EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS: Radio Shack and its future

Mar. 09, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

The electronics retailer Radio Shack is in crisis mode, closing 1,100 stores nationwide (out of its 5,000 total stores, including 139 in North Carolina) as it tries to cope with the fact that people are buying more and more products online.

A manager at the store in Sanford said he wasn’t allowed to talk about the restructuring. A corporate PR assistant for Radio Shack said she wasn’t aware of plans for any individual stores yet.

The future doesn’t look good for the company — or really any other brick-and-mortar retailer that doesn’t do a lot of online sales. Radio Shack’s website is apparently not even in the top 1,000 most popular websites. Take this little tidbit reported by the Wall Street Journal: In 2003, both Radio Shack and Amazon had approximately $5 billion in sales. Last year, Radio Shack had $3.5 billion in sales and Amazon had $75 billion.

In other news ...

• One thing Amazon hasn’t yet started selling is child care. One new such business is opening in Sanford next month, but it’s not like most other child care centers. After5 Drop-In Childcare is exactly what the name says: People can drop their kids off after 5 p.m. at the Jonesboro-area facility at 2637 S. Horner Blvd., and staff will take care of them, charging an hourly rate, until 10 p.m. The grand opening will be from 12-3 p.m. April 5 with raffles and free food.

• Salisbury-based Food Lion has announced that it now has the strictest seafood sustainability rules in the grocery industry, adopting policies shared by only a few other stores: “At Food Lion, we believe that we have a responsibility to protect seafood species for generations to come,” said Karen Fernald, senior V.P. of merchandising, in a press release. “Through our policy, customers can trust that the seafood products they buy in our stores today are responsibly harvested.”

• For anyone who says what’s happening in Ukraine doesn’t affect them, it does if they live in North Carolina. Our state is one of the largest pork producers in the U.S., and after President Barack Obama said he’d consider using economic sanctions on Russia for essentially invading Crimea, Russia announced a decision to reverse course on plans to lift its existing ban on U.S. pork products.

• Business fluctuations: Two new corporations formed in Lee County last week — D.H. Golf and RCF Radical Change Fitness — and 112 were withdrawn or dissolved. Wait, what? I’m not listing them all here, but do expect a story about this soon. Wow.

Have business news? Contact Will Doran at wdoran@sanfordherald.com or (919) 718-1217.