brand experience brief: radio shack interactive
other Brand Experience Briefs (video audits & analyses of new and interesting retail concepts):
Today’s brand experience brief covers Radio Shack’s Interactive store format. Radio Shack has been struggling to survive in an industry with rising competition from online giant Amazon and brick and mortar retailers like Best Buy. In fact, just last week the company posted more disappointing financial results and shares in its stock have tanked.
It’s too bad because its new Interactive store format has a lot of potential. The store format is among the 40+ concept stores the chain has opened in the past year and I visited the location in downtown San Francisco.
The store presents the best of what Radio Shack has to offer including a streamlined product selection of mobile devices, cameras, accessories, and other small electronics.
There are helpful product displays like an interactive speaker wall with a touch-screen kiosk to operate it and an educational display about home automation.
At the back of the store is a DIY station including a cabinet that contains switches and other parts that would appeal to old school do-it-your-selfers as well as new folks fueling the maker movement today. This seems like a perfect target for the brand.
There is also a 3D printing station with instructional cards on how to do cool projects and the store even has a phone charging station which is a great convenience.
The highlight of the concept is the Fix It Here! Service, which is a repair service for mobile devices. Typically you can get same-day repair on problems like a cracked screen or water damage and prices start at $39.99. It’s the exact kind of personal, easy service that you’d expect from a brand like Radio Shack vs. the big box retailers like Best Buy and Walmart.
All of these offerings are in a small, retail space probably 1000 square foot in a galley layout. Streamlined graphics and bright lights make the store seem bigger than it is, the salespeople were available and friendly, and thoughtful special features like headphone fixtures with mirrors make the place a pleasure to shop.
So this Interactive store from Radio Shack is really a great concept for the company and explains the brand’s reason for being – something the company has been needing to do for awhile now. So if this store were the future of Radio Shack, it would be a reason to have an optimistic outlook on the company. But given its financial state, it might be too late. So the takeaway from this brand experience brief can be applied to other retailers – instead of trying to compete with bigger, better resourced players, be more focused on the unique experiences and value that your brand embodies and design your store with a specific customer target in mind.