updated 03:50 pm EDT, Fri July 18, 2008
Radio Shack Store Concept
Radio Shack is experimenting with stores that will closely follow the designer look of Apple's locations, according to an investment note by Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker. While not describing the stores visually, the researcher says the electronics shop will try out three stores that mirror the "look and feel" of Apple's stores and will focus more closely on cellphones, carrying touchscreen devices from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The stores would appear in non-mall, upscale locations.
These stores are also likely to change out the Radio Shack name; the new name isn't given, though the retail chain uses The Source as its name in Canada.
The venture will allegedly start with three store openings in October and expand to 10 total stores by the end of 2008. If profitable, the new retail project would reach 150 stores within the space of a year and as many as 400 stores by 2011.
Radio Shack has been increasingly transitioning away from its original emphasis on electronics parts and low-end equipment towards more expensive complete devices, with an increasing emphasis on computers and portable devices. Its name, however, is widely associated with budget shopping and frequently bars the firm from directly competing with Apple, Sony, or other firms often seen as premium brands.