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8/3/2009
07:25 PM
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RadioShack To Become 'The Shack'

The retailer is increasing focus on its mobile and wireless products.

RadioShack is changing its name to "The Shack," hoping to present a fresh face to consumers as the electronics retailer directs more of its resources to selling wireless products.

The new brand is scheduled to be unveiled Aug. 6 during a three-day launch event in New York and San Francisco, the company said Monday. RadioShack also plans to get the word out through television, print and Web advertising.

"The Shack" was chosen as the new name based on the fact that many consumers were already dropping "Radio" from the company's name when referring to one of its stores. "We decided to embrace that fact and share it with the world," Lee Applebaum, chief marketing office for RadioShack, said in a statement.

RadioShack also hopes the new name will help the company change its image.

"We have tremendous equity in consumers' minds around cables, parts and batteries, but it's critically important that we help them to understand the role that we play in keeping people connected in this highly mobile world," Applbaum said. "You will see a real focus on mobility and wireless products from leading brands in our new advertising."

RadioShack announced last month the addition of T-Mobile to its line up of wireless carriers that the company has partnered with in its 4,000 stores as the retailer moves toward a more wireless-focused product line. RadioShack also sells AT&T and Sprint as wireless options for its products.

Late December, RadioShack announced plans to sell an Acer netbook for $100 to customers willing to sign a two-year contract for AT&T mobile broadband service. The offering reflected an emerging trend among wireless providers to subsidize the mini-laptops much like they offer mobile phones at reduced prices in return for customers signing service contracts.

RadioShack last month reported an 18% increase in profit in the second quarter, most of the gain the result of cost cuts. Actual sales disappointed analysts, who said in interviews with The Dallas Morning News that RadioShack appeared to be cutting too deep, leaving itself in a weak position when it enters the holiday shopping season later in the year,

The company reported a nearly 3% drop in total revenue, while sales in stores open at least a year fell 4% from the same period a year ago. Wireless accounts for almost a third of the RadioShack's business.

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