Amazon is considering using an unspecified number of RadioShack stores to showcase some of the company's hardware and as a potential pick-up and drop-off center for online customers, Bloomberg reported, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter.
Amazon and RadioShack did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News. A spokeswoman for RadioShack declined to comment to Bloomberg while Amazon did not respond to Bloomberg.
RadioShack, heading to bankruptcy court, has more than 4,000 U.S. locations and is reportedly moving toward a deal to sell some properties and close the remainder. Sprint may be one of the potential buyers, Bloomberg reported. A spokeswoman for Sprint declined to comment to ABC News.
Here are some things Amazon could do with RadioShack's stores and the risks involved:
1. Showcase Amazon Electronics
The Seattle-based company's interest in brick-and-mortar locations has been reported for years, according Morningstar senior analyst RJ Hottovy. But the company could face plenty of headwinds if it chooses to set down some roots outside of its e-commerce business, Hottovy told ABC News.
"I'd be more skeptical about what they're trying to do in this area," Hottovy said. "It's too far from their core e-commerce business."
The hardware is "ancillary" to its business and pushing hardware is already a competitive field, he said.
"I think the market will react negatively," Hottovy said.
2. Pickup Center
Hottovy said he could support store locations if they support fulfillment and same-delivery in high-traffic urban areas to potentially reduce their costs.
This is similar to what the company has implemented in urban areas such as New York City, where it also offers limited two-hour delivery called Amazon Prime Now, and locker pick-up at 7-Eleven convenience stores.
In addition to the staffed operation at Purdue, there are also kiosks that offer an automated service:
3. Drop-Off Center
For added convenience, Amazon's Purdue location at its Krach Leadership Center also allows customers to return textbook rentals and other orders.
A second location will open this spring in the Purdue Memorial Union building, Amazon said in its statement about the partnership.