It is not often that you see a company go out of business and quickly reopen in the same location, but that is exactly what Jeff Pederson and Trevor “Reed” Freers have done with the Jefferson City RadioShack.
Freers was the manager of the original store for six years before RadioShack went bankrupt and closed all of its stores nationwide.
“I saw a lot of people lose their jobs,” Freers said. “As the marketing manager, I was the one who had to let a lot of those people go. It was really sad.”
Freers’s store was one of the last to close as they continued to do well under his high level of customer service, which often including going to customers’ homes to make sure they were satisfied with their purchases and helping customers set up or troubleshoot new devices.
“Running this store, I really grew to love the community,” Freers, who is originally from Kansas City, Missouri, said.
When Pederson contacted him about managing a privately owned RadioShack in the same location, Freers was excited at the chance to get back to doing what he loves.
RadioShack’s corporate office stayed open as a distribution center only and began offering opportunities for private ownership, which allows owners and managers to purchase stock from the RadioShack distribution center as well as other distribution centers and offer competitive pricing.
Pederson currently owns four RadioShack stores located in Jefferson City, Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Greeneville.
“This is a good opportunity for people to get into a small business,” Pederson said. “The Morristown and Jefferson City area is a good market and this store meets a need by offering products that RadioShack carries and other stores do not.”
Pederson gave Freers quite a bit of freedom in setting up the store, which he completely remodeled on his own.
Freers raised the floors and put in new flooring and walls in addition to designing the new layout for the store.
The newest addition to the store, unique to the Jefferson City location, is the area Freers named the “Makers’ Space.”
This open area of the store will be home to the many classes the store now offers, such as soldering classes, drone classes and monthly training sessions on how to set up and use a cell phone.
Freers has already partnered with a local gym which has requested a monthly class teaching older participants how to set up their Facebook profiles, as well at the Lakeway Amateur Radio Club to offer HAM Radio classes.
Schools and other learning programs are welcomed to use the area for classes, and Freers will also make himself available to travel to schools to teach those classes.
“These types of programs were dropped by RadioShack years ago,” Freers said. “Now we have the opportunity to bring them back. We have to get to the next generation. RadioShack will die out if we don’t get to them.”
The Makers’ Space will include 3D printers, scanners, HAM radio, soldering stations and classroom style workspaces.
Freers has been working to get the word out to the community that they really are back and offering products that are not found in other local stores.
Some products he is most excited about include Segway scooters, bone conduction headphones and headphones that transition from headphones to speakers.
Freers can be reached by calling the new store number 865-262-9322.