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RadioShack Adding LG, Panasonic LCDs

New York – RadioShack will begin selling flat-panel LCD TVs from LG and Panasonic in 3,000 stores this September.

The displays will join an opening price point assortment of Akai LCDs that are currently in 650 stores and will be rolled out to all of RadioShack’s approximately 5,000 company-owned locations in September.

RadioShack already offers a wide assortment of LCD displays online, including models by Sharp, Samsung, Syntax and Vivitek.

The in-store displays will range from 20W-inches to 42W-inches, said Emily Reagan, senior director of marketing, during a RadioShack holiday line preview here this week.

Three Akai 720p monitors comprise the chain’s opening price point tier: a 20W-inch unit retailing for $450, a 27W-inch model priced at $800, and a 32W-inch set selling for $1,200. Specs and pricing on the LG and Panasonic programs were not yet available.

Speaking at a RadioShack shareholder conference last month, acting CEO Claire Babrowski said the summer-long rollout follows a successful 40-store test begun last fall. She said the depth and breadth of the assortment will vary by store, and that the TVs would 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, which already carries a multitude of HD supporting products including cables, antennas, Dish and TiVo subscriptions, upconverting DVD players, component audio, and HTiB.