Puerto Rico feels deep sting of Radio Shack business woes

A week after Puerto Rico is declared bankrupt by its biggest daily newspaper, electronics giant Radio Shack announced it will be closing 44 stores across…

The Radio Shack in Old San Juan will now be a part of history, as the company is closing 40 stores on the island. (Kathy/Flickr)

A week after Puerto Rico is declared bankrupt by its biggest daily newspaper, electronics giant Radio Shack announced it will be closing 44 stores across the island.

Calls to Radio Shack’s Puerto Rico central office about how many jobs will be lost were unanswered and store employees are not authorized to comment.

SEE ALSO: Puerto Rico’s bond rating is downgraded to junk status

Fiva Radio Shack locations will remain open on the island, according to “El Nuevo Dia.”  This is all part of a deal made last week with investment firm Standard General.  The firm is buying out between 1,500 and 2,400 of Radio Shack’s 4,000 doors.  Up to 1,750 of those stores will house a Sprint Wireless shop in-house, a deal also announced last week.

Puerto Rico is no stranger to business closings.  CaribbeanBusinessPR.com reported last month that Sony was shutting its doors on the island.  President of Sony Puerto Rico Ricardo Rivera announced the company was closing down the central office and two retail stores, affecting 50 jobs.  Last year beauty giant Elizabeth Arden closed all beauty counters in all retailers on the island and its corporate office.  The number of jobs affected is unknown.

Adding insult to injury

This couldn’t have come at worst time for the island. Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate is the highest in the U.S.  According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment on the island is 13.7%.  The national rate is 5.7%.

Some of Radio Shack’s closings in Puerto Rico are Plaza del Caribe Ponce, Montehiedra Town Center en San Juan, Los Colobos en Carolina, Santa Rosa Mall en Bayamón, la tienda de Viejo San Juan.

SEE ALSO: PR population decline continues, as economic plague worsens

Many Radio Shacks have begun liquidating their merchandise at deep discounts and have a skeleton crew running the stores, according to CNN.