Radio Shack has been around for as long as I can remember – when I looked it up they were founded in 1921. For many years any promotion done by RS had a tag ‘a Tandy company’ – like that was supposed to mean something to me.
The name was changed to Radio Shack Corporation and is publicly traded on the NYSE under RSH. Headquartered in Fort Worth, TX there are over 4,500 company-owned stores plus kiosks and service centers and well over 1,000 dealer outlets. The 2008 yearly sales were $ 4.81 billion.
Their media budget as of 2008 was $ 215 million and is under review as of today. The creative agency Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners unveiled a new branding campaign in April of 2009 which included a new nickname – “The Shack”.
Here’s my issue – upon those 2 or 3 occasions a year I go into Radio Shack they almost never have what I am looking for. Just in the past couple of months I went searching for a cable for my home computer that they did not sell, and prior to that I went to pick an adapter for my headphones to use on airplanes and they did not have that either. This boggles my mind. Prior to going to the store I did visit the website but the experience was far from intuitive and it was easier for me to just visit the store in town.
When it comes to needing cables, adapters or anything electronic-related Radio Shack should ALWAYS have what I want in stock. It’s not as if I am looking for some rare or unusual item. It’s a big store and the sole salesperson (the last few times I was in the store there was only one person minding it) seemed surprised that they did not carry what I was looking for.
So Radio Shack can do all the cool branding stuff (Our Friends call us THE SHACK) they want and entertain new media agencies but if they cannot deliver on the simplest of concepts like have what the customer need and wants, I don’t feel it matters much.
It’s too bad because I always have enjoyed going into Radio Shack since they have lots of interesting products and the sales staff always seemed to be tech geeks and knowledgeable about their products.
It’s far from a little ol’ place where we can get together.