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RadioShack gets another shot online

Silver Spring, Maryland (AP) — Radio Shack, a mall fixture for decades, has once again been pulled from the brink of death.


What you need to know

  • Entrepreneurial investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez are planning to make RadioShack competitive again online this time.
  • They scooped up many brands as the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S. retail sector.
  • The big question is whether Radio Shack can compete with Amazon and how influential the iconic brand is to young consumers.

This is the most valuable of the brand baskets that entrepreneurial investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez have scooped up since the coronavirus pandemic struck the US retail sector and sent many chains to protect bankruptcy. It is a name. So far, these brands include Pier1, Dressbarn and Modell’s.

Mehr and Lopez plan to make RadioShack competitive again, this time online, rather than on the streets and shopping malls. However, unlike RadioShack’s glorious year, it’s now the Amazon world.

The big question is, far from stepping into the RadioShack store, how much is the RadioShack brand worth if a valuable target audience of young consumers has never owned a radio?

“It’s a very thin line between being symbolic and dead,” said Brand Keys Inc, a marketing and research consultant. Said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of. “In many cases, being symbolic means that people remember it. Whether just remembering something can be used to turn something into a success. I don’t know. “

Success has been around for quite some time in RadioShack’s rearview mirrors. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021, the company seemed to be at the top of the personal computer world, where children and enthusiasts went to buy radios and walkie-talkies in the late 1970s and early 1980s. .. And you can have all the parts to fix them, or even build them yourself.

“The Shack” got lost on the way. Not being able to take advantage of the PC boom that began in the mid-1980s, I realized that it was also largely outside the mobile device revolution and flowing towards irrelevance. Recorded the last profit in 2011. After failing to attract customers due to store redesigns and other changes, the company in Fort Worth, Texas filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in 2015 and reapplied two years later.

Mehr and Lopez have no plans to rebuild the physical RadioShack empire. But they say there is a way to profitability, and it all starts with the name.

“We bought the raw materials to build a big company. The brand means trust. And the brand is very, very strong. Quantifiable data that the brand is very strong. there is.”

Mehr said the REV formula for measuring brand opinion is significantly different from how other experts evaluate such things.

In short, the plan is to build a vast online marketplace on top of the RadioShack brand. Trusting the name gives consumers access to the site, and the quality and variety of products determine whether shoppers click the “buy” button.

Since its founding in 2019, REV has been looking for other names that were once called “households.” This makes Pier1, Dressbarn and Modell online-first businesses.

Other bankrupt retailers have found Second Life online. Some people have less overhead and are loyal to the brand even after the store lights are off. But they are usually much less of a problem. American Apparel, which went bankrupt a few years ago and closed all stores, now sells hoodies and sweatpants online. Toys “R” Us, which closed two years ago, has opened several small stores and has a website. However, on the Toys “R” Us site, anyone who wants a toy will be redirected to Amazon.com.

According to REV, the much slimmer RadioShack will be available from its website and Amazon storefront. RadioShack was the place to buy batteries, phone chargers and headphones. These are products that Amazon sells in large quantities under its own brand name.

And there is the challenge of REV. Megachains like Walmart and Target have been able to delay Amazon’s invasion, but Amazon is the ultimate destroyer. From technology and groceries to global shipping, it has disrupted the industry.

If Amazon is the greatest threat to some of America’s largest companies, what is the outlook for relics from the 1980s?

“Amazon is the Death Star,” said Allen Adamson, co-founder of marketing strategy firm Metaforce. “They have everything and it’s easy and fast. You don’t have to go to RadioShack in your corner to find anything, you don’t even have to go to RadioShack online.”

Still, Mehr does not consider Amazon as a competitor. Rather, he said RadioShack is another channel for selling products.

“It’s like a big mall with a lot of traffic,” Mehr said. “So I consider Amazon a partner, and I’ve done it with other brands as well. Therefore, this is yet another distribution channel for us.”

REV is General Wireless Operations Inc this year. I bought RadioShack from for a private amount. The former owner holds a minority shareholder, betting on Mehr and Lopez’s social media marketing expertise.

The new owner says he hopes RadioShack.com will be open by the end of the month. Approximately 400 RadioShack locations remain open, but operate independently of the REV-owned parent company.

RadioShack gets another shot online

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