Amazon eyes RadioShack locations


BLOOMBERG: Amazon is looking to bolster its brick-and-mortar presence and is considering buying recently-shuttered RadioShack locations.

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BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

BLOOMBERG: Amazon is looking to bolster its brick-and-mortar presence and is considering buying recently-shuttered RadioShack locations.

Amazon has considered using the RadioShack stores as showcases for the Seattle-based company’s hardware, as well as potential pickup and drop-off centers for online customers, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the deliberations are private.

The possible move, discussed as part of RadioShack’s looming trip to bankruptcy court, would represent Amazon’s biggest push into traditional retail. Amazon joins other potential bidders, including Sprint Corp. and the investment group behind Brookstone, in evaluating RadioShack stores, people familiar with the situation said. RadioShack has more than 4,000 U.S. locations and is moving toward a deal to sell a portion and close the rest, according to some of the people. Sprint has discussed buying 1,300 to 2,000, they said.

Read more here.

Bloomberg’s Katie Benner speculated as to why Amazon wants to pick up from where RadioShack left off.

Amazon watchers should note that these talks about acquiring real-world stores are happening, in part, to generate online sales. What might seem discordant makes sense when you take a step back and look at Amazon as a whole, and not just as Amazon the company that sells you things over the Internet.

Amazon has so far proven that it can do one thing really well: sell a lot of cheap consumer goods online. Some might argue that it sells a lot of cheap cloud computing services really well too (it’s the company’s fastest growing division), but Amazon’s success or failure is still deeply rooted in online retail.

Read Benner’s analysis here.