Despite the news that Radio Shack Corporation has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be closing approximately 2,000 stores nationwide, it will be business as usual at the Windham store. Co-owner Michael Esposito Jr. said his store, which is an independently owned and operated franchise, will not be affected by the filing, except that it may cause people to think they will be closing.
Esposito’s father purchased the store in Windham 40 years ago, and operated it along with several other locations. Esposito and his brother, Neil, now own and operate the Windham store.
According to Esposito, the Chapter 11 filing will affect the retail side of the business, but Radio Shack will continue to distribute products for sale. While he says the news of the corporation’s filing could hurt them, in that a lot of people will think all Radio Shack stores are shutting down, he adds that there may be a benefit as well since products will be shipping to fewer stores. “I can only see that helping me, having them have products on hand,” he said.
As a franchisee, the Espositos have always had some flexibility in how they operate. “I always felt like we had an advantage being a franchise store,” Esposito said. If there was a product that Radio Shack didn’t carry, but they felt was important to stock, they could order from another vendor, said Esposito. At the same time, they have been loyal to the Radio Shack brand over the years, he added, stocking
approximately 75 percent Radio Shack products. They have also had the freedom to do things their own way, including adding an extensive record department in the back of the store, with a stock of over sixty thousand albums.
Many corporately owned Radio Shack stores will be closing, including several in Maine, according to a list put out by the company. The store at the Maine Mall, for instance, is slated for closure. Esposito is hoping that some of the customers from those stores will find their way to his door.
He said they don’t anticipate any changes in what they are able to offer. “We will still have access to all the products I’m carrying now,” he said. He anticipates the store operating just as it always has, and wants customers to know that they will be there offering support and products for all of the customers’ needs.