Posts Tagged 'Radio Shack'

Can Radio Shack survive its latest incarnation?

Radio Shack recently announced that it is entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy, closing thousands of locations, and re-engineering most of the others to include Sprint cell phone stores. I’m skeptical (per this RetailWire comment) about the brand’s future regardless:

A recent article about Radio Shack pointed out that it is vastly overstored, citing an example of six stores in a five-mile radius in one of its markets. Leaving up to 2400 out of 4000 locations in place doesn’t address that problem by itself.

The bigger question is whether a Sprint “inpost” is going to draw traffic effectively enough to salvage the brand. (And Sprint itself is not among the strongest cellular brands anyway.) Once a customer has finished buying or servicing a cell phone, is there anything else inside Radio Shack that he or she will want to buy?

Radio Shack’s perceived brand irrelevance to most shoppers isn’t going to solved overnight by this new direction…if it can be fixed at all.


Praise for Target’s holiday TV campaign

RetailWire ran a weekly series of face-offs comparing holiday TV spots for various retailers. The “finalists” included everybody from PetSmart to Radio Shack. In my view, Target’s campaign came up the winner this year:

There were several effective ads among the weekly winners, but I still vote for the Target commercial as the overall champ. This spot turned out to be the kickoff of a well-sustained, consistently themed campaign that ran through Christmas. The focus on category dominance in toys never got lost in the creative execution, while the ads struck a nice balance between emotion and “attitude.” (See the followup commercial with the “naughty boy” getting a lump of coal in the form of an antique cell phone.) Well done, Target, and consistent with the brand position you are trying hard to recapture.

Radio Shack: Tailwinds may not bring a comeback

There is some traction in the consumer electronics business, but RetailWire panelists seem to agree that it may be too late to help Radio Shack. Here’s my recent comment:

Best Buy’s announcement of an upswing in its sales suggests that the consumer electronics business is not dead after all, and the big box store might also be showing a pulse. It becomes more difficult for a company like Radio Shack — saddled with an image that it tries to embrace one day and mock the next — to compete against the brick-and-mortar or e-commerce giants in its segment.

It’s probably too late in Radio Shack’s history to consider a complete rebranding — including a new name — but it’s worth remembering that Best Buy originated many years ago as a Twin Cities-based audiophile store called “Sound of Music” and decided to walk away from its original brand identity.

Can Radio Shack stay relevant?

Radio Shack has recently started a TV campaign to promote “Beats” headphones and wireless speakers, and it’s quite a departure. RetailWire panelists discussed the potential impact of the spot, and here’s my opinion:

Radio Shack has a long way to go in order to rebrand itself. The ad (and the focus on “Beats” product) is one step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done. Right now Radio Shack is plagued by an image as “the store in the local strip center carrying a bunch of random tech supplies that I can buy cheaper at Amazon”…not a good place to be. But some focus, narrowing of assortments and specialization do allow Radio Shack to take advantage of its “non-big box” format. One bold place to start a repositioning campaign might be with the company’s brand name itself.