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January 2, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:03pm

TANDY THROWS IN THE TOWEL ON INCREDIBLE UNIVERSE

By CBR Staff Writer

Poor old Tandy Corp never seems to get anything right outside its core Radio Shack operation, and the offloading of all its hardware operations, which had staggered from crisis to crisis for several years, has failed to be the liberating experience for which the company had hoped. It plunged much of the resources into building up a flamboyant chain of Incredible Universe stores that were intended to present visitors with an electronic extravaganza rather than a simple shopping experience – but the concept was hopelessly misconceived, and the company now plans to sell the 17-store chain, and also close 19 of the 180 Computer City stores in North America and relocate two others, taking a $170m bath in the process, to add to the $20m charge to discontinue its McDuff stores. Eight of the Computer City stores to be closed are in California, three are in Washington DC, two are in Maryland, and one each are in North Carolina, Ohio, Massachusetts, Texas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Tandy has already contracted to sell six Incredible Universe stores to Fry’s Electronics Inc, a privately held computer and electronic retailer based in Palo Alto, and the buildings and land occupied by those stores will be sold to limited partnerships which will lease them to Fry’s. It says it is in talks to sell the other 11. The Incredible Universe stores occupy about 180,000 square feet each, and employ 250 people on average. They lost almost $40m in 1995 and were expected to do worse this year on sales of about $900m. The market cheered the decision and Tandy shares jumped $1.00 to 46.50.

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