By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
RadioShack will upgrade the merchandise displays and signage at about 4,000 of its approximately 4,400 company-owned stores over the next several months.
The upgrades will include redesigned interactive wireless and GPS displays and enhanced signage, the company said. The improvements, announced earlier this month at RadioShack's annual vendor conference, here, will largely be completed by the end of November, with any remaining stores set to receive the upgrades early next year.
“We've created a more organized store that is easier to navigate,” said executive VP/general merchandising manager Peter Whitsett. “Our new interactive displays are designed to house entire product categories. This will help customers compare and contrast product features and aid them in focusing on questions they may have” for sales staff.
Whitsett said the displays will allow time-constrained customers' to make complex technology decisions quickly, and that the fixture modifications will provide “a higher level of customer interactivity” across RadioShack's portable CE assortment.
Separately, the retailer will also conduct a 14-store test of an entirely new store design in targeted markets. The stores are currently being remodeled and will feature “dramatic changes” in color, store design and signage, the company said.
Both projects are within the retailer's previously stated capital expenditure plan of $80 million to $100 million for fiscal year 2008, the company said.
RadioShack has also reorganized its store management structure under store operations executive VP Bryan Bevin.
The move, announced at the cconference, is designed to improve productivity, accommodate market-specific programs and enhance customers' overall shopping experience, Bevin said.
Under the new structure, RadioShack's U.S.-based retail operations are divided into five areas, each overseen by an area VP reporting to Bevin. Each area VP directs the activities of five regional sales directors and a dedicated support staff. Each regional sales director in turn is responsible for an average of 10 districts. Each district manager is responsible for approximately 15 to 20 stores.
The newly appointed U.S.-area VPs are: Bill Nebes, Northeast area; Steve Schmidt, Southeast area; Sal Todaro, Great Lakes area; Gregory Pattakos, Southwest area; and Tom Schultz, West area.
Store operations in the Caribbean will remain under the leadership of VP John Wissinger, who also reports to Bevin.
In addition, Debi Gladu has joined the company as central operations VP, and Kathy Buckley was promoted to finance VP earlier this year.
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