RadioShack unveils new electronics playground

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step, and RadioShack’s quest to makes its 4,300 U.S. stores relevant again began this week with the opening of a new prototype and a re-imagined corporate logo.

Over the weekend, RadioShack opened a store at 2268 Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that aims to attract tech-hungry shoppers who will find a new level of products, services and excitement in a store that makes the buying experience fun, according to the company.

The store features a new logo — A red ‘R’ inside a red circle — newly configured displays that highlight popular brands such as Apple, HTC and Samsung and carriers such as AT&T and Verizon in an atmosphere reminiscent of the Apple store. Other fixture changes involve a speaker wall that allows shoppers to compare speakers by playing music from their own Bluetooth-enabled devices and a display demonstrating capabilities of the popular GoPro series of cameras. The company also indicated the store also features technology that makes shopping interesting and playful and is staffed by "Texperts," who can answers questions on hundreds of products and services.

"I am very excited about this store, which brings the essence of our new 'RadioShack: Let's Play' branding to the heart of Manhattan, and I am also thrilled about the support and very positive reactions of our neighbors," said RadioShack CEO Joe Magnacca. "Our goal at RadioShack is to make our iconic brand relevant to new segments of the consumer market, while reinforcing our commitment to the strong and loyal base of customers who have known RadioShack for many years. We know that all of these consumers like technology when it makes their lives simpler, but they love technology when it make their lives fun."

The Broadway stores is the first of several prototype designs the company said it plans to open in the coming months in other areas of the New York metropolitan area, New Jersey and Texas. The stores will be configured based on locations, local buying patterns and neighborhood needs, according to the company, with insights from each serving as the foundation for future retrofits and remodeling of many of the company’s 4,300 stores.

There are more than 5,500 RadioShack stores worldwide, including 4,300 company operated stores in the U.S., 270 company operated stores in Mexico and 1,000 dealer stores and other outlets worldwide.

"We have pre-tested with consumer panels a number of the concepts that are rolling out in the 2268 Broadway store, and we know that consumers are excited about them," Magnacca said. "But based on my nearly 30 years in retail I know that the proof of concept always comes when shoppers begin exploring the stores, and that the evolution of the shopping experience never ends."