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Radio Shack trialing Apple-like stores

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.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. drosboro

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2003

    +4

    Not in Canada...

    "The Source" is actually owned by Circuit City, who bought Radio Shack's Canadian subsidiary (InterTAN) a number of years ago. Radio Shack doesn't currently have a retail presence in Canada.

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +1

    Because as we all know...

    AA batteries and stereo patch cords look so much better back-lit.

    They are getting better - they have current -gen brand name units in the stores, which is a giant step up from their traditional ploy: asking a manufacturer to do one last factory run of some end-of-life unit, and supply the obligatory "RS", "Realistic", or "Optimus" badge to stick in place of RCA, Pioneer, etc on the assembly line.

  1. darkrail

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2006

    +2

    Can't Get Any Worse

    The problem isn't that their name is "associated with budget shopping."

    The problem is that they seem to train their employees by flogging them with a rubber hose for days until they transform into subhuman, bitter, rat-like demons. There's no place on earth that I can find such consistently angry, unhelpful, ignorant employees. Dumb & Mean, that's their motto.

    After having sworn them off for years, I recently made the unfortunate decision to call a few Radio Shacks when I needed a little part in a hurry. Two different stores treated me exactly the same, like this:

    RS: "R(mumble)skch.."
    Me: "Hey, can you tell me if you've got a specific part in stock?
    RS: [DEAD SILENCE]
    Me: "Hello?"
    RS: (ANGRY) "I'm listening!"

    So if they remodel their stores, get shiny new tables and even a new name, it would still take a miracle to get me into one of those places. I don't blame any specific employee; it is clearly a company that has rotted from the top down.

    Too bad. It was a pretty nice place to go some 20 years ago.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +4

    LOL

    LOL. Radioshack sells commodity products, not products people would line up to buy.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -8

    Re: LOL

    So, if no one's going to line up, there should be no reason to try to upgrade?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    upscale?

    The stores would appear in non-mall, upscale locations.

    Radio Shack has stores in non-mall upscale locations?

  1. Heavydevelopment

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    -3

    Apple likely has a patent

    on their store look, and will proceed to sue Radio Shack. Business as usual for Apple. Don't get me wrong, I love their products, but they have a tendency to be a little litigious.

  1. Heavydevelopment

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +1

    ummm....

    that was to say "patent"

  1. chadpengar

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001

    0

    re Testudo

    "So, if no one's going to line up, there should be no reason to try to upgrade?"

    No, you obviously failed marketing at the community college. If your sales suck (ie, you have nothing that anyone wants to line up for), you make a change (like change your store name or layout or whatever), and hope people don't notice that you are the same POS store you were before.

    In other words, the fact that you don't have anything to line up for IS THE VERY REASON YOU MAKE THE CHANGE. MBA types have to do something for their big coin and this kind of initiative makes it look like they are doing something.

    You don't see Apple out totally rearranging their stores when they DO have something to line up for.


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