Fort Worth, Texas -- RadioShack is partnering with hardware manufacturer and accelerator PCH International to create RadioShack Labs, a collaboration to help inventors and start-ups bring their products direct to the market — and hopefully boost store traffic. As part of the agreement, the retailer will open dedicated areas in RadioShack stores that feature new and innovative products from startups. The shops will utilize a direct-to-store model for select products, reducing inventory requirements and increasing inventory turn in the stores.
PCH, through its PCH Access division, helps startups and inventors overcome the hurdles of logistics and get their products in the hands of consumers. RadioShack will offer select PCH Access companies special retail terms, and create a direct path to up to 2,000 RadioShack stores along with preferred positioning on radioshack.com. The first products are expected to be in RadioShack stores by the fall, displayed in a six-ft. section called “Discover It, Powered by PCH,” according to a report by the Star-Telegram.
"It's long been our belief that innovation and collaboration go hand-in-hand,” said Joe Magnacca, CEO of RadioShack. “As we transform RadioShack, it's important that we simplify and streamline the channels that encourage inventors and entrepreneurs to join us in the retail environment. We see so many exciting consumer products coming from startups and we want these differentiated products in our stores. Traditionally, big retailing requires big inventory, but we can improve our supply chain and be a more nimble partner.”
Magnacca said that PCH has a proven track record of bringing unique ideas and products to market.
“We have been closely collaborating with them since January of this year. With the combination of new retail terms that support innovative startups, and PCH's experience in manufacturing, packaging and delivering product direct to stores, we believe we can rejuvenate our retail offerings,” he said.
"Every day we talk to startups and see new products," said Liam Casey, founder and chief executive officer of PCH. "But the retail model, which demands large capital in the channel, doesn't typically work for startups and this hurts innovation. Together with Joe and the RadioShack team, we looked at removing the barriers that prevent unique products from getting on to shelves, and as a result created a partnership that supports product innovation, while freeing up capital that would otherwise be tied up in the inventory channel."
In addition to products that come through the PCH Access program, RadioShack Labs invites new product ideas from innovators, inventors and makers. To learn more about how to collaborate with RadioShack and PCH, go to Radioshack.com/RSLabs. Inventors can submit information and a notice will be sent when the site is live and ready to take ideas in the coming weeks.