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April 24, 2013

Someone at RadioShack must be reading “The Apple Experience”

by evanlord

A few weeks ago, I actually did go out to a RadioShack to buy something. I wanted a cable to hook my laptop up to my television, which only has an RCA hook-up (the one with the red, yellow, and blue connectors), so that I could watch the season opener of “Game of Thrones” on my TV. Although RadioShack’s business model has attracted a lot of skepticism lately, it is a testament to the enduring strength of their model that when I thought about my need for an uncommon electronic component, RadioShack instantly came to mind.

Still, I had fairly low expectations coming in, and not just because our class had had to write a report about how bad RadioShack was doing and how it needed to improve. I remembered the old RadioShack near my home in Northern Virginia, with its uninviting grey interior, surly staff, and poorly-organized jumble of products. I figured I would be writing a CVA post about my negative experience as I drove up. To my surprise, though, it seems like RadioShack has made some improvements since I last visited.

The store up Route 29 was well-lit, had a brightly painted green interior, and actually seemed very well organized, with a kiosk in the middle where the staff was waiting to take questions. I walked in to try to look around for the cable I needed without even making eye contact with the staff, but a staff member immediately walked up to me and asked me what I needed. As I described the kind of cable I needed, I couldn’t help but think that someone at RadioShack must have read The Apple Experience and taken it to heart.

As it turns out, they didn’t have the cable I needed; although it is possible to hook up my old cathode ray television to my laptop, the staff members explained why it would be bad for my laptop. Considering that I got my TV out of a dumpster around my apartment at the beginning of the year, I was not entirely surprised or unhappy. Even though I did not get the component I wanted, I was impressed with the improvement in my experience since the last time I had visited RadioShack. If they can replicate it in all of their stores, perhaps the company can stay competitive despite everything Wall Street says.

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