Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

RadioShack ditching Radio in favor of The Shack


RadioShack is giving itself a new, shorter nickname – The Shack.


The gadget retailer is introducing a new ad campaign and intends to refer to itself as The Shack – something it says customers have already been doing.

“Our customers, associates and even the investor community have long referred to RadioShack as ‘THE SHACK,’ so we decided to embrace that fact and share it with the world,” said Lee Applbaum, RadioShack’s Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement.

While consumers often think to go to RadioShack to buy cables or batteries, the retailer said it is “critically important” that customers also think to go to it for mobile products.

“You will see a real focus on mobility and wireless products from leading brands in our new advertising,” Applbaum said.

Check Out Line: Several companies ring up strong profits


shack1Check out the better-than-expected profits at Alberto Culver, Lorillard and RadioShack.

Alberto Culver, the maker of VO5 shampoo and Mrs. Dash seasoning, said its third-quarter profit, excluding one-time items was 30 cents a share, a penny above what analysts had expected, thanks to strong demand for its TRESemme shampoo.

Check Out Line: “Insult to injury” for retailers


CANADA/Check Out one analyst’s list of retail names at risk.

Around this time last year, stimulus checks amounting to more than $100 billion started landing in cash-strapped consumers’ bank accounts, giving them a chance to spend and boosting sales for many retailers.

But this year’s stimulus entails lower withholding taxes and not ”hard checks,” which means “the effects of this year’s stimulus on retailers will be a far cry from 2008,” Pali Capital analyst Stacey Widlitz said in a research note to clients.

Rivals try to profit at Circuit City’s expense


ccityCircuit City’s competitors are trying to capitalize on the retailer’s store closures by wooing its customers.

Regional chain hhgregg is accepting Circuit City gift cards for purchases of electronics, appliances and mattresses at its stores. The Circuit City gift card value, when verified, will be good toward up to 20 percent of the hhgregg purchase price.

Check Out Line: The rebates are coming! The rebates are coming!


walmartt.jpgCheck out those federal rebate checks.
Tax rebates began arriving in U.S. consumers’ bank accounts this week as part of Washington’s $152 billion stimulus package.  (Direct deposits this week and paper checks next week.)

Retailers have various strategies for attracting those rebate dollars. Many of them are offering 10 percent bonuses when the checks are converted to store discounts.