End Of An Era: RadioShack Files For Bankruptcy

The company has been teetering on the edge for years.

AFP / Getty Images SAUL LOEB

RadioShack, after years of struggling, officially filed for bankruptcy today.

The company, which operates more than 4,000 stores, said in a statement that it will sell between 1,500 and 2,400 of its U.S. stores to an affiliate of hedge fund Standard General called General Wireless. Up to 1,750 of those locations will host a Sprint “store within a store,” as per the statement.

RadioShack said the rest of its stores will be closed following liquidation sales. The company said it will update a restructuring portion of its website with a list of stores that will be closing once it knows more. It has a long list of stores that may close on the website.

The retailer said in filings today that it employs more than 21,000 people.

RadioShack has been in dire financial straits for years, struggling as competitors such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Amazon have grown in size and clout. Attempts to rebrand — including a brief stint as The Shack — didn’t work, as customers ran out of reasons to visit the retailer based on changes in technology. In 2013, it brought in just $3.4 billion in sales, making it only slightly bigger in revenue than Urban Outfitters and smaller than Abercrombie & Fitch.

The bankruptcy documents highlighted RadioShack’s foundational role in the consumer electronics market. The company said that it sold the world’s first mass-marketed fully assembled personal computer, with a Bill Gates-created operating system, in 1977. It also sold the computer industry’s first laptop in 1983 and its first mobile phone in 1984.

RadioShack knew it had too many stores, but its lenders would only let it shutter 200 per fiscal year, denying requests for additional closures last year and into 2015, the company’s interim chief financial officer, Carlin Adrianopoli, said in a filing today. The bankruptcy filing will enable RadioShack to close up to 2,100 underperforming stores, the company said.

RadioShack said it was also pressured by spooked vendors denying trade credit to the company and extending less-than-favorable payment terms, leading to inventory issues in stores.

The final challenge for the company, as per the same filing from Adrianopoli, was the state of the postpaid cell phone market. The space has become intensely competitive, stalling growth from new subscribers and causing price wars among wireless carriers that slashed margins industrywide. At the same time, as major wireless carriers open their own stores, it’s hampered RadioShack’s ability to offer the best and most current plans, Adrianopoli said.

RadioShack said in the document that its headquarters and stores are leased, with monthly rent of $21 million.

RadioShack’s restructuring website currently reads: “Thank you for your interest in our recently announced restructuring. We intend to transition a portion of our stores to new ownership and begin a sale process for other company owned assets. Our domestic and international franchise stores are independently owned and are not part of our restructuring.”

The electronics retailer traces its roots to both the Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company in 1919 and RadioShack in 1921. The two later become one entity under Tandy Corp.; the name officially changed to RadioShack Corp. in 2000, according to the company’s website.

The restructuring portion of RadioShack’s website doesn’t contain a list of closing stores yet

RadioShack / Via radioshackcorporation.com

RadioShack’s firsts, as listed in bankruptcy-related documents

RadioShack bankruptcy filings / Via cases.primeclerk.com

update

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Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/sapna/radioshack-bankruptcy

This 1980 Movie Is So Controversial That The Director Was Arrested…For Murder

What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen? Well, the 1980 Italian-made, cult horror hit “Cannibal Holocaust” is almost certainly scarier than your pick. The movie is considered one of the great cult horror movies of the last 40 years, but it’s not without its fair share of controversy. It’s still banned in a number of countries, and for reasons you’ll soon learn, the director was arrested for murder after its release.

The plot of “Cannibal Holocaust” follows a documentary film crew that goes missing in the Amazon rainforest while trying to find and film real-life cannibals living there.

The movie opens with a rescue team recovering the missing crew’s cans of film.

The found footage is then flown to New York, where a television station wishes to broadcast it. After that, we learn of the terrors the crew inflicted on the natives as well as the horrors the natives inflicted onto them.

Needless to say, upon its release, the film provoked quite a bit of controversy. Because the violence is so realistic and shocking, after the premiere, Italian police confiscated the footage and arrested director Ruggero Deodato.

After his arrest, the courts charged Deodato with murder.

They believed he may have actually killed some of the actors during filming. Making matters worse, Deodato had forced his stars to sign agreements not to appear in any media for one year after the movie. The intent was to make the premise of “Cannibal Holocaust” seem more realistic.

In court, Deodato (pictured below in 2008) was forced to explain how he and his crew achieved some of the more brutal death scenes.

