The Source (retailer)
|Founded||1986 (as InterTAN Canada Ltd.)|
|Headquarters||Barrie, Ontario, Canada|
The Source (French: La Source), (legal name The Source (Bell) Electronics Inc.) formerly known as RadioShack and later as The Source by Circuit City, is a Canadian electronics retailer with over 700 locations across Canada. Originally part of the American RadioShack chain, The Source is now owned by Bell Canada, which purchased the assets of InterTAN from bankrupt parent U.S. retailer Circuit City Stores in 2009. The company is a unit of 4458729 Canada Inc. and is based in Barrie, Ontario.
The Source began as the Canadian branch of Radio Shack (later camel cased as "RadioShack"). The Canadian chain was originally owned by Radio Shack (U.S.)'s parent company Tandy Corporation, but was later spun off, along with the rest of Tandy's international operations, as InterTAN. A licensing agreement with what became RadioShack Corporation allowed InterTAN to continue to use the chain's name and logo.
In May 2004, InterTAN was acquired by Circuit City Stores. One week after the acquisition was completed, RadioShack Corporation filed a lawsuit in the 352nd Judicial District Court in Tarrant County, Texas to end the licensing agreement. RadioShack Corporation claimed that InterTAN had breached the terms of their agreement. On March 24, 2005, the district court judge ruled in favour of RadioShack and cancelled the agreement. The ruling prohibited InterTAN from using the brand name on its stores or in any of its products, packaging, and advertising after June 30, 2005.
On April 26, 2005, Circuit City announced that the stores would be renamed The Source by Circuit City (La Source par Circuit City in Quebec). The rebranding process was completed in the majority of the chain's Canadian stores by July 1, 2005. Even the Radio Shack brand name on in store products was changed to either to Nexxtech or Centrios.
In February 2007, The Source announced it would close down 62 low volume stores across Canada. On March 30, 2007, Circuit City announced to its shareholders that it was seeking options including selling off the InterTAN/The Source subsidiary to cut losses. On November 10, 2008, InterTAN sought protection from its creditors, after Circuit City filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11.
Circuit City announced on January 16, 2009, that its namesake U.S. stores would be liquidated. The Source was not affected by the announcement, and a process followed to sell the Canadian operations as a going concern.
On March 2, 2009, Canadian telecommunications firm Bell Canada announced it would acquire The Source and continue to operate it as an independent division. The acquisition was completed July 1 for the final purchase price of $135 million US, following which the chain removed the "by Circuit City" from its name (although the signage of some stores still display the former name). Bell has begun selling some of its communications services (Internet & Television Services) at locations of The Source. Except in Thunder Bay, Ontario, The Source sells Virgin Mobile Canada (a company wholly owned by Bell Canada) and Bell Mobility cellular services. Prior to January 2010, the chain had an exclusivity agreement for wireless products with Rogers Communications.
The Source stocks a wide array of products. Most of the products are consumer electronics, including: cellular phones, computers, computer accessories, televisions, DVD players, Blu-ray players, home theatre systems, clock radios, traditional telephones, toys, Sirius satellite radio, console gaming equipment, cables (such as HDMI, DVI, RCA, Component, Composite, VGA, S-VIDEO, USB, SERIAL, etc.), Bell devices, Virgin Mobile devices, Bell TV, and MP3 players, as well as a large selection of headphones including the Monster and Skullcandy headphone line-up.
The Source imports a large number of items from various parts of Asia including Hong Kong and Thailand. Many of the self branded products come directly from Asia and carry in-house names like InStudio, Headrush and Nexxtech. This has long been a significant source of profit for the company since the early days of RadioShack.
- Marina Strauss, "Circuit City's The Source to remain open", globeandmail.com, January 16, 2009
- Simon Avery, "Bell Canada snaps up The Source", globeandmail.com, March 2, 2009
- "Bell to acquire national electronics retailer The Source", March 2, 2009