Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Radio Shack Runs Super Bowl Ad, Then Closes Stores

Radio Shack decided to create a memorable and most likely expensive ad, given the talent appearing in the commercial, and to run it in the Super Bowl.  Can you say expensive?  So how do you follow up your plans to take the 80's back and show the world the new Radio Shack?

Answer, you decide to close a ton of stores.  "According to people familiar with the matter, RadioShack is planning to close around 500 locations in the coming months. It isn't clear which of RadioShack's roughly 4,300 stores will be closed and when exactly the closings will begin."  Sure your ad gets a lot of plays, but you created a PR nightmare.  The sound of cash being flushed down the toilet.  Rather than tell the country that you are embracing change, you go 360 on us. 

Truthfully, what would have made a great companion piece in the news would have been how you have an aggressive plan to revamp your stores to reflect a new approach, not close them.  How does that align with your ad?  Is operations not talking to marketing?  Heck, I would have closed out your ad with a rebranding of Radio Shack to something like "The Shack".   I would have started to redecorate the stores and refresh the facade.  It would have been a cohesive, integrated attempt to both communicate to the world of your new approach and to actually do what you say.  But closing the store simply tells the world that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. 

Take the 80's back, you may just have to start planting daisies to soon become another footnote like Circuit City, Highlands, The Wiz, and many other electronic companies that are no longer with us.  But so ironic that you spent so much money on an ad only to announce many store closures.  Dumb!

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