Obsolescence. Not So Funny.

Hysterical NSFW bit on Last Week Tonight by HBO’s John Oliver on the demise of RadioShack®. But the issue at the heart of this sad “passing” isn’t quite so LOL.

I could never really say that I considered RadioShack™ a “friend”. But could anyone? And was that the problem? Even way back when, when I would go to RadioShack™ with my dad, there seemed to be something strangely unfamiliar about the place. Slightly intimidating. Lots of weird, incomprehensible electronic thingies, stereo equipment that no real cool stores sold, everything made by Tandy. Who on earth was “Tandy”? And who, really, was RadioShack™?

As I got older, I actually went there all the time. There was always something I needed there (I am by no means an electronic whiz), and I would at least look at the other things they sold, from toys to electronics. Well, as you’ve no doubt heard, that will all be over soon. Out of 4,000 remaining stores, half will become Sprint stores, the other half will simply close, and it seems many of us find something a little sad about that.

But wait. It’s been pointed out that Apple® stores operate on essentially the same retail business model as RadioShack™. They’ve just had a “bit” more success at creating value in their BRAND, enabling them to more effectively sell their own products exclusively, in their own stores. However Apple is constantly innovating, reinventing things, and investing in making sure people want, no, need them! And everyone knows who Apple® is.

So, from now on, you will buy your electronics at big box stores, your “thingies” from Amazon, and you won’t be going to a RadioShack™ on a Saturday. The reasons are many of course, but it really came down to this: an odd company, poorly branded, poorly marketed, that just didn’t plan well for the future. Modern definition of “obsolete.”

If I were them and had the guts (and any marketing dollars left to spend) I would run the ad featured in the John Oliver skit. Maybe it would get through to folks at last.

Rest in peace RadioShack. I actually am going to miss you.

This entry was posted in Boomers, Flop, Gadgets and Games, Marketing Tactics, Publicity, Reality Check, Retailers. Bookmark the permalink.

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