The actors were forced to come out of hiding and present themselves to the court. Eventually, police dropped the charges, though authorities in Deodato’s native Italy still decided to ban the film.

(via IMDb)

I know I’m supposed to be disgusted at this point, but I actually really want to check this movie out. If you’re looking for a good movie this weekend, you can rent the whole thing on YouTube.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/cannibal-holocaust/

Exclusive Survey Shows A Majority Of Americans Believe LGBT-Inclusive Ads Accurately Reflect Today’s Society

A survey conducted earlier this month by JWT, a global advertising firm, and provided exclusively to BuzzFeed reveals how American consumers feel about seeing gay and lesbian people in advertisements.

1. A new market research study conducted exclusively for BuzzFeed by JWT, a global advertising firm, reveals key insights on how American consumers react to LGBT-inclusive advertisements.

A new market research study conducted exclusively for BuzzFeed by JWT, a global advertising firm, reveals key insights on how American consumers react to LGBT-inclusive advertisements.

View this image ›

Honey Maid / Via youtube.com

The results come as major American brands like Honey Maid, Coca-Cola, and Chevrolet have concluded that featuring same-sex couples and their families in mass marketing campaigns helps them sell products to the average American consumer.

2. The survey of 500 Americans of various ages, regions, and other demographics, found that overall, 8 in 10 consumers agree “showing gay or lesbian people in ads simply reflects the reality of our society today.”

The survey of 500 Americans of various ages, regions, and other demographics, found that overall, 8 in 10 consumers agree "showing gay or lesbian people in ads simply reflects the reality of our society today."

View this image ›

Banana Republic / Via youtube.com

“The survey results are very useful in revealing that the vast majority of Americans (80%) feel that showing LGBT characters in ads simply reflects the reality of society today,” said Mark Truss, director of brand intelligence at JWT. “We also know that ads can often serve as a beacon for societal norms. These findings suggest that when diversity and acceptance are authentic and on-strategy for the brand, LGBT-inclusive ads will be met with a high degree of acceptance and benefit the advertiser.”

4. Six in 10 consumers agree “brands that show same-sex couples in ads are being appropriately inclusive,” according to the survey.

Six in 10 consumers agree "brands that show same-sex couples in ads are being appropriately inclusive," according to the survey.

View this image ›

Chevrolet / Via youtube.com

5. Slightly fewer respondents — or 57% — agreed with the statement that “it’s cool when I see same-sex couples in ads.”

“Brands are always looking for ways to better connect with their customers, and one way they do this is to look at what’s happening in the culture that surrounds their target audience,” Truss said of the results. “From a brand perspective, identifying cultural shifts and leaning into them — again, when it’s consistent with the brand and its strategy — can be very powerful.”

6. Most American consumers believe brands that feature same-sex couples in advertising are brave and modern.

Most American consumers believe brands that feature same-sex couples in advertising are brave and modern.

View this image ›

Coca-Cola / Via youtube.com

7. Overall, 72% of respondents said they view brands with such ads as “brave,” which in the advertising and marketing world “translates to leadership,” Truss said.

8. And 71% of respondents agreed with the statement “Gay, lesbian, black, white, tall, short: who cares who brands show in ads?”

And 71% of respondents agreed with the statement "Gay, lesbian, black, white, tall, short: who cares who brands show in ads?"

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Chevrolet / Via youtube.com

However, a segment of the population — or 40% of survey respondents — indicated TV ads are “no place for same-sex couples.” Most of those respondents identified themselves as men, conservative, religious, and from older generations.

10. How overtly or prominently gay and lesbian people are featured in the ads makes a difference in how the ads are received, according to reactions from respondents when they were shown examples.

How overtly or prominently gay and lesbian people are featured in the ads makes a difference in how the ads are received, according to reactions from respondents when they were shown examples.

View this image ›

An ad for Target’s wedding gift registry featuring a same-sex couple holding hands and lightly embracing was viewed as more controversial than an Amazon Kindle television ad in which a man refers to another as his husband. Specifically, 61% viewed the Target ad as “controversial” while only 28% found the Kindle ad controversial.

Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=lS3t9reE364. youtube.com

13. Further, 84% of respondents said they liked the Kindle ad, while only 48% said they liked the Target ad. The Kindle ad was also more relevant to respondents.

14. Most Americans, though, have not been exposed to mass marketing campaigns featuring gay and lesbian couples, the survey found.

