), the consumer electronics retailer, was the subject of a mass of
buys Wednesday as insiders took advantage of an all-time-low stock
, seven RadioShack employees purchased 220,000 shares for $556,900
on July 27.
Among those buyers were:
CFO Dorvin Lively, who bought 25,000 shares for $63,250 Director
Robert E. Abernathy, who bought 100,000 shares for $253,000
Director Julie A. Dobson bought 20,000 shares for $50,400 Director
Edwina Woodbury bought 15,000 shares for $39,450 Director Jack L.
Messman bought 20,000 shares for $50,000 Director Frank J. Belatti
bought 20,000 shares for $50,800 And lastly, Director Daniel R.
Feehan bought 20,000 shares for $50,000
The question may be: is this move simply a case of RadioShack
insiders picking their own company apart, or is it a show of faith
from those closest, believing that the company will evolve and rise
again to become a giant of the electronics retail industry? The
answer may fall somewhere in the middle.
RadioShack might still have the ability to roll with the times.
The company built its reputation on doing just that, but at what
point did it fall off the rails?
Wise minds seem to think that it was about ten years ago, when
big box companies like Best Buy (NYSE:
) came into the game with reduced prices and later the Geek Squad.
Suddenly, the ability to buy computer components became less
important to consumers because they no longer had to repair
computers alone. When Meijer started selling electronic goods, the
game may have been as good as over for RadioShack.
The tragedy is that Radioshack still has so much going for it.
The customer service remains impeccable. Of course, the running gag
is that the staff is grateful to see anyone in the store. They will
literally beam when you walk in, and nothing is too much trouble.
This gag may be a little misguided, as Radioshack staff have always
been helpful souls.
The truth is that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with
Radioshack besides the inability to recognize or at least evolve
with the fact that the world has gotten lazy. Electronics consumers
do not want to take on projects. The majority of people don't want
to build a stereo system piece by piece, carefully making sure that
each and every lead will enhance the sound quality. People do not
tinker with their car stereos anymore. Instead, consumers worry
more about getting as many tracks onto their iPods and hard drives
as possible. Convenience over quality is the order of the day.
Radioshack is a strong brand with an impressive history. But the
retailer may need to evolve to avoid disappearing with Kodak.
Analysts maintain that the company's weakness in the consumer
electronics product category is likely to continue for the
foreseeable future, but maybe those seven insiders feel optimism
that is undetectable to the outside world.
On Thursday, RadioShack traded slightly higher at around
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