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RadioShack Opens Its Prototype Lab Store

Radio-Shack has opened a prototype flagship store called StoreOne near company headquarters here which represents a radical departure from the chain’s small-box format.

Modeled after “the ultimate modern home of the future,” the 10,000-square-foot, two-story retail laboratory was designed to offer “an incredible experience to visitors, but even more importantly, provide valuable insights that will enable us to strengthen our people, processes and product offering,” said Dave Edmondson, who officially assumed the office of CEO last month.

“It’s a great testing ground that allows us to learn about consumers’ needs and wants and then implement those findings system wide,” he said.

One way the company will do that is through the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) smart cards, which will be offered to visitors on a voluntary basis upon entering the store. The cards contain a transponder that allows RadioShack to track the movement and shopping behavior of consumers as they meander throughout the store.

Customers can also use their RFID cards to retrieve customized product information from 11 different interactive kiosks.

The spacious prototype is four to five times larger than the typical RadioShack footprint, and features such “real-life settings” as a family room, home office, garage, game room and kitchen. Interactive displays encourage consumers to demo StoreOne’s broad CE assortment, particularly within a “MotoZone” activity area sponsored by Motorola on the second level. The store also boasts a Starbucks Café.

“The look and feel of StoreOne support the ongoing revitalization of the RadioShack brand,” said Don Carroll, senior VP/chief marketing and brand officer. “Our goal is to infuse that same energy and freshness throughout all RadioShack stores and communications to keep RadioShack fresh.”

Edmondson indicated that the concept store is too expensive for a wide rollout, although several additional StoreOnes may be opened in high traffic urban locations.