RadioShack is pitching exclusive merchandise that could bring in the customers as it recovers from its bankruptcy earlier this year. The electronics retailer has become the exclusive seller of Boombotix speakers, wearables designed by a San Francisco startup for use by skaters and snowboarders whose creative director is Robert “RZA” Diggs, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
The partnership and shift to lifestyle products could give RadioShack "a whole new opportunity for brick and mortar traffic," Diggs told Entrepreneur.
Also part of RadioShack's recovery is a social media campaign that lets customers know it’s back in business — literally, with the hashtag #RadioShackisBack.
RadioShack is still getting its act together — it has yet to launch its web commerce, for example — but so far its rebirth has been fairly impressive. Before its bankruptcy, the retailer was hobbled by debt and interference by lenders when it wanted to close underperforming stores to save much-needed cash for its turnaround efforts.
Bankruptcy in many ways has been freeing, though, and now retailer is being quite assertive. RadioShack has long had a flair for marketing and a sense of humor. But if it can also bring in products like the Boombotix speakers, it could appeal to young people interested in tech products of a certain level of quality and cool.
The company is being greatly aided in that effort thanks to a $75 million financing package announced Monday, which it says will use to enhance the in-store experience, bring in a new product mix, support its Sprint alliance, and foster partnerships like this exclusive deal with Boombotix.
Having Diggs, a founding member of the highly influential hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan, as such a major player in its Boombotix partnership speaks volumes. It brings to mind Apple’s affiliation with Beats by Dre (a far larger company whose founders are now Apple executives themselves after Apple bought that company). This deal is hardly that. Still, it’s the kind of co-branding that can edge a retailer’s reputation from a place to buy things to a place that fits with a certain lifestyle.