By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Little Falls, Minn. — A franchised RadioShack dealer has added a full line of GE appliances to one of his seven independently owned stores.
RadioShack’s more than 1,000 franchised locations can vary widely from the 4,700 uniform corporate stores, with owners given wide latitude with assortment and design.
Steve Andres, who co-owns the Minnesota and South Dakota chain with his dad Jim, said his stores adhere to the corporate matrix more than most — although he also provides custom installation and IT support services, and sells LG TVs, Dish satellite systems, Verizon Wireless phones and plans, and now GE white goods through his direct relationships with each.
His is not the first RadioShack franchise to sell appliances, he told TWICE, although GE confirmed that he’s the first to carry theirs. The 1,000-square-foot majap display area, located in his 4,000-square-foot flagship showroom in Little Falls, Minn., features 60 floor models across most key product categories and price points, as well as two kitchen vignettes. The store will also provide authorized repair service, as it does for LG TVs.
The appliance section replaces home theater and car audio areas, whose products have shrunk in size and margin over the last few years, Andres said. The father-and-son team had been casting about for a more efficient use of their floor space, and was exposed to the benefits of white goods through their membership in the Nationwide Marketing Group, the $14 billion appliance, CE and furniture organization for independent dealers.
Andres said it took three weeks from the time he pulled the trigger to become a GE Showcase dealer, with training last Monday, floor-setting on Wednesday, and delivery on Friday. He said he should have a feel for whether his white-goods gamble paid off by next week.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.