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RadioShack Labs to Offer New Retail Model Featuring Concepts from Makers and Inventors with Reduced Time to Market
FORT WORTH, Texas and SAN FRANCISCO, June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- PCH and RadioShack today announced the launch of RadioShack Labs, a collaboration to support inventors and startups that will promote product innovation and provide a path from concept to production to distribution. PCH is a respected leader in product innovation with robust experience bringing distinctive products to market. Through its PCH Access division, PCH helps startups and inventors overcome the hurdles of logistics and get their products in the hands of consumers.
As part of the relationship, RadioShack intends to offer select PCH Access companies special retail terms, and create a direct path to up to 2,000 RadioShack stores and preferred positioning on radioshack.com. With PCH, RadioShack plans to implement a direct-to-store model for select products, reducing inventory requirements and increasing inventory turn in stores. RadioShack Labs is designed to enable innovative startups to sell to a significant market and will provide considerable consumer awareness through marketing promotion, as well as strong retail and online presence. By the end of year, RadioShack plans to have these products in a dedicated space in-store.
"It's long been our belief that innovation and collaboration go hand-in-hand. As we transform RadioShack, it's important that we simplify and streamline the channels that encourage inventors and entrepreneurs to join us in the retail environment," said Joe Magnacca, chief executive officer of RadioShack. "We see so many exciting consumer products coming from startups and we want these differentiated products in our stores. Traditionally, big retailing requires big inventory, but we can improve our supply chain and be a more nimble partner."
Magnacca continued, "PCH has a proven track record of bringing unique ideas and products to market. We have been closely collaborating with them since January of this year. With the combination of new retail terms that support innovative startups, and PCH's experience in manufacturing, packaging and delivering product direct to stores, we believe we can rejuvenate our retail offerings."
"Every day we talk to startups and see new products," said Liam Casey, founder and chief executive officer of PCH. "But the retail model, which demands large capital in the channel, doesn't typically work for startups and this hurts innovation. Together with Joe and the RadioShack team, we looked at removing the barriers that prevent unique products from getting on to shelves, and as a result created a partnership that supports product innovation, while freeing up capital that would otherwise be tied up in the inventory channel."
Through its established program, PCH Access, PCH has brought unique products to market such as LittleBits, the popular modular electronics kits, which will be in select RadioShack stores in late summer.
Ayah Bdeir, founder and chief executive officer of LittleBits, said, "This announcement is a big deal for hardware startups. Ever since we launched LittleBits, we've received calls from big box retailers wanting to carry our products, and we've said no because we didn't want to deal with the inventory burden, the return policies and the financial exposure. Plus, I've been wary about the amount of time agreements take to put in place. I think a startup friendly retail partner has the potential to transform brick and mortar by bringing in new talent and a much needed breath of fresh air."
Appeal to Makers and Inventors: How to Collaborate
In addition to products that come through the PCH Access program, RadioShack Labs invites new product ideas from innovators, inventors and makers. To learn more about how to collaborate with RadioShack and PCH, go to www.radioshack.com/RSLabs. Inventors can submit information and a notice will be sent when the site is live and ready to take ideas in the coming weeks. Once an idea is submitted, it will be reviewed and feedback will be provided on whether there is a potential fit. The goal is to identify dozens of new products per year, and to use the PCH Access program to turn concepts into products ready for national retail.
"We are continually inspired by the incredible creativity that is coming out of the maker and inventor communities, and wanted to find a way to further our collaboration. New ideas shouldn't be sacrificed for outdated retail models, so our goal is to change the model, and open new channels for ideas. With PCH's support we have the manufacturing, packaging and distribution network to bring these products to life," said Magnacca.
About RadioShack Corporation
RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) is a leading retailer with more than 27,000 knowledgeable associates focused on connecting consumers with personalized solutions and discovering what's possible through the latest in consumer electronics. The company's updated product assortment incorporates national brands, industry-leading private brand products, mobile devices and wireless carriers. Customers can shop leading brands in headphones and speakers, wearable technology, smart toys and DIY supplies, connected home, power accessories and home entertainment at www.radioshack.com, or at one of the more than 4,000 locations in 30 countries. Find RadioShack on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
About PCH International
PCH International creates, develops, and delivers the world's best products for the world's best brands. PCH offers transparent, sustainable product development and supply chain management services to a diverse range of customers, from Fortune 500s, to entrepreneurs and startups. PCH was founded in 1996, and is headquartered in Cork, Ireland. The Company's product innovation hub, Lime Lab, and its hardware startup incubator, Highway1, are based in San Francisco, California. They serve customers globally, as does PCH Access, focused on providing robust supply chain services to startups around the globe. In January 2014, PCH acquired ShopLocket, an ecommerce platform for entrepreneurs. PCH also has significant manufacturing, packing and fulfillment operations in China, and retail distribution channels through its subsidiary TNS Distribution based in Dublin, Ireland. Pchintl.com
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