Although Apple retail partner RadioShack is once again offering the new iPhone this holiday season, actually finding one on one of the retailer’s shelves is turning out to be a bit of a scavenger hunt, reports Mitch Nolen for Seeking Alpha.
According to Nolen, RadioShack stores nationwide are reporting massive shortages in iPhone units with most models not available in stores during the important holiday shopping season.
While RadioShack shows the iPhone on its website, customers cannot order the device online, instead being directed to find a local RadioShack retail location to buy the handset. Ironically, iPhones 6 units are few and far between in stores, instead requiring a order, which takes several days to arrive. RadioShack competitors, such as BestBuy, offer the iPhone online, in-store, and via in-store pickup in many locations.
Gary Mahan, a RadioShack franchise owner says his sales have plummeted 30% year-over-year due to a lack of stock. He in particular mourns his lost opportunity from this past Black Friday:
Mahan believes that if he had received the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, his one store on the Oregon coast could have made an extra $1,000 in profit over the Black Friday weekend, which would have been a happy holiday gift for him, he says. He couldn’t speculate how that $1,000 in lost profit opportunity might extrapolate to other stores in RadioShack’s chain of 5,387 corporate-owned and franchised locations.
A possible reason for RadioShack’s shortages may be due to their current financial woes. The company, close to being delisted from the New York Stock exchange, may be soon forced to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
It’s possible that the company may be turning to an on-demand model of inventory supply, ordering merchandise when a customer orders it in-store, or perhaps Apple could be opting to ship to retail partners whose sales and financial outlooks are a bit rosier.