If all the people mourning the death of Radio Shack had started a year or two ago, maybe management might have awakened from its slumber.
First of all, RS is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which means that someone could acquire them for next to nothing. I’ve seen numbers of $65 million for 7,000 stores. That’s dirt cheap.
But, RS seems to have a problem with what to put in the stores. They haven’t moved into the digital age, which is sad, because there was some Marketing Myopia going on. I can remember buying a TRS-80 for my kids to play on, which they loved, and later upgraded to a Mac. This should have been a clue to roll with the digital age. RS would have been a natural haven for software and digital geeks to congregate, an early precurson of Apple stores.
But, that was then; what about now? There are rumors that Google might buy them, and create a store concept to rival Apple stores; a rebranding as ‘Google Store’ is in order. The RS name is a little past its prime.
Radio Shack also has a cadre of about 1,000 hardcore franchisees, and they should be listened to; franchisees, because their money is at stake, usually have good ideas.
There’s another company here in Phoenix called MicroAge which could buy RS (which a little creative financing); the name is right, and the MicroAge stores have been a success. McKeever, give me a call.
Bottom line, it seems to me that a lot of non-techies would like to go into a physical storefront and touch what they’re buying. I think that’s the central concept behind Apple Stores, and it works.
So, maybe Radio Shack will live on.