(NEXSTAR) — Previously a consumer electronics giant, Radio Shack locations and the brand itself slowly started disappearing in the 2010s – a victim of changing tech trends and disruptive competitors like Amazon. After several years of losses, the brand – which once tried to rebrand as “The Shack” – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015.
According to officials, ‘The Shack’ was sold off in parts to a variety of companies. Those companies filed bankruptcy in 2017 and Radio Shack was purchased for an undisclosed amount by the current owner, Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV).
The company also now owns once-popular brands like Pier 1, Linens-N-Things, and Dress Barn. So does Radio Shack still exist?
Short answer: Radio Shack proper still lives online, albeit with a slimmer catalog. Meanwhile, about 400 stores bearing the Radio Shack name operate independently of REV, Associated Press reports.
There were around 5,200 stores operating as recently as 2014, according to CNN. As of 2017’s bankruptcy filing, there were around 1,500 stores, hundreds of which have since shuttered. But Radio Shack may find a new life in an unlikely place — the blockchain.
In December, REV announced it’s creating the RadioShack DeFi cryptocurrency platform, which the company says will let customers trade existing crypto coins for “RADIO” tokens. In its announcement, the company says RadioShack and its name recognition can help break down the psychological barrier to crypto adoption by older people.
“The older generation simply doesn’t trust the new-fangled ideas of the Bitcoin youth. The need for a bridge between the CEOs who control the world’s corporations and the new world of cryptocurrencies will most likely come in the form of a well-known, century-old brand.”
Radio Shack would have celebrated its 100th-anniversary last year.