WEATHERFORD, Texas-- RadioShack, the one-time electronics giant based in Fort Worth, announced this week it was closing up to 1,000 company-owned stores.
When it's all said and done, there is only expected to be one corporate location left in North Texas, something that seemed unimaginable only a decade ago.
"That's what we're hearing, that we will stay open," said Houston Jacobs, the assistant manager at the retailer's Weatherford location on South Main Street.
He says they're busier than they've been in months. "People want to know if we're closing, or if the deals are good," said Jacobs.
Despite a sign at the store indicating otherwise, Jacobs say they're planning to go on, mostly because of a returning customer base that depends on the store to fill a void in the smaller, rural community.
"People still like to come in here because they like to be hands on, get a feel for everything, and look at it for themselves," said Jacobs. "Say their business is thriving off one piece of equipment. If they have a resistor that goes out on there, some places it takes days to get it, so they come here."
On Thursday afternoon, a WFAA crew saw a steady stream of customers looking for bargain deals and electronics parts that aren't so easy to find elsewhere.
"They have all the little stuff," says Mike Bodiford. "Resistors, little miniature light bulbs, LEDS. It's a really good place to do that."
Bodiford remembers seeing the old store and giant sign decades ago when he was a young boy.
"I grew up in the area, and I remember going as a kid," Bodiford said.
If the Weatherford location is a success story, the corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Worth indicate just how far the rest of the company has fallen.
When the campus opened in 2005 with a $200 million price tag, the sprawling riverfront facility was supposed to house hundreds, if not thousands, of RadioShack employees.
Today the campus belongs to Tarrant County Community College, while RadioShack headquarters occupy a tiny portion of leased space that recently lost a lot another waver of employees.
In March, RadioShack's parent operator filed for bankruptcy, after a highly publicized partnership with Sprint failed to boost enough revenue to save the company, according to WFAA media partner the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Although there will only be some 70 corporate-owned locations when this round of closings are finished, between 400 to 500 dealer-owned, or franchised, stores should remain open for now.
Jacobs say he hopes their location remains open for as long as possible.
"You hear all the stories about people coming here their entire life. This is where they bought their first car stereo system for $100," Jacobs said.
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