Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mark, who shares this article from the New York Times which describes the plan a hedge fund is implementing to strengthen 1,700 existing RadioShack stores:
RadioShack will slim down to become an electronics convenience store of sorts, focusing on things like Bluetooth headsets, chargers and other accessories that shoppers may need immediately rather than waiting a day or two for shipment of a web order. One of the most profitable RadioShack stores is a Bridgehampton, N.Y., outlet that is frequented by weekend vacationers who have forgotten their smartphone chargers or earphones. And one of RadioShack’s top-selling products is hearing aid batteries.
Tablets, laptops and digital cameras will disappear from RadioShack stores, and mobile phone sales and services will be handled by its new partner, Sprint, all of which affects just 7 percent of RadioShack’s sales. Remaining product lines will also shrink, to 60 headphones from about 180, for example, and to just one fitness wristband from 34.
In an interview, Ron Garriques, a former Dell and Motorola executive chosen last week to lead the new RadioShack, said the chain would also focus on small cities with populations of 5,000 to 100,000, where demand still exists for a neighborhood electronics store.
When he and the Standard General team studied the old RadioShack’s 4,200 stores by profitability, they found that the best-performing stores were not in big cities or fancy malls, where the rents are high and competitors also sell electronics. Most of those stores will close. The number of stores in Manhattan, for instance, will fall to just three from more than 30.
But in many smaller communities, Mr. Garriques said: “RadioShack is part of the neighborhood. We are the ‘go to’ store for electronics.”