Most Americans, though, have not been exposed to mass marketing campaigns featuring gay and lesbian couples, the survey found.

View this image ›

Honey Maid / Via youtube.com

“The data showed us that only a minority of Americans (36%) see ads featuring members of the LGBT community,” Truss said. This could be due to where such ads have been placed, but mostly because featuring gay and lesbian characters is a relatively new practice in advertising and will likely change as more leading brands produce inclusive ads. Others, Truss said, will continue to take a “wait-and-see approach.”

16. Another key finding pointed to what types of brands Americans find permissible to be inclusive of gay and lesbian people in their ads.

Another key finding pointed to what types of brands Americans find permissible to be inclusive of gay and lesbian people in their ads.

View this image ›

Chevrolet / Via youtube.com

17. Most people say “any brand,” including traditional consumer packaged goods, spirits, cars, technology, retail, and fashion.

LINK

More: Big Brands’ New Face Is LGBT Families

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/tonymerevick/exclusive-survey-shows-a-majority-of-americans-believe-lgbt

Amazon Readying a Local Services Marketplace: Report

Amazon-delivery

Amazon is reportedly going to launch a local services marketplace. The company has already expanded into a variety of businesses outside of ecommerce, including grocery delivery. An Amazon Fresh delivery van is pictured above.
Image: Flickr, Jeff Sandquist

Had a long day? Amazon wants to get you a massage.

The ecommerce retailer is preparing to launch a digital marketplace for local services, pushing into turf currently occupied by companies like Yelp. The new platform could launch this year, according to a report from Reuters.

The marketplace would primarily connect customers with services such as home repair. It was not immediately clear if the company would also use it to feature local craftmakers, a move that would also bring it into competition with Etsy.

Amazon continues to dominate online retail sales, with 2013 revenue of $67.9 billion accounting for more than the next nine companies combined. Margins remain tight, meaning Amazon generates little profit from each sale, resulting in profit that has delivery service as well as a grocery delivery offering.

The report comes as Amazon is expected to announce a smartphone later this month.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/06/10/amazon-readying-a-local-services-marketplace-report/

20 Incredible Things You Never Knew About Amazon.com

More like Amazing.com.

1. Amazon began in the garage of founder Jeff Bezos’ home in Bellevue, Wash.

Amazon began in the garage of founder Jeff Bezos' home in Bellevue, Wash.

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zillow.com

To this day the property still has an oversize mailbox put in by Bezos to accommodate all of the mail the burgeoning business received.

2. Bezos originally wanted to name the company “Cadabra” as in “Abracadabra.”

Bezos originally wanted to name the company "Cadabra" as in "Abracadabra."

View this image ›

Flickr: cverdier / Via Creative Commons

He lost interest in the magical sounding name, however, after someone misheard it as Cadaver. Cadaver.com? Nope. Not gonna work.

3. Another potential company name Bezos liked was “Relentless.”

Another potential company name Bezos liked was "Relentless."

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brokenbowrecords.com

In fact, type Relentless.com into your address bar and see what happens.

4. When the website first went live it only sold books.

When the website first went live it only sold books.

View this image ›

Amazon.com / Via villageswebdesign.co.uk

5. The first book sold was Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies by Douglas Hofstadte.

The first book sold was Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies by Douglas Hofstadte.

View this image ›

quora.com

The original packing slip, seen above, is dated April 3, 1995.

6. According to the new book by author Jeff Stone, in Amazon’s early days a bell would ring in the office every time someone made a purchase.

According to the new book by author Jeff Stone, in Amazon's early days a bell would ring in the office every time someone made a purchase.

View this image ›

Flickr: andwar / Via Creative Commons

Within a few weeks, sales were happening so frequently that they had to shut it off.

7. There was also a huge programming error in the early days that would let customers trick Amazon into sending them money.

There was also a huge programming error in the early days that would let customers trick Amazon into sending them money.

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Warner Bros.

All you had to do was order a negative quantity of books and Amazon would credit the money to your credit card. That error has long since been fixed.

8. In 1997, Barnes & Noble sued Amazon alleging that its 1990s slogan, “Earth’s Largest Bookstore,” was false.

In 1997, Barnes & Noble sued Amazon alleging that its 1990s slogan, "Earth's Largest Bookstore," was false.

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Flickr: grilledcheese / Via Creative Commons

The two titans settled out of court and Amazon continued to use the slogan.

9. As the company grew exponentially, early employees were expected to work no fewer than 60 hours per week.

As the company grew exponentially, early employees were expected to work no fewer than 60 hours per week.

