Friendly’s and a Pizza Hut franchise also remain empty.

Author: John Lippman Valley News Business Writer

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