RadioShack has a had tough go of it in recent years. It has tried various times to reinvent itself; and it is doing so again now. Its repositioning message was humorously unveiled during last week’s Super Bowl.
But, there are a lot of questions as to whether the latest strategy will really work. Here are two perspectives.
Harry McCracken makes this observation for Time Tech:
“It’s a funny, self-effacing ad, which confronts the electronics retailer’s reputation for being somewhat less than cutting-edge by depicting Kid and Play, John Ratzenberger as Cheers‘ Cliff Clavin, 1984 Olympics darling Mary Lou Retton, Child’s Play‘s Chuckie, Hulk Hogan, ALF, Erik Estrada as Ponch from CHiPs, the California Raisins, Q*Bert, and other icons of the 1980s ransacking a dowdy RadioShack of its VCRs, fax machines, and boom boxes. At the end, there’s a glimpse of a surprisingly spacious, modern RadioShack tastefully displaying sexy products from Samsung and Beats. This seems more of a promise of good things to come than a claim that your nearby RadioShack is fully a creature of the 21st century. “
Emily Glazer, in a Wall Street Journal story, notes that:
“On Sunday, RadioShack used comedy, in the form of a Super Bowl ad, to show its stores being dismantled and rebuilt. On Tuesday, the news broke that some of the stores will be dismantled, period. According to people familiar with the matter, RadioShack is planning to close around 500 locations in the coming months. It isn’t clear which of RadioShack’s roughly 4,300 stores will be closed and when exactly the closings will begin. The people familiar with the matter noted that it isn’t unusual for companies to close stores when going through a restructuring. The news was a cold dose of reality after the upbeat feeling generated by the commercial, which was widely considered one of the best that aired during the big game.”