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Hagerstown RadioShack to close by end of summer

A RadioShack spokeswoman says a total of 480 stores will close by Aug. 1.

A RadioShack spokeswoman says a total of 480 stores will close by Aug. 1.

April 06, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

A RadioShack store in Washington County will be one of the nearly 500 stores to feel the brunt of the electronic retailer's latest financial turmoil.

The store on Tandy Drive, off Western Maryland Parkway, is expected to close by the end of the summer, RadioShack officials have announced.

A total of 480 stores will close by Aug. 1, said Jessica Study, a company spokeswoman. Eight other stores in the Tri-State area, including two Hagerstown stores, will remain open, Study said.

The retailer's distribution center - at the same Tandy Drive address as the store - was not listed as one of the centers slated to close, according to a statement RadioShack released in February.

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The company said it plans to shut down its distribution centers in Charleston, S.C., and Southhaven, Miss.

Study said the company tried to avoid closing stores in small markets, such as the Western Maryland market.

"When we evaluated the store closings, we wanted to make sure the smaller markets weren't affected, because in the larger markets there are more stores." Study said.

"In smaller markets, that might be the only store for miles," she said.

Study said that six stores in and around Washington, D.C., were closing. According to RadioShack's Web site, there are more than 100 stores in that region.

The Hagerstown distribution center employs about 120 people and distributes goods to 2,000 stores along the East Coast.

The mass closings come amid the retailer's low wireless sales and downbeat fourth-quarter earnings, the company's former chief executive, David Edmondson, said in a statement.

In February, RadioShack officials told investors that it planned to close as many as 700 stores.

"RadioShack failed to achieve its financial objectives in 2005," Edmondson said in the statement.

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