Amazon may buy some RadioShack stores to establish a physical presence

Radio Shack 1961 Stamford CT
Credit: Radio Shack

RadioShack's loss may end up being Amazon's gain, or so says the rumor mill. The online retail giant is reportedly hoping to buy some of RadioShack's U.S. retail locations as "the Shack" moves towards its unfortunate end.

Amazon would used any retail locations it acquires as showcases for Amazon e-readers, tablets, and smartphones, according to Bloomberg Business. Amazon could also use the stores as pick-up and drop-off locations for online shoppers.

Retail locations would give Amazon the ability to show off its hardware in ways it hasn't really been able to—a handicap that may have contributed to the Fire Phone's poor reception. The company does partner with retailers like Best Buy to stock gadgets like its Kindle e-readers and tablets, but Amazon-owned retail/showcase locations would give it far more control over how its products are presented.

The story behind the story: Talk about Amazon opening retail stores has been going on for years. So far, however, Amazon hasn't done much more than launch a few pop-up stores here and there. Amazon was expected to open a retail location in New York City in time for the 2014 holiday season, but the store never appeared. The company did buy a new facility in New York, but uses it as a hub for same-day and one-hour deliveries.

Early stages

It's not clear how many retail locations Amazon is looking for from among RadioShack's more than 4,000 locations across the country. Amazon would most likely want to start its retail endeavors by acquiring some of RadioShack's prime locations in major urban centers.

But that may be difficult with other suitors such as Sprint and the investment group behind the gift store chain Brookstone also looking for some of RadioShack's stores.

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