Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Is A Radio Shack?

Sad to say but it looks like another institution is on a path toward closure.  It seems that Radio Shack has not changed with the times.  We no longer build radios in our basement, we no longer seek wires and connections; technology has changed the process and Radio Shack has become less relevant.  Today it tries to compete with wireless phone stores, big box electronic companies, and even some toy stores; but what is Radio Shack?

"While RadioShack is suffering from industry-wide trends — including declining TV sales and consumers using their smartphones to compare prices, as well as an uncertain economy where shoppers shun spending on high-ticket items — analysts said the company has made several mistakes."  To me, the biggest one is its name.  It no longer connotes innovation but reminds us of older technology.  Second, it neither offers any real differentiated product or better price point to challenge its various competitors.  And third, its merchandise consists of  an "'overloaded product assortment,' including 'obscure items' such as magnifying glasses and soldering irons that make its stores hard to shop."  So frankly, the question to ask is, can Radio Shack be saved.

For one, a name change couldn't hurt, one that resonates a more future technologist approach.  A better mix of merchandise especially in the mobile and web space.   Build out an exclusive product line at a competitive price point.  And less reliance on big screen products that need larger merchandise layouts than Radio Shack can offer.  Perhaps its time for "The Web Shack" or Tech Shack" or "Digital Shack' to emerge.

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