Sprint grows in L.A. with Ra­dioShack pig­gy­back

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - By Sa­man­tha Ma­sunaga sa­man­tha.ma­sunaga@la­times.com

Sprint Corp. more than dou­bled its re­tail pres­ence Fri­day by open­ing 1,435 Sprint-Ra­dioShack stores na­tion­wide, in­clud­ing 57 in Los An­ge­les.

About 7,500 Ra­dioShack em­ploy­ees will stay on in the co-branded stores across the coun­try. Sprint said it ex­pects to hire about 3,500 ad­di­tional em­ploy­ees, about 140 of whom will be in L.A.

The joint “store-within-as­tore” con­cept stems from last week’s sale of 1,743 Ra­dioShack stores to Gen­eral Wire­less Inc., an af­fil­i­ate of New York in­vest­ment firm Stan­dard Gen­eral.

Sprint, based in Over­land Park, Kan., agreed to be a co­tenant in about 80% of those stores. The re­main­ing 308 stores will be Ra­dioShack only, said Kevin Kunkel, Sprint’s vice pres­i­dent of the West Re­gion.

Ra­dioShack strug­gled for years be­fore fil­ing for bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion in Fe­bru­ary.

“I think the re­ally con­ve­nient piece of it is it will com­bine our brands … with all of the key prod­ucts that peo­ple have come to ex­pect from Ra­dioShack,” Kunkel said.

The stores will dis­play both brand lo­gos, though Sprint’s will be larger, he said. Ra­dioShack will oc­cupy more space within the stores.

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