We received the following email this morning from that wily, little corporation who continues to escape the death throes of the recession at every turn:
“FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 28, 2009 — RadioShack Corp. announced it will host a grand opening event October 2-4 at its newest store located at 938 Market Street. The new location is one of 18 company-operated stores in the San Francisco area and one of 540 company-operated RadioShack stores in California. Nationwide, RadioShack operates approximately 4,450 company-operated stores, 1,400 dealer outlets, nearly 600 wireless phone kiosks and approximately 200 company-operated stores in Mexico…”
The Appeal is still trying to determine what is more curious–That RadioShack, a company renowned for cutting costs and closing unprofitable stores, is opening another store in pricey San Francisco real estate (though, granted, in a sketchier section thereof), or that it took a little under two months for RadioShack to apparently drop its rebranded neologism “The Shack.”
Remember how much we all snickered at such a wanton act of self cannibalization? The only thing keeping RadioShack alive was brand integrity and name recognition. Not to mention that calling something “The Shack” sounds, at best, like a place to purchase S&M accessories (like our market’s not flooded with those already), and at worst a place to test out said accessories for a nominal fee. Still, the release made no mention of “The Shack,” even in the blovated “About the Company” section.
Reckless as it may seem to open an electronics store in an area just blocks from where a similar store couldn’t compete (RIP you and your “bag checks,” CompUSA), 4,450 still-operating stores is more than enough to inspire confidence in any recession. And, as the release notes that this store will be “staffed with knowledgeable sales associates who can help customers navigate an increasingly complex mobile technology landscape to identify the right choice for their connected lifestyles,” perhaps RadioShack is attempting another act of rebranding? Because a RadioShack staffed with people like that is, most likely, a first for the company.