The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Radio Shack in Valdez survives franchise cuts

Use those gift cards before the end of the month owner says


The local Radio Shack will remain open despite the bankruptcy of its parent company that is forcing closures of other stores nationwide.

"This is our twenty-fifth year," said owner Larry Hodges, holding court behind the counter as his wife Dee helped customers in the store. "I'm not too worried because I'm sure one of the big suppliers will step up to the plate."

The store's manager – the couple's daughter Sandy Retalia – was in Kansas City for a meeting with other RadioShack franchisers that are remaining open. The Boston Globe reports that several hundred independent franchisees were meeting to band together while RadioShack Corp. liquidates its assets, including a separate sale of the company's name.

Dee Hodges said that anyone with RadioShack gift cards needs to use them by March 30; after that RadioShack gift cards can no longer be accepted.

Valdez Star photo

Dee and Larry Hodges, owners of the Radio Shack in Valdez, say the business is staying open after its parent company filed for bankruptcy. It was announced that month that a number of stores nationwide will be closing.

"We've been kind of spoiled with RadioShack," she said, noting one of the larger problems the local store is grappling with is expediting, which was free through RadioShack before the bankruptcy. "It's a pretty big bump in the road but we'll get through it."

Hodges is also confident – and experienced. He said that one of the reason's the Valdez store has remained solvent is because it never strayed from the old RadioShack model of stocking parts for electronics and having staff on hand that knows how to use it. Pricing is also key.

"You really need to try to compete with Anchorage" on price – and the nemesis of all retailers, Amazon "to try to keep prices low."

He said he is often amused to see TV commercials for products that cost more for the exact same item in stock at a lower price right here in Valdez – a fact the public needs to be aware of.

"We can't be here if they get everything on the internet," he said.


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