CEO Ron Garriques says he’s returning RadioShack to its roots as “the neighborhood source” for electronics.
But is is too late? RadioShack lost most of 2015, fighting bankruptcy and finding a buyer (a group lead by Standard General, an American hedge fund specializing in distressed debt).
The company downsized from 7000 to 1700 (but 1400 of those are co-managed by Sprint, leaving the company only 300 "own" outlets.)
It also kept more than 500 of its approximately 850 independent, franchised RadioShack dealers following its bankruptcy sale.
Black Friday in USA marks the transformation as the chain described its pre-Thanksgiving sale as “a thank you to our loyal customers — particularly those who don’t like to get trampled at big-box stores on Black Friday.”
“We know the past year has been difficult on the RadioShack community, with our shelves recently missing that one-off electronics component, cable or connector you needed or that mini drone you were searching for,” acknowledged CEO Ron Garriques in an interview with USA Today. “But now we are stronger than ever and fully restocked with over 20 million new units and proud to return to our roots as the neighborhood source for affordable and cutting-edge electronics.”
Garriques served as President, Global Consumer Business, for Dell. He was responsible for Dell’s portfolio of consumer products, including desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles at the time.
Before that, Garriques was at Motorola, heading mobile devices, where a lot of fingers pointed his way for the demise of Motorola during the RAZR days.
That failed stint as Executive Vice President and President, Mobile Devices Business at Motorola doesn't necessarily detract from his ability to lead Radio Shack to success... but generally manufacturing execs make terrible retail bosses.
Yet the new positioning of the stores (back to the future!) sounds right to us. [Read our previous RadioShack editorial.]
But with the majority of outlets being co-managed by Sprint and a CEO from mobile manufacturing, will RadioShack shake off its mobile phone centricity?