I wrote a post about radio shack two years ago, wondering how they could compete long-term and being skeptical of their prospects. Their stock was trading at $17, on a high after Julian Day took over the reigns and was promising a turnaround. Now, 23 months later, the stock is at $11 and, to be honest, I’m still just as skeptical about the likelihood RadioShack will be around 5 years from now. Despite trouble with their business model, there is something going on at RadioShack stores and its a good thing for the Consumer.
Radio Shack seems to be deeply discounting many items in their store, bringing local prices down to match some of the best online prices. This is great for consumers if they happen to discount the item you are looking for. I’ve been to my local RadioShack twice in the last week, browsing for Christmas items. I found a 10.4″ SmartParts digital picture frame for $99, the same price as Amazon.com and steeply off the $248 list price.
In addition to the picture frame (which they had just sold out of), most of their radio controlled toys (great gifts for kids) were 50% off. GPS device prices rivaled those that I saw as promo sales on Black Friday. I even saw a brand new 17″ flat panel LCD for $109.99, at least $50 less than a similar unit at Staples or OfficeMax.
I can’t imagine RadioShack is going to make any significant profit on these items which means I still don’t think they can stick around for very much longer, but its a great way to get people into the store and an even better way to rebuild their brand as a great, super-local alternative to Best Buy, Target and Costco.
If you haven’t stopped by your local RadioShack lately, it might be worth swinging in. Let me know your opinion on Radio Shack, think they have a sound future ahead of them?