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Flickr: exalthim / Via Creative Commons

All work and no play makes Jack…an Amazon employee.

10. Amazon’s practice of hiring so many seasonal workers originated after the insane holiday season of 1998.

Amazon's practice of hiring so many seasonal workers originated after the insane holiday season of 1998.

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Oli Scarff / Via Getty Images

The company was so understaffed at the time that employees were working graveyard shifts and bringing in their family and friends to try to meet orders.

11. Today Amazon has more than 117,000 employees worldwide and shows no signs of stopping its rapid expansion.

Today Amazon has more than 117,000 employees worldwide and shows no signs of stopping its rapid expansion.

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Oli Scarff / Via Getty Images News

That’s more people than even Microsoft employs.

12. Amazon’s fulfillment center in Phoenix, Ariz., is made up of 1.2 million square feet.

Amazon's fulfillment center in Phoenix, Ariz., is made up of 1.2 million square feet.

View this image ›

Oli Scarff / Via Getty Image News

It and other centers like it are so large, in fact, that one former employee said that he walked 11 miles per shift.

13. To help ease the burden on its warehouse workers, Amazon now uses robots to assist in retrieving items.

20 Incredible Things You Never Knew About Amazon.com

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youtube.com

The robots are made by Kiva Systems, a company Amazon bought in early 2014 for $775 million.

14. In developmental stages the Kindle was named “Fiona” after a character in The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.

In developmental stages the Kindle was named "Fiona" after a character in The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.

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Bantam Spectra/ Amazon.com

In the book Fiona possesses a book-like machine that holds all libraries, TV shows, and human knowledge. The development team found the name so appropriate that they lobbied to make it the device’s actual name, but Bezos preferred Kindle.

15. Amazon holds a patent on 1-Click buying, and licenses it to Apple.

Amazon holds a patent on 1-Click buying, and licenses it to Apple .

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www. Amazon.com

So every time you buy something on iTunes with 1-Click, Amazon is making money.

16. Bezos is said to be a very tough boss, one who doesn’t shy away from exploding at employees.

Bezos is said to be a very tough boss , one who doesn't shy away from exploding at employees.

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David Ryder / Via Getty Image News

Author Jeff Stone interviewed employees who alleged that Bezos said:

“Are you lazy or just incompetent?”

“I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?”

“This document was clearly written by the B team. Can someone get me the A team document? I don’t want to waste my time with the B team document.”

“Why are you wasting my life?”

Damn, Jeff. That’s cold, man!

17. Many former Amazon employees have gone on to found incredibly successful businesses.

Many former Amazon employees have gone on to found incredibly successful businesses.

View this image ›

Justin Sullivan / Via Getty Images News

These include Hulu’s Jason Kilar (pictured above) and Quora’s Charlie Cheever.

18. Amazon once listed a book about flies for $23,698,655.93.

Amazon once listed a book about flies for $23,698,655.93.

View this image ›

Amazon.com / Via kuwaitiful.com

Amazingly, another Amazon store listed the same book for more than $18 million. The prices spiraled out of control because both stores had set algorithms to ensure that their product was always priced slightly higher than the other’s.

19. The company lost $4.8 million in August 2013, when its website went down for 40 minutes.

The company lost $4.8 million in August 2013, when its website went down for 40 minutes.

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Jonathan Weiss / Via shutterstock.com

That’s a loss of $120,000 per minute.

20. Despite being the CEO, Bezos only makes $81,840 per year.

Despite being the CEO, Bezos only makes $81,840 per year .

View this image ›

Dave McNew / Via Getty Images North America

Before you feel bad for him, though, it should be mentioned that he owns almost 87 million shares in the company valued at about $23.5 billion. That makes him the 20th richest person in the world.

correction

An earlier version was unclear and implied the book in No. 18 was sold, and not just listed. Also, in No. 19, it also said Amazon lost $120,000 per second, instead of minute.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/things-you-never-knew-about-amazon

Behind the Scenes of the New Season of Amazon’s ‘Alpha House’

Amazon’s Alpha House is moving in for a second season later this month, and Mashable has an exclusive sneak peek at what’s in store.

The video above acts as both a catch up for the critically acclaimed political satire about four Republican senators who live in a house together and a preview of the new 10-episode season, which premieres Oct. 24.

