RadioShack Corporation

 RadioShack Corporation

RadioShack Corporation

RadioShack Corporation, 1996-2013 logo, still used at many of the locations that were RadioShack before they closed. This logo is similar to the logo they used from 2013 to 2017.

In the mid-1990s, the company attempted to move from small components to more mainstream consumer markets, focusing on marketing cordless phones. This put the chain, long accustomed to charging wide margins for specialty products not available at other local retailers, in direct competition with vendors such as Best Buy and Walmart. [63]

In May 2000, the company dropped the Tandy name entirely and became RadioShack Corporation. [64] The leather operating assets were sold to The Leather Factory on November 30, 2000; [65] that business is still profitable. [66]

The Realistic and Optimus house brands were discontinued. In 1999, the company agreed to carry RCA products in a five-year deal for an “RCA Digital Entertainment Center” store-within-a-store. [67] [68] When the RCA contract ended, RadioShack introduced its own Presidian and Accurian brands, reviving the Optimus brand in 2005 for some low-end products. Enercell, a proprietary brand of dry cell batteries, remained in use until about 2014.RadioShack tape recorder

Most of the RadioShack house brands had disappeared by the time Tandy divested its manufacturing facility in the early 1990s; the original list included: Realistic (stereo, hi-fi, and radio), Archer (antenna rotors and amplifiers), Micronta (test equipment), Tandy (computers), TRS-80 (proprietary computer), ScienceFair (kits), DuoFone (landlines), Concertmate (music synthesizer), Enercell (cells and batteries), Road Patrol (radar detectors, bicycle radios), Patrolman(realistic radio scanner), Deskmate (software), KitchenMate, Stereo Shack, Supertape (recording tape), Mach One, Optimus (speakers and turntables), Flavoradio (pocket AM radios in various colors), Weatheradio, Portavision (televisions small) and Minimus (speakers).

In 2000, RadioShack was one of the multiple sponsors of the CueCat barcode reader, a marketing flop. It had invested $35 million in the company, [69] included the barcodes in its catalogs and distributed CueCat devices to customers free of charge. [70] [71]

RadioShack’s last annual print catalogs were distributed to the public in 2003. [72]

Until 2004, RadioShack routinely requested the name and addresses of buyers so they could be added to mailing lists. Name and mailing address requested for special orders (RadioShack Unlimited parts and accessories, Direc2U items not stocked locally), returns, check payments, RadioShack Answers Plus credit card applications, service plan purchases, and carrier activations. cellphones.

On December 20, 2005, RadioShack announced the sale of its newly constructed riverfront headquarters building in Fort Worth, Texas, to Germany-based KanAm Grund; the property was leased to RadioShack for 20 years. In 2008, RadioShack assigned this lease to the University District of Tarrant County (TCC), taking 400,000 square feet of the space as its headquarters. [73]

In 2005, RadioShack spun off Verizon for a 10-year deal with Cingular (later AT&T) and renegotiated its 11-year deal with Sprint. [74] In July 2011, RadioShack ended its wireless partnership with T-Mobile, replacing it with the “Verizon Wireless Store” within a store. [75] 2005 marked a banner year for wireless technology.

RadioShack had not manufactured products under the Realistic name since the early 1990s. Support for many of Radio Shack’s traditional product lines, including ham radio, had ended by 2006. [76] A handful of RadioShack franchise dealers in Small towns used their ability to transport non-RadioShack merchandise to bring in parts from outside sources, but they represented a minority. [77]

PointMob and “The Shack”

In mid-December 2008, RadioShack opened three concept stores under the “PointMobl” name to sell phones and wireless services, netbooks, iPods, and GPS navigation devices. The three Texas stores (Dallas, Highland Village, and Allen) were furnished with white fixtures like those in the remodeled wireless departments of individual RadioShack stores, but there was no communicated relationship with RadioShack itself. Had the trial been successful, RadioShack could have moved to convert existing RadioShack locations into PointMobl stores in certain markets. [78]

While some PointMobl products, such as car power adapters and phone cases, were marketed as store-brand products in RadioShack stores, the standalone PointMobl stores were closed and the concept was dropped in March 2011.

In August 2009, RadioShack rebranded itself as “The Shack”. [79] The campaign increased sales of mobile products, but at the expense of its core components business. 

RadioShack aggressively promoted Dish Network subscriptions. 

In November 2012, RadioShack introduced Amazon Locker package pickup services in its stores, only to drop the program in September 2013. [83] In 2013, the chain made token attempts to recapture the do-it-yourself market, including Slogan “Together”. 

Experienced staff noted a slow and gradual shift from electronics and customer service to sales promotion and wireless add-ons; the pressure to sell gradually increased, while the focus on training and product knowledge diminished. Morale was abysmal; Long-time employees who received bonuses and retirements in stock options saw the value of these instruments fade. 


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