Orange County’s first (and last) Radio Shack will close its doors in mid-December after roughly 52 years of business just south of downtown Orlando.

The property, which is located at 2001 S. Orange Avenue [GMap] in the SoDo District, was listed for lease on LoopNet this summer and has already landed a tenant – an unnamed smoke shop scheduled to take the keys in January 2023.

The owner, Jonathan Toothman, told Bungalower that the decision to close has been bittersweet.

“It was a tough decision, but with the current retail climate, our niche market, and the increasing value of our property, I think it was just time. The ongoing construction on Orange Avenue has been grueling and a definite problem for our shoppers.”


The local franchise was opened by Toothman’s father in 1970, after he moved here with his family from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and survived through two corporate bankruptcies, a couple of recessions, a pandemic, and a larger cultural shift to online shopping that has been slowly killing more traditional retail chains.

Our Main Streets are starting to really see the effects now and in the coming months—SoDo alone had more than 10 businesses shutter last quarter that were consumer-facing storefronts, with several more announced already this quarter.”


Radio Shack first launched in Boston, with a name inspired by actual shacks in World War I that were used by the U.S. Navy to house the ship’s radio equipment. The company ballooned in popularity in the ’70s and was often referred to as the “McDonald’s of Electronics.” So it’s no wonder that Toothman’s father bought in and brought the first Radio Shack franchise to Orange County. However, by 2018, it was the only store operating in Orange County and one of only 130 independently run Radio Shacks left in the country after a bankruptcy in 2015 closed most of the corporate-owned stores.

In 2019, Radio Shack was sold to Retail Ecommerce Ventures (Website), a retail acquisition company, to add to their portfolio of other bankrupt brands like Pier 1, Stein Mart, and Linens ‘n’ Things. Despite a recent resurgence in nostalgic tech like cassette players, CDs, and VHS tapes, REV recently made the decision to discontinue the Radio Shack line of products this past summer, which is when Toothman made the decision to close up the shop and lease the building, rather than be faced with having to source all of his new merchandise himself.

Toothman’s family sold off another Radio Shack property in Clermont in 2021 and he says there are another “seven or eight left in Florida at the moment.”

Toothman is currently offering a 20% discount on all of his inventory ahead of a projected closing in mid-December, though he may close sooner depending on how much stock remains.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

Leave a comment

Have something to say? Type it below. Holding back can give you pimples.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.