NEW YORK - There will soon be about 1,100 fewer places to buy batteries.
RadioShack said Tuesday that it plans to close up to 1,100 stores, about a fifth of its U.S. locations. The news came as the retailer reported a wider quarterly loss after a disappointing holiday season.
CEO Joseph Magnacca said the closings would leave RadioShack with more than 4,000 U.S. stores. The company didn't immediately identify which stores will close or how many jobs would be affected.
The chain's had about 70 company- and dealer-owned locations in South Carolina as of Dec. 31. A RadioShack store at Citadel Mall in Charleston was recently closed.
A call to the company, based in Fort Worth, Texas, was not returned.
The closings represent just the latest setback for RadioShack, which is fighting to update its image and compete with the rise of online and discount retailers.
Long known as a destination for batteries and obscure electronic parts, RadioShack has sought to remake itself as a specialist in wireless devices and accessories. But growth in the wireless business is slowing, as more people have smartphones and see fewer reasons to upgrade.
In addition to slashing costs and shuffling management, RadioShack has been renovating its stores with a more modern look.
"Since I joined the company, it has been clear we need to change the conversation about RadioShack," Magnacca said during a call with analysts.
He pointed to the success of the company's Super Bowl ad as an example of "exactly the kind of disruption we needed." The spot got glowing reviews for poking fun at the company's outdated image by showing characters from the 1980s including Alf, Chucky and Teen Wolf ransacking its store. Magnacca also outlined various efforts the company is taking, such as revamping its product mix and working to identify trends in electronics earlier.
Still, he conceded that the turnaround push is taking longer than expected because the company was "weak" in many areas and "just broken" in others. The latest quarter's performance was hurt by a slowdown in customer traffic and increased promotional activity.
Sales at stores open at least a year - a key indicator of a retailer's health - sank 19 percent.
The company said that the stores targeted for closings are being selected based on location, area demographics, lease duration and financial performance.
For the three months that ended Dec. 31, RadioShack Corp. lost $191.4 million. That compares with a loss of $63.3 million a year earlier. Revenue declined 20 percent to $935.4 million, well short of the $1.12 billion that Wall Street was projecting.
RadioShack reported a full-year loss of $400.2 million. In the prior year it lost $139.4 million. Annual revenue declined 10 percent to $3.43 billion from $3.83 billion.
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