Which brings us to the beloved old RadioShack—the store where our apartment super used to go for a new fuse and where kids ran for batteries for their new toys on Christmas Day.
Today—in the age of the Mighty Amazon and the Formidable Home Depot—RadioShack is going through the motions on creaky joints. The chain lost $21 million last quarter, and its stock has fallen this year from nearly $14 to under $3.
It's a brand past its prime. One RadioShack store owner in Michigan (quoted in the July 26 Wall Street Journal) said, "The perception is that we carry nothing up-to-date and it is for people who build their own transistor radios." Transistor radios!
Last year about this time, RadioShack's Chief Marketing Officer gallantly described a new branding initiative celebrating the heritage of giving technical advice. She said, "Being able to advise people about electronics and technology is in our DNA. It’s the source of our authenticity and credibility." (Lee Applbaum quoted by Adamson, Forbes, 8.15.11)
Ah "authenticity." Being absolutely honest about being out-of-date? If only that could help.
Pictured above is RadioShack as a puppy. Today the stores are not as frisky but just as lovable... This company served ordinary people in need, flourished for decades... grew to 4700 stores... and now loses boatloads of money.
Soon, the company will launch new advertising... apparently placing its dying hopes on a new campaign explaining RadioShack's reason for being. A new ad campaign? What can we say to that... "Awww.... Good boy!"