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North country RadioShack stores could be on chopping block as retailer closes 500 stores

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It’s unknown whether the RadioShack stores in St. Lawrence County will be on the chopping block this year as a part of the national retailer’s plan to close roughly 500 stores across the country.

RadioShack Corp. has not officially announced its plan for the closures, which was reported this week by the Wall Street Journal. The company has not said which of its approximately 4,300 stores will be closed or when the closures will begin.

RadioShack now has a total of four stores in St. Lawrence County: in Ogdensburg at the Gateway Plaza on Ford Street; in Massena at the Harte Haven Plaza on Main Street; in Potsdam on Market Street, and in Canton at the Rex Hardware store on Main Street. The Canton store will not be affected by the closures because it’s privately owned.

An email response from RadioShack’s corporate media department declined to confirm its plan for the closures.

“RadioShack’s policy is that the company does not respond to speculation or rumor,” the email stated.

The St. Lawrence County corporate stores have just recently gone through remodels or “resets” that Radio Shack advertised in their Super Bowl commercial, according to Lindon P. Pressler, store manager of the Ogdensburg RadioShack.

“There’s no indication that any of the stores in this county will be closing,” Mr. Pressler said. “No one really knows what’s closing and what’s not, but we all just got the remodel with the new image and look that they’ve been advertising.”

Mr. Pressler said that since a considerable amount of money just went into the stores’ remodels, it would seem an unlikely business decision to close them. The assistant store manager at the RadioShack in Massena said the store just finished repainting about two weeks ago and has recently hired three employees.

“If we were to close it would surprise me because we just went through a remodel,” he said. “We do a lot of business here. Our store and Ogdensburg’s get a lot of Canadian business and Potsdam, being a college town, gets a huge boom every time college students come back to the area.”

The assistant store manager, who did not want to release his name, said the remodel was to bring them up to date with the new image being advertised.

“I don’t think they would go through a remodel, hire new people and ship new merchandise if they were going to close the store,” he said. “But we really only know what we see on the news, so we could be wrong.”

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