Electronics retailer RadioShack is having difficulty making ends meet, and recently announced that Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization is strong possibility if it cannot find a means of reworking its debt.
The regulatory filing painted a bleak picture of the struggling retailer’s financial situation. RadioShack is currently in talks with its lenders, bond and shareholders, and landlords in order to create a solution, stating that it would be unable to finance its business operations “beyond the very near term,” which raised doubts regarding its future in the industry. If a solution is not found, RadioShack will attempt to file a prepackaged bankruptcy.
Once a strong contender in the technology world, RadioShack’s future began to dim as the digital revolution gained momentum. Since early 2012, it has reported continuous quarterly losses. Of the course of the last eight months, the company has undergone a restructuring effort of sorts, which includes reducing costs, renovating and closing of certain locations, and redistributing management.
For several decades, RadioShack was once considered a one-stop-shop for tech-savvy consumers, and supplied a wide variety of electronics and their components. However, the retailer has struggled to find its niche in the rapidly evolving technological landscape of the 21st century. The shift towards online shopping, in addition to the advent of smartphones and mobile devices such as tablets, have all but eroded the company’s sales.
Under the direction of chief executive officer Joseph C. Magnacca, RadioShack is attempting to revamp its image, in order to remain relevant in the digital age and compete with online and discount retailers. Additionally, RadioShack is working towards adding new products, including exclusive items and private brands.
Though the economy has shown signs of improvement since the financial crisis that began in 2008, the upswing in bankruptcy filings across the nation is a reminder that we’re not out of the woods just yet. A large number of cities, in addition to retailers, are filing for bankruptcy. Several cities in California, including San Bernardino, have filed for bankruptcy within the last few years. On July 18, 2013, the city of Detroit, Michigan filed for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy.
Similarly, there were 87,684 personal bankruptcy filings in July of last year alone, according to statistics provided by the Bankruptcy Institute. Following the economic downturn, many Americans found themselves without a job after experiencing layoffs. Additionally, medical expenses and divorce are common reasons for filing. While the majority of student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, they make it difficult for borrowers to afford or manage other expenses, which may contribute to filing for bankruptcy.
Though there are several stigmas associated with filing for bankruptcy, bankruptcy provides consumers, retailers and even cities a fresh financial start. It is important to note that the benefits of filing for bankruptcy greatly outweigh the burden of debt or the associated stereotypes.