Engadget reports that RadioShack is about to launch a "pretty noticeable rebranding" that includes changing the name of the retail operation to The Shack. According to a RadioShack website, the change will kick off with "The Shack Summer Netogether," which will "connect San Francisco and New York via larger-than-life laptops August 6th - 8th."
Engadget comments on the name change:
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense -- radios aren't exactly considered cutting edge these days, and from the sounds of things, the store is about to launch a full assault on the mobile space, bringing T-Mobile into the fold this month, and attempting to cover the gamut on cellphone reselling. Still, we're not sure "The Shack" is the right direction... unless they wanted us to immediately picture a remote location where very, very bad things happen.
RadioShack opened its first store (in Boston) in 1921; according to the corporate history, the name was borrowed from the term used for the small wooden structure that housed a ship's radio equipment.
RadioShack's name-ectomy follows a similar move by Pizza Hut, which in June announced its new sub-brand The Hut.
The Shack, The Hut ... shorter names for a downsized economy? Let's speculate on what the next tinyfication will be:
- Pottery Barn shrinks to The Barn.
- IHOP, formerly the International House of Pancakes, cuts back to The House.
- Coldwater Creek slims down to The Creek.
- Hidden Valley Ranch reduces to The Ranch.
- Holiday Inn downsizes to The Inn. (Who can afford a holiday these days?)
- Log Cabin ("authentic maple-tasting syrup"—don't think too hard about that) dwindles to The Cabin.
UPDATE #2: And how could I have forgotten Banana Republic, due for an alteration to The Republic?
UPDATE #3: More on the "Shack" campaign, including photos from the Netogether, at the Brand New Blog. The campaign was created by Bay Area agency Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners, which is perhaps best known for its work with MINI.
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