What’s most interesting about these two train wrecks in motion, is how much each train truly needs the other to survive and prosper. One needs money and technology. The other needs a public face. Will they crash in a slow motion train wreck, far apart, or will they combine what’s left of their resources and avoid the wreck?
It’s All About Stores
First up is the train wreck that could occur any day. I’m talking about Radio Shack, once the home of gadgets and parts and Tandy computers, now the home of overworked and underpaid employees busy looking for work elsewhere and hoping their prayers for continued employment get answered.
Radio Shack is on the ropes, out of customers, out of cash, out of favor, an anachronistic leftover from the 1950s which somehow made it to the 21st century shilling gadgets and goodies now available everywhere, including drug stores.
Radio Shack’s saving grace is a few thousand retail stores scattered away from malls and big box stores, but still within driving distance of most U.S. shoppers.
That brings me to the second train wreck, an impending crash moving at such slow motion that impending disaster is hardly noticeable. I’m talking about Amazon, the online retail giant, once the proud recipient of Wall Street’s misguided optimism, but a company falling on hard times in the past year with weak financials that have impacted the stock price and diminished the shine.
Amazon can’t make money. But Amazon has money. Radio Shack does not. Amazon has technology. Radio Shack does not. Radio Shack has thousands of retail locations, perfect for picking up Amazon shipments, perfect for displaying the gadgets and goodies Amazon reserves for a bland 1999-ish website.
Two train wrecks of monumental proportions could easily be avoided only if shareholders and executives of both companies could see that both are made for each other at this point in time. Radio Shack needs a sugar daddy and a raison d’être. Amazon needs a public face, some neighborhood visibility, a physical space where would-be customers can touch and feel Amazon’s gadgets, pickup orders, and maybe get some bona fide customer support, face-to-face.
Radio Shack and Amazon. Some may see a couple of train wrecks in the making. I see a marriage made in heaven.