As RadioShack is expected to file for bankruptcy this week, Amazon may be preparing to swoop in to buy some of its stores in an effort to boost its retail presence. The Seattle e-commerce giant is mulling some of RadioShack’s locations to use as showrooms for its Kindles, Fire Phones and Fire TVs, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg.
The stores also could serve a secondary function as a pickup and drop-off points for shipments.
If Amazon succeeds, it would be a huge push for the company into retail as it stands to gain up to 4,000 of RadioShack’s brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. and Mexico. The online merchant was rumored in October to be eyeing New York City for its first ever retail space. But following the lease of a building across from the Empire State Building in November, Amazon said it plans to use the location primarily for office space.
The company is among several vying for RadioShack’s stores, including Sprint and Sanpower Group, the Chinese investors behind Brookstone. Sprint considered purchasing up to half of the company’s stores, which could potentially be co-branded. The rest would be shuttered.
The New York Stock Exchange halted trades of RadioShack shares on Monday and said it is preparing to delist the electronics vendor because it “does not intend to submit a business plan,” which would fix its compliances issues with NYSE listing standards. Companies are required to maintain an average market cap of $50 million for 30 trading days or stockholder equity of an equal amount, according to NYSE listing rules.