- Retail Ecommerce Ventures has bought brands and related assets of electronics retail icon RadioShack.
- RadioShack was previously owned by General Wireless Operations and exited from its second bankruptcy about two years ago. The former owners will retain a minority stake in RadioShack, according to a press release. Terms of the deal with REV were not disclosed.
- RadioShack's online store says it is currently closed for the next week for an inventory restructure. In the release, REV said it "will soon relaunch an exciting, modern RadioShack website ... that will also support the existing stores carrying RadioShack products" ahead of the brand's 100th anniversary.
REV has been busy over the past year or so. After picking up the Dressbarn intellectual property from Ascena Retail Group, after the latter liquidated the footprint of its original banner, REV went on to buy up the IP of Pier 1 and Modell's Sporting Goods out of bankruptcy. REV is also the stalking horse bidder for Stein Mart's IP.
The upstart has moved quickly to take advantage of cheap IP during what may be a record year for retail bankruptcies and an accelerated shift to e-commerce, both of which have been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Founded in 2019 by Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez, who have backgrounds in digital marketing, REV says its brands have generated more than $1 billion in sales. In RadioShack, they've acquired a brand with a long storied history in retail that ultimately ended with decline and near-total liquidation.
RadioShack went through a Chapter 22 after it crumpled under a massive brick-and-mortar footprint and failed to answer rapid shifts in the electronics retailing market. (In that respect, it had company in Circuit City and H.H. Gregg, among others, that failed and liquidated in the shadow of Amazon and generalist retailers like Walmart.)
RadioShack's new owners see more life in the brand. "The RadioShack brands have resonated with consumers for nearly 100 years, and we are confident RadioShack's relaunch as a cutting-edge ecommerce company will amplify the awareness of this iconic brand internationally," said Mehr, who is REV's CEO, in the release.
Lopez, who serves as REV's executive chairman, said that his firm was "impressed with both the strong existing sales and sales potential of the Radioshack.com and related websites across the globe, including the U.S., Canada, India, Australia, Europe and China."
The market for retail IP divorced from store operations has grown significantly over the past decade tracking with the growth of e-commerce, and technology and services that have made it easier to run online stores. Buying established brands, even those attached to a company that failed, also can easily make economic sense given the difficulty in building a brand up from scratch.
REV joins more established players like Authentic Brands and Iconix Brands and their deal-shopping for retail IP in bankruptcy auctions. The firm specializes in converting retail brands into online players. In August, REV said the Dressbarn brand's revenue grew 165% quarter over quarter since the firm relaunched it.
Ron Garriques, one of the former owners of RadioShack and former CEO, said in the release, "REV was quick to recognize the retail sector's shift to ecommerce, 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."