REAL ESTATE

RadioShack debuts new concept store in Manhattan

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — RadioShack Corp. unveiled its new concept store, opening a location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The store showcases an updated brand logo and a number of features that will be part of a new generation of RadioShack stores that will be rolled out in locations throughout the United States and internationally over the next several months. The new concept is part of a wider initiative by new CEO Joseph C. Magnacca, who took the reins in February, to turn around the ailing chain.

The new store is designed to attract tech-hungry shoppers and to provide an environment that makes the buying experience fun. The new features include displays that highlight top-selling brands, interactive fixtures, in-store touch-screens, apps that explain product details, and expert “Texpert” staff.

"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 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."

RadioShack will open several different store prototypes in New York, New Jersey and Texas during the next several weeks. Store configurations will be locally customized and the retailer will use key learnings from the prototypes to guide future retrofits and remodeling of many of its 4,300 stores throughout the United States.

“We have pre-tested with consumer panels a number of the concepts that are rolling out in the 2268 Broadway (Manhattan) 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. We will fine-tune the concepts people are seeing here today, and by making the experience a fun one for the consumer, with the right mix of products, placement and price, we expect be able to build the trajectory of RadioShack’s growth and profitability."

Click here to see photos.

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Belk gets ready to hit the catwalk

BY CSA STAFF

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Belk is partnering with Project Runway’s 12th season to grow its brand.

The family-owned and operated department store will be sponsoring this season’s accessory wall, as well as a “Modern. Southern. Style.” design challenge that will feature a Belk executive as guest judge. This year’s winning designer will have the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive line at Belk.

"Project Runway will provide us the perfect opportunity to extend the Belk Brand," said president and CMO Kathryn Bufano. "As the authority on lifestyle and fashion in the South, we are looking forward to adding our perspective to the show. We enjoyed pulling together more than 200 items for Project Runway to use, and we look forward to seeing how the contestants utilize the Belk accessory wall for their runway looks."

"We’re very pleased to have Belk as our retail partner. The way they carefully curate their collection is a perfect fit for the show not only for our designers and the models on the runway but also for our fashion conscious viewers at home," says Project runway executive producer and The Weinstein Company’s president of television, Meryl Poster.

During the season, Belk will feature the show at belk.com/projectrunway with information about accessories seen on the show, video clips and featured products based on the winning designs. Belk will also sponsor Facebook-based sweepstakes.

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RadioShack unveils new electronics playground

BY CSA STAFF

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 weekwith 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."

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