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RadioShack Offering In-Store Mobile Repairs

Fort Worth, Texas – RadioShack is rolling out an in-store repair service for cellphones and tablets.

The retailer said its new Fix It Here program makes it the first national chain to offer in-store repairs of mobile devices. The service is limited to Apple and Samsung products, and covers cracked screens, water damage, camera and audio issues, battery replacement, and broken charging ports and buttons.

The program has been piloted in about 300 stores over the past few months and will be extended to an additional 400 locations by year’s end.

In a conference call to discuss the company’s first-quarter results, CEO Joe Magnacca said stores with Fix It Here are outperforming the chain in sales and profit and that the service is driving new traffic to those locations.

“Fix It Here has the potential to drive meaningful growth in our stores as we scale, and we can drive traffic with further marketing support,” he told analysts.

Internally, the chain has also launched a communications platform for sales associates that allow them to tap into RadioShack’s knowledge base and access training and information on new products, promotions and critical company material. The platform, RS Connect, was developed so that store staff can “be more efficient with their time and more effective with our customers,” Magnacca said, while allowing “operators and leadership to hear real-time feedback from the frontline about any issues or problems so they can get addressed and fixed quickly.”

The new initiatives are part of Magnacca’s multi-pronged turnaround effort, which also includes store remodels, an assortment refresh, an enhanced product development pipeline and a new marketing slant. But analysts noted the clock is ticking on the turnaround, as RadioShack admittedly has only about 12 months of operational liquidity — assuming improving sales and margin trends — before it must make further cost cuts, reduce expenditures and inventory, sell off non-productive assets and take on more debt.