They made a go of it last summer. They were at the midwest maker faire and sponsored a big soldering event teaching kids to solder. It was really cool. I signed up for their email list and they had pretty good emails. Unfortunately I just never reconnected the brand or what i would need at any given time. Their products in the emails were pretty cool things like drones and some audio stuff. I remember thinking man, I think this could work for them, but I wasn't persuaded back into the store b/c of a nearby Microcenter.
Hmm, all might not be lost. Companies sometimes try to re-logo rebrand and it can work. Or they can totally change the name and try again with a massive marketing campaign. Or they could go totally niche and maybe corner the market on something out of the ordinary but with good profits.
I'll give you an example. There's a truck stop / gas station called "Loves" It's got some really cool items in there for truckers. They were even carrying a bluetooth headset before Amazon had it. I could drive down there and get it, whereas Amazon didn't even know when it was going to be in stock. Now that was a specialty item, it was expensive and it was *possibly* an early exclusive to Loves. Plus Loves carries other items like that, it's. Some are cool, some are meh but it's a specialty store that's doing fine, plus they sell gas, so that helps.
Problem with radio shack doing a niche is you have to change marketing tactics totally and it might not even work. Then what you've once again roasted the brand for a percentage of people who might have gone back in as a general store. I dont' really think selling 3D printers is the way for them to go. I do think they could see about a team up with monoprice where I would say some of the better chinese products that rise to the top, get rebranded and can have the mail order and retail outlet. Mono-shack. Hmm, it's a thought.
Tough problem. I tend to think there's ways around it using the power of authenticity, guerilla marketing or just targeting a key competitor and trying to beat them with brand influence. Despite being an older failing brand, I think more people know Radio Shack than monoprice.
Just a side note. In the early 2000s, Radio shack would have these big group seminars where if you were looking for job, you could see what radio shack had to offer. I attended one, not knowing what to expect. In the presentation basically they hammered home that they were ALL about cell phones and cell phone commissions. For somebody who thought radio shack might be cool as a little retail job to learn gadgets and products and become a subject matter expert I basically was hearing that "this job is all about commission, and commission comes from cell phones. This really was the cell phone boom time so they probably thought it was a great thing to latch on to, problem was, all the other stores in those same strip malls, half were tanning salons and the other half were your sprint, t-mobile, verizon etc.
Radio Shack was competing with specialty phone stores in the SAME lot. Enough people went in there, probably got turned off by the phone emphasis and said never again.
I think Radio Shack also limited themselves by their own standards. They always wanted to be in these high end strip malls where the lease MUST have been astronomical. But radio shack probably had a standard requirement for real estate (much lke McDs and Walgreens all have) but when you place yourself in these areas and start to fail, your options are limited, you start closing stores, then your stock reports look like shit. Your image suffers because of your standards.
I'm pretty annoyed by both Radio Shack and Sears not being able to figure things out. Merchandising is an art and a science but they have long histories and should be able to get good data and beg borrow and steal ideas and avoid failures for the most part.
> A complete nightmare, and even if you get it working, you wind up with an unstable system.
It's not as bad as that. I built 2 back back in 2008-2009, and they were rock stable-- kernel panics were extremely rare. They also didn't require much in the way of hackery. I put the EFI boot loader on a thumb drive and kept my OS X drive as free of hacked bits as possible. I wanted to be able to hook it up to a real Mac and boot it without issue, and I achieved this goal. Still, I would never recommend them in a business setting.
One of the machines was my daily driver, and dual booted Windows. The other ran OS X Server and was the fileserver in my house. The specs on the server were enough to get the job done, but my daily driver gave me top of the line Mac Pro performance for about $1200.
The only problem was OS updates-- they usually broke something. I maintained a bootable clone of both machines' boot drives, and waited a few days for other hackintoshers to find and figure out how to fix the issues before installing those updates. Both machines ran Snow Leopard for their entire term of service, which ended last year. They were replaced with refurb Mac minis. The hackintoshing was an interesting experiment, but I wanted a new OS without more hackery, supported hardware, and worry-free updating again. As a side effect, my electric bill fell off a cliff, which was nice.
"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken