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RadioShack To Add Flat-Panel Mix

5/22/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

RadioShack will begin selling flat-panel LCDs in its stores next month.

The chain will carry three brands in sizes up to 32W inches, and will offer larger screen sizes online. The retailer would not identify its suppliers, due to ongoing pricing negotiations.

Acting CEO Claire Babrowski, speaking at a RadioShack shareholder conference last week, said the summer-long rollout will begin in late June, and follows a successful 40-store test begun last fall. The depth and breadth of the assortment will vary by store. The TVs will replace a wide range of less-productive categories, including such novelty items as karaoke keyboards, which will be moved online or dropped.

RadioShack exited the direct-view TV category earlier this decade at the conclusion of a multi-year pact with Thomson. But LCDs' smaller form factor “gives us an opportunity to participate,” Babrowski said, given the smaller footprint of RadioShack stores. Executives added that falling LCD prices are making the TVs more accessible to the mass market, and more attractive to RadioShack.

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