Feb 3, 2015 · 1 minute

Companies will be rushing to purchase RadioShack's stores when the moribund retailer files for bankruptcy. Sprint is said to be planning to acquire half of the retail locations, and now Bloomberg reports Amazon has considered buying some of the brick-and-mortar stores, too.

Amazon's interest in the retail locations is said to stem from its desire to offer better ways for consumers to become acquainted with its hardware, which has expanded in the last few years from a simple e-reader to a smartphone, tablets, set-top boxes, "smart" speakers, and more.

Brick-and-mortar stores are often the best option when it comes to gadget shopping. Too many devices seem appealing on a website but disappoint in the real world -- or appear to be boring on the whiz-bang Internet but offer real advantages outside the computer screen.

Expanding into more physical storefronts would also provide Amazon customers with more options for picking up items ordered from its digital marketplace. Amazon is all about speed and convenience; physical stores might not improve the former, but they can help the latter.

Which is why the company's partnering with universities on co-branded bookstores, adding storage lockers to more locations around the United States, and even experimenting with a pop-up shop in San Francisco weirdly devoted to the company's Amazon Web Services tools.

So even if Amazon doesn't swarm into RadioShack's husk, it's clear the company is becoming increasingly interested in bringing the success it's found in the online world to the physical one, and it's going to continue experimenting with different ideas to help make that happen.

[illustration by Brad Jonas]