(NEXSTAR) — RadioShack maybe 100 years old but the former electronics retail giant isn’t ready to be “old” just yet. This week, the company grabbed national attention with a flurry of not-safe-for-work tweets that had many people wondering: “Is RadioShack OK?”
Equipped with a “devil” emoji in its name, RadioShack flirted with Miley Cyrus and Lizzo, talked about getting high and clapped back at replies from people telling them to log off. One of the most noted tweets reads: “Taking the second half of an edible after feeling nothing from the first half is always a bad idea. This chocolate bar got me out here fighting for my life.”
One particularly lewd tweet was later deleted by the account.
So what gives?
RadioShack’s new “edgy” persona is part of the company’s latest venture: crypto. The company’s RadioShack Swap exchanges virtual tokens known as $RADIO. Across the board, crypto has recently bombed on the market. As of Friday afternoon, one $RADIO token carried a USD value of $0.009927.
On Wednesday, RadioShack followed up questions about the tweets with a non-apology, writing: “Shack intern here. I wanted to take a sec to reflect on my post. Ik your expecting me to say, in my wildest dreams I never thought that tweet would go viral and to apologize. But i did because ik that s— was fire af. No we didnt get hacked, and no im not fired. Buckle up b—-.”
The brand – which once tried to rebrand as “The Shack” – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015 after years of losses and was sold off in parts to a variety of companies. Those companies filed bankruptcy in 2017 and Radio Shack was purchased for an undisclosed amount by the current owner, Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV).
The company also now owns once-popular brands like Pier 1, Linens-N-Things and Dress Barn.
Back in December, REV announced the creation of the RadioShack DeFi cryptocurrency platform, which the company said will let customers trade existing crypto coins for $RADIO tokens. In its announcement, the company said RadioShack’s name recognition could help break down the psychological barrier to crypto adoption by older people.
The Radio Shack brand still lives online, albeit with a slimmer catalog. Meanwhile, about 400 stores bearing the Radio Shack name operate independently of REV, Associated Press reports.
There were around 5,200 stores operating as recently as 2014, according to CNN. As of 2017’s bankruptcy filing, there were around 1,500 stores, hundreds of which have since shuttered.
RadioShack’s “cool” pivot was met with both celebration and cynicism. The company’s tweets were widely compared to a popular meme from “30 Rock” featuring older actor Steve Buscemi dressed like a teen and asking, “How do you do fellow kids?” Others urged against what they saw as obvious corporate attention-seeking.
As of Friday, RadioShack’s most recent update reads: “Due to inflation, 6 inches is now 9 inches.”
RadioShack did not immediately respond for comment Friday.