RadioShack latest victim in wave of corporate closures in Brownwood


BROWNWOOD, Texas - RadioShack is the latest retailer closing its doors in Brownwood.

Over the last six months, the city has had several corporate businesses close or have announced plans to do so. The list includes, Staples, Payless ShoeSource, rue21, and RadioShack.

The Fort Worth-based electronics store located on Clement Street said it will shut down on April 30, as part of its nationwide plan to close at least 552 stores after filing for bankruptcy.

Diego Castillo and his wife opened a party store two months ago on Coggin Avenue because they saw an opportunity.

"A lot of people don't know we are open," Castillo said.

The couple decided to fill a niche they said was created when Wally's Party Factory closed late last year.

"My wife would look for stuff and she never could find it here in Brownwood. She'd go to Abilene," Castillo said.

But with this wave of corporate closures, the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce is taking steps to lessen the economic impact of the trend.

"I see that as an opportunity for a mom and pop business to fill those gaps," Executive Director Ray Tipton said.

Tipton said economic opportunities are materializing for entrepreneurs. He also hopes Brownwood residents will be encouraged to shop local.

"Hey, if we want our local businesses to succeed, [we] need to think about shopping in Brownwood and Brown County first," Tipton said.

The Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce is in the beginning stages of developing a study to examine how to capitalize on the economic prospects of downtown Brownwood, according to Tipton.