I am participating in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for RadioShack. I received a gift card to facilitate a shopping trip and promotional item as a thank you for participating.
You may remember a few weeks ago, when I was celebrating the FAA’s lift of the ban on using electronics during taxi/takeoff/landing. This weekend, I had the chance to stop by a RadioShack store in order to pick out some toys for my plane trips. Unlike most people, I usually travel less over the holidays than during the rest of the year. Vacation from work means a chance for me to actually live in the Manhattan apartment I’m shelling out far too much for given how infrequently I’m there. But I will be flying home from work this Thursday for one last plane trip before Christmas, so I was psyched to pick up a tablet that I’d be able to use for e-reading this week. It will be so nice in January to be able to just bring one slim tablet in my laptop bag every week instead of a whole stack of books and magazines!
There were several RadioShack locations in Dallas for me to choose from (and a whole bunch in NYC, had I been there). I stopped by the one on Lemmon Ave and Wycliffe, which was pretty centrally located. It was so convenient to be able to go to a small storefront rather than having to trek to a big box store at North Park or the Galleria! I wasn’t greeted right when I walked in the door, but I was actually fine with that – I usually find retail store greeters to be really annoying, since I usually want to be left alone to fend for myself, and only want to see staff if I’m having a problem. (And at a big box store, I usually find it tough to find someone to help when I do have a problem!) Not so at RadioShack. Although there was only one employee in the store when I arrived, his desk was right in the middle so it was easy to go to him for help. It felt so homey and small-town that way, compared to a big box store where I feel like I’m being shuttled from department to department.
Although the store I visited was a fairly traditional RadioShack store, RadioShack is currently undergoing a big renovation – and by the end of 2013, RadioShack will have more than 100 concept and brand statement stores open and will have made improvements to nearly all 4,300 stores throughout the nation. One of the coolest new features (in my opinion) is the Speaker Wall, which allows you to test music on a selected speaker to see how it sounds as compared to the other speakers. This is perfect for someone like me who can’t visualize the tech specs and wants to see what actual performance was like!
On that note, though, I was a little bit disappointed to find that I couldn’t try out the Kindle Fires I was trying to decide between. In fact, the store I visited was entirely out of stock of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, which I had wanted to compare to the Kindle Fire HDX 7″. (This was kind of my own fault for not checking out the availability ahead of time.) The clerk explained that there had been a huge run on the older 8.9″ model when RadioShack offered a great deal from Black Friday. However, I learned by looking online that the 8.9″ is available at the RadioShack closest to my apartment in NYC, so that gives me the opportunity to compare them there. Hooray for stores that have both a strong physical and internet presence!
In general, I was pretty pleased with my RadioShack experience. Before this opportunity, I hadn’t been to a RadioShack in years, and didn’t know how well they could compete with big box stores like Best Buy or even Walmart/Target/etc. However, I learned that they had the internet presence to still be competitive from a price-comparison/product shopping mode, and the in-store experience was far more pleasant because I didn’t have to drive way out to a mall, nor did I have to wade through tons of floors of merchandise (and countless greeters who disappeared when I needed help) to find what I was looking for. Tech the halls, indeed!
Disclaimer: I received a gift card from RadioShack in order to facilitate a holiday shopping trip there, but all opinions expressed are my own and I was not pressured for a positive review.