Can RadioShack save itself with a DIY makeover?
RadioShack’s core customers have long been builders — those with the skills and ambition to hack and repair their own electronic devices. In 1921, when the company had just one location in downtown Boston, founders Theodore and Milton Deutschmann mailed equipment to ham radio enthusiasts who built their own devices aboard ships. Over the years, the company has continued to sell parts and accessories catering to CB operators and audiophiles.
RadioShack is an iconic brand that has been languishing for more than a decade — really languishing. Since the healthy years of the late 1990s, when shares reached $78.50, Best Buy and other big box companies have grown to dominate the market, sending RadioShack’s profits into a tailspin. RadioShack’s most recent 52-week low is $1.90. In 2012, the credit agency Fitch cut its credit rating to CCC, down from the already non-investment-grade score of B-. “We have little confidence in RadioShack’s ability to earn a profit stream,” an analyst told MarketWatch at the time. “It’s a core, painful lesson we take from this call. In this market, the [numbers] are the story.”
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