RadioShack Is Returning

For a multitude of reasons we've lost a few relatively iconic brands over the years, and .thatr [...]

For a multitude of reasons we've lost a few relatively iconic brands over the years, and .thatr includes RadioShack. RadioShack was once a premier destination for those looking to pick up radios, walkie-talkies, radio-controlled cars, and more. Sadly the chain missed was slow to adapt and capitalize on several huge booms in the computer and mobile industry, and thus eventually couldn't keep its doors open, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015 and 2017. It appears though the brand is coming back for another go-round thanks to investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez, who have purchased a number of well-known brands including Pier 1, Dressbarn, and Modell's, though the new RadioShack will be online only (via Yahoo).

"It's a very thin line between being iconic and being dead," said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys Inc., a marketing and research consultancy. "Being iconic a lot of the time just means people have a memory of it. I'm not sure that just remembering something is leverageable enough to be able to convert something into success."

RadioShack will be celebrating its 100th birthday in 2021, and while there are still 400 locations open, this new take on the brand won't focusing on physical retail locations as Mehr and Lopez attempt to bring back the luster to the brand and return it to profitability. There's also no connection between those locations and the new presence.

"We bought the raw material to build a big business," Mehr said. "Brand means trust. And the brand is very, very strong. I have quantifiable data that the brand is very strong."

This comes from REV's formula for measuring public opinion of a brand, and it seems there is still trust there according to that data. Mehr and Lopez say they will look to build on that as they create a vast online marketplace with the brand front and center. The name is what will pull people in, though as always the quality of the things they sell and the variety is what will get people to add something to their cart and buy.

RadioShack will sell from its own website as well as an Amazon storefront, and it remains to be seen how it can differentiate its stock from what Amazon already sells at a discount. Mehr doesn't see that as an issue though, looking at Amazon as another channel that RadioShack can use to sell.

"It's like a big mall with a lot of traffic," Mehr said. "So I think of Amazon as a partner, and I've done that in other brands, too. So this is yet another distribution channel for us."

They hope to have up and running by the end of the year.

Do you think the new online RadioShack can succeed? Let us know!