ONTARIO -- HobbyTown and RadioShack are partnering to bring the iconic RadioShack branded electronics to 50 HobbyTown franchise store locations across the U.S. this week, including one in Ontario.
The RadioShack Express “store-within-store” concept will be rolled out to more HobbyTown locations in the coming weeks with plans to penetrate over 100 locally owned stores. HobbyTown at 2400 W. 4th St. in Ontario is among the stores who are partnering with RadioShack.
Franchise owner Arnie Clawson has enjoyed building and tinkering with electronics from a young age and completed the Electronics program at Pioneer Joint Vocational School in 1992.
“As a kid, I remember bugging my mom to stop at RadioShack every time we went to town. I was sad to see our local RadioShack stores close," Clawson said. "I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to revive the RadioShack name within HobbyTown.”
Clawson said he hopes to have the shop opened during the first week of August.
HobbyTown franchise stores nationwide are adopting RadioShack Express stores to add value to their hobbyist, DIY and maker enthusiast customers.
According to a company press release, HobbyTown is well suited to serve the traditional RadioShack electronics hobby consumer as it crosses over with a wide range of the HobbyTown merchandise selection of radio control and STEM learning products. Since the closure of corporately owned and operated RadioShack stores in many of the current HobbyTown markets, customers have been seeking a local source for electronics supplies.
The HobbyTown partnership will bring RadioShack to more suburban markets.
“This will expand the RadioShack footprint quickly and enhance the product selection and services offered at HobbyTown locations” according to HobbyTown President Bob Wilke.
Steve Moroneso, chief executive of General Wireless (an affiliate of hedge fund Standard General, which acquired RadioShack in 2015) says “our strategy today is to not own bricks-and-mortar locations, but support our authorized dealers with our online presence and distribution center.”
All HobbyTown locations are locally owned and operated franchise units.
HobbyTown is the largest nationwide footprint of hobby/toy retail stores in the U.S., with franchise stores in 41 states. Established in 1985, HobbyTown retail stores have evolved from a merchandise mix of traditional hobby lines (model trains, radio control, plastic models, rockets, etc.) to a broader mix with a growing emphasis on specialty toys and STEM products.
RadioShack founded in 1921, continues to support over 400 independent locations nationwide in mostly rural locations.