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Unlike some RadioShack stores, Cook Electronics will remain open

Although more than 1,700 RadioShack stores nationwide are closing in the wake of the company’s bankruptcy filing, Cairo’s local dealer, Cook Electronics, is remaining open. The downtown business is a dealer of RadioShack products, but is not owned by RadioShack. Jerry, Gail and Justin Cook are owners/operators of the business.
“RadioShack will not determine whether we close our doors or continue doing business as we have for years, our customers will,” says Jerry Cook. “As long as RadioShack is in operation, we will continue to do business as a RadioShack Dealer, but if RadioShack is not able to continue in this business, we will still be here. We are more than just a RadioShack Dealer.“
RadioShack filed for bankruptcy in February and announced it will close 1,784 stores by March 31, including its location in nearby Bainbridge. The RadioShack in Thomasville is a company owned store, but is currently not on the closure list.
The Cooks say they have vendors that can provide them with products they have always carried. They already work with Dish Network and DIRECTV satellite providers; along with cellular services of AT&T, PagePlus Prepaid, Verizon Prepaid, and SafeLink. Also, the business sells and installs custom home and car audio and video systems, including surveillance, repairs broken screens on cell phones and tablets, restores computers and removes computer viruses. “I don’t think people realize everything we do, but we are definitely not just your average RadioShack,” says Jerry Cook.
In addition to the electronics facet of the store, Cook Electronics is also a Bill Pay Center, “Which means a lot of people in Cairo rely on us to process their payments for everything from phone services to satellite bills, and even credit cards and insurance payments,” says Gail Cook.
The Cooks bought the business on April 1, 1990, when it was located in a Cairo Crossings shopping center where Wal-Mart now stands. When that lease expired, the couple moved their business to the downtown district where they leased until a building was available to buy in 1994. “For what seemed like endless days and nights, you could see us hauling our fixtures and merchandise down the sidewalk to the new store three doors down until we finally got it all moved in. We had to stay open and move at the same time, it was quite a trick,” says Gail Cook.  
Over the last 25 years, Cook Electronics has attracted a loyal following. The Cooks say, “We are humbled by the concerned calls and the positive reactions we get when we tell people that we are not going anywhere. We want everyone to know that we are still going to be here, so you can still shop here with confidence . . . We are still in business because we enjoy what we do and we look forward to helping our customers.”

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