Feb 14, 2015
Larry Wilkinson and Mark Rheaume have read the recent eulogies for their Billings businesses, and they think they’re premature.
Wilkinson owns the RadioShack associate store at 1903 Grand Ave., and Rheaume and his wife, Tracy, own the RadioShack at 895 Main St. in the Heights.
In the wake of RadioShack’s corporate bankruptcy announcement Feb. 5, both owners have fielded questions about whether they’re staying open.
“ ‘Are you in business?’ That’s the worst thing you want to hear,” Rheaume said.
The quick answer is, yes.
Both are franchise owners, which means they independently operate the stores that sell RadioShack products. About 900 independents are left nationwide. Under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, RadioShack has agreed to sell or liquidate its 4,000 corporate-owned stores nationwide to pay creditors after losing millions in recent years.
Hundreds of stores have already closed.