(NEXSTAR) – Previously a consumer electronics giant, Radio Shack’s sites and the brand itself slowly began to fade away in the 2010s – victims of changing technology trends and disruptive competitors like Amazon.
After several years of losses, the brand – which once tried to rebrand itself as “The Shack” – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015 and was sold in part to various companies. These companies filed for bankruptcy in 2017, and Radio Shack was purchased for an undisclosed amount by current owner, Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV).
The company also owns once popular brands such as Pier 1, Linens-N-Things and Dress Barn.
So, does Radio Shack still exist?
Short answer: Radio Shack proper still lives online, but with a slimmer catalog. Meanwhile, approximately 400 stores bearing the Radio Shack name operate independently of REV, Associated Press reports.
There were about 5,200 stores in operation as recently as 2014, according to CNN. At the time of the bankruptcy filing in 2017, there were around 1,500 stores, hundreds of which have since closed.
But Radio Shack could find new life in an unlikely place: the blockchain.
In December, REV announced the creation of the RadioShack DeFi Cryptocurrency platform, which the company says will allow customers to exchange existing cryptocurrencies for “RADIO” tokens. In its announcement, the company claims that RadioShack and name recognition can help break down the psychological barrier to crypto adoption by seniors.
“The older generation just doesn’t trust the new ideas of the Bitcoin youth. The need for a bridge between the CEOs who control global corporations and the new world of cryptocurrencies will most likely come in the form of a well-known, century-old brand.
Radio Shack would have celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.