I was in rural Wisconsin last week and along the highway, miles from any other buildings, I saw a used car lot. “Does anyone ever go there?” I wondered. “How do they stay in business?” That’s kind of how I feel about perennial mall resident Radio Shack, which must peer down the mall to the Apple store wistfully.
But! The Willy Loman of electronics retailing has another way to get back in the game. Yesterday it announced a new mobile phone service called RadioShack No Contract Wireless that uses Leap Wireless International’s Cricket network. Never heard of Leap? Well, yeah, it’s hoping that it’s deal with Radio Shack solves that. You heard that correctly: Leap is hoping Radio Shack is its big name salvation.
From the Wall Street Journal:
With the latest deal, the San Diego company gains space in RadioShack’s more than 4,400 U.S. stores, instantly giving its network a broader retail presence. RadioShack also operates about 1,500 kiosks at Target Corp. stores, in addition to roughly 1,000 outlets run by dealers and other partners.
Two new phones from China’s Huawei Technologies go on sale at Radio Shack today. Still on sale at Radio Shack: weird remote control cars that don’t quite work.