CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mingo County native Stan Morgan shut the door on his Radio Shack franchise at the Shops at Kanawha in Charleston on Friday and he said it was like losing a family member.
“I’m both elated and saddened. I’ve done this for 45 years. I have mixed emotions,” Morgan told MetroNews.
Morgan, 70, got his interest in electronics from his father who ran a Radio Shack in Gilbert when he was growing up. After graduating from Marshall and a few years of classroom teaching, Morgan opened his first store on Feb. 9, 1978 in the only space that was available in downtown Logan at the time, a former bar.
“We stayed there eight years and then went down to 104 Main,” Morgan said.
He stayed in downtown Logan until 2003. Morgan opened a second location at Fountain Place Mall along Corridor G in 2001. He was there until he came to Charleston more than six years ago.
Morgan said retail is tough and it’s not for the faint of heart.
“Electronics is probably one of the toughest retail businesses there is because you can jump online and buy something from Amazon or anyone for that matter,” he said. “We’ve tried to do it with service. We try to offer better service and better support. I think we did well with that.”
Ultimately Morgan and his wife decided now was the time to close. He said it was a number of circumstances that came together including the end of his lease, a third owner of the national Radio Shack brand in the last 7 years, a couple of bankruptcies at the corporate level and covid.
“The last 7 years have been the most difficult but it’s really, really hard to let go of something when you’ve done it this long,” Morgan said.
Stan and his wife have been making the 2.5 hour round-trip to their home in Logan most every day since moving the store to Charleston and that also has taken its toll.
“It was becoming more difficult for us to do physically. Once I got in the store I was okay,” he said.
He had a liquidation sale Friday and it was busy. He said he should have started it a few weeks earlier but he was holding out hope that someone would purchase the franchise but that didn’t happen.
Morgan said now it’s time to turn the page and do some traveling. He and his wife own an Airstream and are going to go camping. They haven’t had a vacation since 2013.
“It’s been a good run. It’s been a good run. I’m proud of what we accomplished and achieved,” he said.
The last Radio Shack store in the state is located in Moorefield.