RadioShack debuts new concept store in Manhattan
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."
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Sport Chalet debuts new format in Los Angeles
Los Angeles — Sport Chalet has unveiled a sleek, smaller format in downtown Los Angeles, opening a 27,000-sq.-ft. store at Brookfield Properties’ FIGat7th mall. The center, which opened in 1986, reopened last year after a $40 million renovation.
The modern layout, designed by Gensler, puts the emphasis on education and training, and features a dedicated central area, called the “Expert Center,” for classes and clinics. The new layout also includes flexible fixtures and modules that allow for the store to be transformed overnight.
Sport Chalet plans to host 52 consecutive weeks of in store in-store clinics focused on cycling, training, hiking and scuba, with experienced and professionally trained expert staff members.
“We did the research and found that the downtown Los Angeles community in particular is underserved today. There’s a critical need for a community-oriented retailer that can provide an opportunity for residents, commuters and tourists to try, learn and experience their preferred sport at ease,” said Craig Levra, chairman and CEO of Sport Chalet, which has 53 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.
The store, which is almost half the size of Sport Chalet’s existing one-stop-shop format (42,000 sq. ft.), carries a targeted selection of sporting equipment, including cycling, training, scuba and running gear. But consumers can order from all of Sport Chalet’s offerings via iPad systems, which are located throughout the store.
“The store design emphasizes both aesthetics and function,” said Joshua Breeden, the project architect at Gensler. “We wanted to create a space that highlights what Sport Chalet offers above any other specialty sporting goods retailer: Expert positioning and knowledge.”
The Expert Center is designed to facilitate customer interaction with the “Experts” (store associates) on any topic ranging from bike repair to the best surfing spots in the area.
“The audio-visual capabilities, reconfigurable seating and display elements in this area also allow the Experts to conduct a wide range of instructional and hands-on events throughout the year,” Breeden said.
Aeropostale will open in-store shops, freestanding stores in Mexico
New York — Teen apparel retailer Aeropostale will enter Mexico through a licensing agreement with Distribuidora Liverpool, S.A. de C.V. ("Liverpool").
The agreement includes the opening of branded Aeropostale shop-in-shops in Liverpool department stores across Mexico beginning this summer, in addition to rolling out freestanding stores. The first standalone is scheduled to open this summer, in Mexico City’s Sante Fe Mall.
"We are thrilled to bring the Aeropostale brand to Mexico through both branded shops and standalone stores,” said Thomas P. Johnson, CEO. “We consider Mexico a pivotal market as we look at our overall global expansion strategy. The Liverpool team possesses incredible insight and experience into the consumer as the operator of Mexico’s largest and preeminent department store.