retail news in context, analysis with attitude

RadioShack used the Super Bowl to debut an ad that promised that it would convert an admittedly aging fleet of stores to a format that would be more relevant to 21st century shoppers and create a greater sense of consumer engagement, and now it seems that the venerable electronics retailer will have far fewer stores to renovate.

CEO CEO Joe Magnacca said yesterday that following an even tougher than expected fourth quarter with disappointing holiday sales, the company will close 1,100 stores around the country, or about one-fifth of its fleet. This comes on the heels of a February announcement that RadioShack would close 500 stores.

Still, the New York Times reports, the move leaves Radio Shack with more than twice the number of stores as competitor Best Buy.
KC's View:
I've said since the original ad ran that one of the challenges RadioShack would face is living up to the promise that it was making. It is hard to say that your stores are new and relevant, and then have the store down the street be the same-old, same-old dingy, out-of-date retail experience.

Here would be my suggestion for RadioShack. It may take time to renovate all your stores, but the first thing you need to do is start identifying specific products and categories with which you can differentiate yourself. Star finding unique opportunities, creating partner relationships, develop some exclusivities where possible and appropriate, and then exploit the hell out of them. In the end, I think these kinds of innovations may be more important than the color of the walls and the shininess of the shelves.

Which, by the way, is what most retailers need to do. IMHO.