RadioShack Corp. quietly opens new concept store

February 12, 2009 By Maria Halkias

RadioShack Corp. has quietly opened a new concept store in the Dallas area. If successful, the ubiquitous RadioShack easily could convert some of its stores in each market, analysts said.

It's called Point Mobl and it sells portable devises in an upscale decor of white fixtures and clean glass with no sign of the Fort Worth, Texas-based consumer electronics company.

The stores stock each mobile category from compact laptops and MP3 players to smart phones and GPS systems, in more depth than a RadioShack, which sells everything from hearing aid batteries to remote-control cars.

RadioShack declined to comment on its test.

Point Mobl stores are about the size of its electronics convenience stores and have been open since mid-December. Merchandise selection and store design probably were conceived long before Americans slashed their discretionary spending last fall and scaled back during the holidays.

Stores also sell custom bundles for specific mobile needs. Point Mobl's wireless carriers are the same as RadioShack's: T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint.

"It's a difficult time to test a new concept when people are delaying spending," said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities. "But why not try out a couple concepts that could be more productive in the same 1,500 square feet?

"If it works, selling smart phones and all things portable is a higher transaction than RadioShack's average."

Point Mobl could easily grow to 100 stores by converting 10 RadioShack stores in 10 markets, Pachter said. RadioShack has 6,000 company-operated and franchise stores and 700 wireless phone kiosks.

More than a third of RadioShack's business is in wireless, but it's been losing market share.

Point Mobl could be a way to compete with new specialty stores popping up from wireless service companies such as AT&T, the exclusive carrier for Apple's iPhone, and with Best Buy Co.'s expansion into the mobile category.

Best Buy opened 30 free-standing Best Buy Mobile stores and enlarged its wireless departments in its more than 950 Best Buy stores last year.

Last month, Best Buy said it gained market share during the holiday shopping particularly in mobile phones and accessories, which it said had a "very strong double-digit comparable store sales growth."

Total connections also increased by the solid double digits from 2007, when it only had 181 Best Buy stores converted.

RadioShack is scheduled to report fourth-quarter sales and earnings Feb. 24.

___

(c) 2009, The Dallas Morning News.
Visit The Dallas Morning News on the World Wide Web at www.dallasnews.com/
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Reaction to convert solar energy to fuel is 50 times faster with a simple change in the solvent

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.