Per the preview, John Goodman’s Sen. Gil John Biggs is facing the pressure of an election, Mark Consuelo’s Andy Guzman has presidential aspirations and Louis (Matt Malloy) will face off against his biggest foe so far — a Libertarian.

Check out the video above.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/10/10/alpha-house-season-2/

That Looks Like a Phone in the Amazon Teaser

Thanks to Amazon‘s teaser video, the company’s mysterious June 18 product announcement may not be so mysterious after all.

On Wednesday, Amazon announced plans to introduce a new product later this month. The company attempted to create some anticipation with a 50-second video that showed consumers reacting to something offscreen, but the Internet has pored over the video — and found what looks like the reflection of a smartphone in one woman’s glasses.

As a refresher, here’s the video:

Rumors have swirled around a possible 3D smartphone from Amazon for months. Bloomberg also reported that Amazon planned to introduce a smartphone at the event.

About 42 seconds in, notice this woman. You can see something reflected in her glasses:

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.47.02 AM

Video: YouTube, Amazon

Here’s a closer look:

BpUNzDAIgAAVkN8

Video: YouTube, Amazon

Certainly looks like a rectangular object with an illuminated screen, right?

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/06/05/amazon-teaser-video-smartphone/

This Graphic Shows How Americans Spend Money In Real Time

Watch retail sales in real time.

View this embed ›

Via retale.com

Prepare to be hypnotized by a second-by-second visualization of America’s retail expenditures.

Retale, a location-based app and website that aggregates weekly retail circulars, created a real-time visualization of how Americans spend, from coffees sold at Starbucks to credit card transactions to sales of firearms. The count starts from the moment the webpage is opened — after a few minutes, you’ll see sales of toys outpace firearms, though fall far behind lottery cards — among other interesting patterns.

The company’s references are listed below the graphic. It says it was inspired by the popular “Internet in Real-Time” chart.

3. Snapshot after 299 seconds:

Snapshot after 299 seconds:

View this image ›

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/sapna/this-graphic-shows-how-americans-spend-money-in-real-time

Hillary Clinton’s book ranks among ‘kinda fitting’ company on Amazon

http://twitter.com/#!/fran_chambers/status/484370590409981953

Sales of Hillary Clinton’s book “Hard Choices” aren’t going nearly as well as the publisher had hoped:

http://twitter.com/#!/RoigFranzia/status/484363304052072449

The sales rank of the book is falling on Amazon, and it’s now next to some instructional company:

http://twitter.com/#!/lachlan/status/484360886279499776

It’s a close one:

http://twitter.com/#!/TheBrandonMorse/status/484371216787333120

Perfection!

http://twitter.com/#!/nycconservative/status/484361056211709952
http://twitter.com/#!/skizzam/status/484401712019410944

The book has high customer ratings. The potty training book, that is:

http://twitter.com/#!/JennJacques/status/484372506141138945
http://twitter.com/#!/adopolitics/status/484373220729323520

***

Related:

‘LOL’ Hillary makes hard choices in the ‘lightning round’

Decisions, decisions! Jim Treacher has some ‘hard choices’ to make about Hillary’s book

‘Don’t want to ruin the ending, but …’: Conan O’Brien has a hunch about ‘Hard Choices’

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/07/02/hillary-clintons-book-hard-choices-ranks-among-kinda-fitting-company-on-amazon/

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Airlifted From Ship After Kidney-Stone Attack

Jeffbezos

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos suffered a kidney-stone attack on a cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands on New Year’s Day, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Mashable Sunday.

Bezos was airlifted from the cruise ship by the Ecuadorean Navy for treatment, according to multiple reports. The navy helicopter flew him from Santa Cruz Island to Baltra Island. Bezos’ private plane then flew him back to the United States.

The cruise ship was traveling between the islands of Floreana and Santa Cruz when Bezos fell ill around mid-afternoon, according to Reuters, citing the navy.

“We landed our helicopter on a football pitch there,” Juan Carlos Ibarra, the helicopter’s pilot, told Reuters. “They told us that a doctor had already gone in boat to treat him onboard the yacht.

“They stabilized him and took him to the United States. He was conscious, but he was on a drip.”

Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener told Mashable that Bezos is feeling well.

“Jeff got a good outcome. No surgery was required,” he said in an email Sunday. Herdener added that Bezos sent an email saying, “Galapagos: five stars. Kidney stones: zero stars.”

Image: David Ryder/Getty Images

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/01/05/amazon-jeff-bezos-kidney-stone/