Share This Page

RadioShack revamps

| Saturday, July 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

NEW YORK — RadioShack's new CEO Joe Magnacca has big plans to enhance the company's image. But is it too little, too late?

Magnacca, who stepped in in February, has been working to revamp stores and refresh RadioShack's image as the chain struggles to fend off competition from the likes of Amazon.com and eBay.com, reverse slumping sales and strengthen its balance sheet. To do that, Magnacca said the company is transforming about 220 of the company's 4,400 locations into brighter, airier concept stores.

The stores will carry fewer overall items but have a broader array of trendier products like the popular Beats By Dre headphones and digital fitness gadgets. They will have such features as hands-on tablet displays and a speaker wall to let customers compare speakers. And drawing on his background as an executive at drugstore chain Walgreen Co., Magnacca said the company moved impulse purchase items like earbuds, magazines and $9.99 Hex Bug toys from wall shelves to near the cash register.

Locations that are not remodeled will adopt some of the concept stores' remerchandising changes, like displaying phones by manufacturer rather than at tables in the front of the store organized by service carrier.

“I want to be the store that people go to and say, ‘I want to go to RadioShack and see what's new and exciting,' ” Magnacca said during a tour of RadioShack's new New York concept store. “Key for us is how do we make the stores shoppable and not overwhelm the customer.”

Magnacca replaced CEO James Gooch in February after only a year and a half on the job. One key change he is implementing is cutting down on past-peak electronics like home phones, GPS devices and even VHS tape rewinders.

“We used to be known as a company that holds onto products until the very end of their life cycle,” Magnacca said. Now, those products will be reduced in stores and offered online or not at all.

RadioShack has tried to reinvent itself before. In 2009, RadioShack rebranded as the more informal “The Shack,” but that marketing effort did not bear much fruit. In 2011, the company shifted gears to focus on hot smartphones and wireless plans over other gadgets, but those lower margin products ended up hurting profit more than helping sales.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.