Retail Entrepreneurs Buy Twice-Bankrupt RadioShack With Plans for Online Revival
Two entrepreneurs who have been collecting fallen retail brands during the coronavirus pandemic are taking over the reins of RadioShack, acquiring the nearly century-old gadget seller’s brands and online business.
Miami-based Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC, led by Chief Executive Alex Mehr and Executive Chairman Taino “Tai” Lopez, bought the rights to the RadioShack brand in the U.S., Canada, India, Australia, Europe and China, along with related websites, for an undisclosed price last week.
总部位于迈阿密的零售电子商务风险投资公司(Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC)上周购买了RadioShack品牌在美国、加拿大、印度、澳大利亚、欧洲和中国的使用权，以及相关网站的使用权，价格不详。该公司首席执行长迈克尔迈尔(Alex Mehr)和执行主席泰诺(Taino“tai”Lopez)上周购买了RadioShack品牌在美国、加拿大、印度、澳大利亚、欧洲和中国的使用权。
Even as U.S. retail sales climbed in October at their slowest pace since the spring, online shopping continues to flourish. Consumers are demanding improved residential workspaces and remote-working setups as the pandemic keeps many of them out of the office, opening the door for RadioShack to fulfill their work-at-home electronics needs.
The deal marks REV’s latest purchase of a retail brand since Covid-19 began spreading in the U.S. Earlier this year, the company bought the e-commerce business of Pier 1 Imports Inc. and the trademark assets of Modell’s Sporting Goods out of bankruptcy.
这笔交易标志着自新冠肺炎开始在美国扩张以来，REV最近一次收购零售品牌。今年早些时候，该公司收购了一号码头进口公司(Pier 1 Imports Inc.)的电子商务业务。以及莫代尔体育用品公司破产后的商标资产。
REV also acquired RadioShack’s patents and private label brands, such as Enercell batteries and Powerhorn speakers, as well as the trademarked slogan “You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers.” The purchase allows REV to expand into the electronics category for the first time.
“This is our first truly global brand,” Mr. Lopez said in an interview. “We are excited to take something that we can scale not only in the U.S.”
The former owner of the RadioShack brand assets, General Wireless IP Holdings LLC, which is owned by holding company VeyeP Holdings LLC, elected to retain a minority stake in the business, REV said. RadioShack’s former operator was General Wireless Operations Inc., a separate entity that licensed the RadioShack brand.
Rev说，RadioShack品牌资产的前所有者General Wireless IP Holdings LLC由控股公司VyeP Holdings LLC所有，选择保留该业务的少数股权。RadioShack的前运营商是通用无线运营公司(General Wireless Operations Inc.)，这是一个单独的实体，获得了RadioShack品牌的许可。
“People believe in what we’re doing so they’re not just interested in cash,” said Mr. Mehr, a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientist. “Basically, they want to take advantage of some of the upside as well.”
前美国国家航空航天局(National Aeronautics And Space Administration)科学家迈尔说，“人们相信我们的所作所为，所以他们不仅仅对现金感兴趣。”“基本上，他们也想利用一些上行机会。”
Founded in 1921, RadioShack filed for bankruptcy twice between 2015 and 2017, left in the dust by other electronics retailers like Best Buy Co. Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
RadioShack成立于1921年，在2015年至2017年间两次申请破产，与百思买(Best Buy Co.Inc.)等其他电子产品零售商相形见绌。和亚马逊公司(Amazon.com Inc.)。
The company now operates primarily as an online retailer but still has a network of about 400 stores owned by independent dealers. It also has a store-within-a-store concept called RadioShack Express inside about 80 locations of HobbyTown, a hobby, collectibles, and toy store chain, REV said.
RadioShack’s first chapter 11 gave control to hedge fund Standard General LP, which bought the brand and about 1,700 stores for around $26 million. The second bankruptcy came after a partnership with then wireless provider Sprint Corp. unraveled. By then, the retailer had about 1,500 stores, down from about 4,000 before the first bankruptcy. It eventually shut down all of its corporate-owned stores.
RadioShack的第一个破产法第11章将控制权交给了对冲基金Standard General LP，后者以约2,600万美元的价格收购了RadioShack和大约1,700家门店。第二次破产是在与当时的无线运营商Sprint Corp.的合作破裂之后。到那时，这家零售商拥有约1500家门店，低于第一次破产前的约4000家。它最终关闭了所有企业所有的门店。
Coming out of the second bankruptcy, the RadioShack brand was owned by an affiliate of investment firm Kensington Capital Holdings LLC. It changed hands again after a sale to VeyeP, according to Ron Garriques, chief executive of General Wireless IP and VeyeP, which makes investments in technology companies.
走出第二次破产后，RadioShack品牌归投资公司肯辛顿资本控股有限公司(Kensington Capital Holdings LLC)的一家附属公司所有。投资科技公司General Wireless IP and VeeP的首席执行官罗恩·加里克斯(Ron Garrique)表示，在出售给VeeP之后，该公司再次易手。
Over the last two years, REV has been on the hunt for distressed retailers. The company has made seven acquisitions, including RadioShack, acquiring the intellectual property assets of the brands and running them mostly as online businesses.
Recent deals include Pier 1, Modell’s and women’s clothing retailer Dressbarn. REV also acquired online housewares retailer Linens ’n Things, collectibles purveyor Franklin Mint and U.K.-based bookseller The Book People.
最近的交易包括1号码头、莫代尔百货和女装零售商德累斯巴恩(Dressbarn)。雷夫还收购了在线家居用品零售商Linens‘n Things，收藏品供应商Franklin Mint和英国书商The Book People。
“REV was quick to recognize the retail sector’s shift to e-commerce, which has accelerated as a result of the pandemic, and to capitalize on the opportunity to breathe new life into well known and loved brands,” Mr. Garriques said.
Last month, a venture backed by REV was named the stalking horse, or lead bidder, to acquire the intellectual property of discount department-store chain Stein Mart Inc. for more than $4 million. The assets include the Stein Mart brand, other private label brands, domain names, social media assets, and customer data.
上个月，Rev支持的一家企业被命名为收购折扣百货商店连锁店Stein Mart Inc.知识产权的跟踪马，或称牵头竞标者。超过400万美元。这些资产包括Stein Mart品牌、其他自有品牌、域名、社交媒体资产和客户数据。
Stein Mart had said it hoped to get the asset sale approved before Thanksgiving. The off-price retailer, which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in August, has liquidated substantially all of its more than 275 stores.
Messrs. Mehr and Lopez, both serial entrepreneurs, said they hope to revitalize RadioShack by relaunching the website in time for the company’s 100th anniversary as a marketplace for gadgets, computers and other electronics.
The company will continue to support the existing dealer stores carrying its products and will get a small sales commission from them. RadioShack will also continue to sell through its digital store on Amazon.com.
“As long as you’re internet first, it makes sense to have physical retail,” Mr. Mehr said.