Just three months after RadioShack closed its corporate retail store in San Luis Obispo, the nearly century-old electronics brand is back in the city following an expansion of an independent franchisee.
Coast Electronics — a family-owned business with more than 39 years in Morro Bay and a year-old location in Buellton — opened its newest location at 1336 Madonna Road in the Laguna Village Shopping Center, blocks away from the old corporate RadioShack in the Madonna Shopping Center. (RadioShack also closed stories earlier this year in Atascadero and Grover Beach)
The arrangement is not new for Coast Electronics, which has long offered RadioShack and other brand products in addition to its technical services such as computer repairs, car stereo and alarm installations, and communications systems design, installation and repair. Coast Electronics owner John Weiss said the company has thrived by offering the technical services.
RadioShack, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in March (giving it time to fend off creditors while working out a plan to pay off debts) planned to close about 200 stores this year, evaluate whether to retain another 1,300 — and expand online.
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It also planned to double its dealer-franchise stores within the next two years, Weiss said.
Weiss said Coast Electronics invested about $75,000 in the SLO location after transferring assets from a former storefront in Los Osos. He said the Morro Bay store generates more than $1 million in annual sales; he hopes the new location will at least meet that mark.
The company has 13 full- and part-time employees, he said, and the new store will be staffed by a full-time manager and three to four part-time sales staffers.
Weiss said he has always wanted to expand the business into SLO but the market has been too small with the corporate location already in town.
“The landscape has changed, and we feel it’s a very positive opportunity for us,” Weiss said.
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