Will RadioShack find new life inside HobbyTown’s stores?
In yet another comeback attempt, RadioShack plans to install RadioShack Express “store-within-a-store” shops inside select locations of HobbyTown, the hobby and toy franchisor.
RadioShack will initially launch 60 locations and then expand over time to 100 of the approximately 140 HobbyTown stores across the country. According to the New York Post, the first in-store shop takes up 500 square feet of a 6,000-square-foot store in Mooresville, NC and shows the Radio Shack signage outside. The HobbyTown partnership is designed to bring RadioShack to more suburban markets.
“We are excited about the HobbyTown partnership, as it will allow us to re-engage and directly serve our core hobby and DIY communities,” says Steve Moroneso, chief executive officer of General Wireless Operations Inc., which acquired RadioShack in 2015.
HobbyTown’s website announced the partnership on the front page of its website along with images of a digital soldering station, batteries, hookup wire, a drone and a circuit board. HobbyTown sells a wide array of radio-controlled helicopters, boats, airplane and drones, as well as scale models, games and educational toys.
“This will expand the RadioShack footprint quickly and enhance the product selection and services offered at HobbyTown locations,” said HobbyTown president Bob Wilke.
In 2017, RadioShack filed for bankruptcy for the second time in a little more than two years after a failed attempt to co-brand its stores with Sprint. It emerged in January with its e-commerce site and 400 standalone stores in rural locations, down from a peak in the U.S. of more than 7,000 in the nineties.
Mr. Moroneso told the New York Post, “Our strategy today is to not own bricks-and-mortar locations.”
In a similar move in 2013, RadioShack opened electronics sections inside University Co-op locations at the University of Texas at Austin with additional openings at other college stores expected across the country in a partnership with the National Association of College Stores. Bankruptcy proceedings ended that program.
RadioShack also briefly opened electronics kiosks inside select Blockbuster locations in 2001.
- RadioShack to Open over 100 New Express Locations Nationwide – RadioShack/HobbyTown/Business Wire
- RadioShack’s comeback is taking shape – New York Post
- RadioShack is back. Kinda – CNN
- RadioShack maps a comeback with 100 ‘express’ locations – USA Today
- Can RadioShack come back from bankruptcy — again? – RetailWire
- RadioShack lives! – RetailWire
- New RadioShack CEO promises to reinvent business model – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do in-store shops make more sense for RadioShack than opening its own stores? What do you see as the keys to success for the RadioShack Express shops?