Following the news that tech retailer RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy, a new report claims that online megastore Amazon has expressed interest in buying some of the company's brick-and-mortar locations.
Citing two people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg says Amazon has discussed purchasing some of the storefronts and turning them into pick-up and drop-off centers for online customers. RadioShack has more than 4,000 U.S. retail locations, and its bankruptcy plan calls for it to sell a portion of them and close the rest.
Other companies interested in RadioShack's retail space include Sprint and the investment company behind Brookstone. Wireless provider Sprint is said to be interested in buying as many as half of RadioShack's stores and "co-branding" them.
There have been rumors for years that Amazon, which to date has had an online-only presence, might build storefronts to allow customers to pick up items. A retail presence would also allow Amazon to push its own hardware, such as its Kindle Fire tablets that compete with Apple's iPad, and and the Fire TV products that take on Apple TV.
As of the end of last quarter, Apple had 265 heavily-trafficked retail stores inside the U.S. Exactly how many RadioShack stores Amazon might buy and repurpose, if any, remains unknown.
The company dabbled in retail last fall with a series of pop-up stores in California. Amazon was also rumored to open its first permanent retail store in Manhattan in time for Christmas, but those claims didn't pan out.
The demise of RadioShack, meanwhile, brings to an end a store that once catered to technology enthusiasts and hobbyists with hard-to-find gadgets, components and accessories. But as the retail space changed, and enthusiasts increasingly went online to buy products at inexpensive prices, RadioShack attempted to adapt and become primarily a smartphone reseller.
That plan failed, however, leaving RadioShack with two straight years of losses and headed to bankruptcy court. Trading of the Texas-based company's stock was suspended on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.