RadioShack Store Closures Begin – Liquidators have begun the first round of RadioShack store-closing sales nationally. The chain started shutting 200 locations on its own just prior to the Chapter 11 filing on Feb. 5. So far 1784 stores have been targeted for closures in three waves, the majority expected to close this month. More clouded is the fate of over 1100 dealer-franchised stores in 25 countries, which are independently-owned shops which still have the legal right to bear the RadioShack brand. The lead lender is Standard General, and a new affilites, General Wireless, would acquire between 1500 and 2400 of the chain’s company-owned stores, which would be co-branded with Sprint – the retailer’s second-largest unsecured creditor.
Pioneer Posts Gain in Q3 Sales, But Higher Net Loss – Pioneer had an 8% sales gain in the third quarter, though the net loss grew 32% as of a year ago. OEM car sales increased, although they declined in Japan. Home electronics sales grew 12.6%, primarily due to increased sales of optical disc drive-related products and equipment for cable-TV systems.
ProSource Adds Stewart Filmscreen – ProSource, a $four billion buying group for AV dealers and custom integrators, has add Stewart Filmscreen – who make high-performance projection screens and speciality optical coatings – to its vendor roster. ProSource has over 500 retailers and custom integrators, and the new partnership will introduce several new projection screen materials, systems and solutions this spring.
Control4 Buys Leaf for $9 Million – Home-automation supplier Control4 has acquired Australia-based Leaf to offer Leaf’s distributed-AV products to its dealers worldwide. Leaf produects allow AV content from any source to be sent to any TV withint the home without the need for a separate video source for each TV, such as cable boxes, satellite receivers or streaming devices. The line will introduce the benefits of distributed-video concert to many more homeowners around the world.
Joe Grado, of Grado Labs, Dies at Age 90 – Inventor and audio engineer Joe Grado started out as a manufacturer of phono cartridges, phono preamps and microphones, but later became known for his line of fine headphones. He had 48 patents under his belt but was most famous for the stereo moving coil cartridge which became very popular with audiophile vinyl fans, though the company also makes excellent moving magnet cartridges.