Radio Shack Opening Mobile Phone Kiosks In Target Stores

One problem I’ve always had when shopping for jacked-up prices is I can’t find enough crazy to go along with it. Same thing for the crazy: I know where to go to get cart-loads of that, but I can’t find the 2400% markup! What I need, clearly, is for Radio Shack to open up specialty kiosks inside Target stores, so then— oh hey! It’s the Bullseye Mobile Solution!

Radio Shack owns a company called Kiosk Operations Inc., and last month they opened kiosks in “about 100 Target stores in Minnesota, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and Washington,” according to the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal. Sales have been good enough that now they’re expanding to all 1,700 Targets before the end of next year.

A Target spokeswoman told the paper, “This provides added convenience for our guests. They can do their Target shopping trip, grab some groceries and address any cell phone needs they may have.” And then she made “woop! woop!” noises and ran off while slapping the top of her head, while a Radio Shack employee asked the paper for its home phone number and address.

“Target taps RadioShack to run cell-phone depts.” [Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal via mocoNews]

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  1. gjones77 says:

    I had to check the URL and make sure I wasn’t reading The Onion or Scrappleface…

  2. dohtem says:

    I will have to check 2600 magazine for when these kiosks get compromised.

  3. Sudonum says:

    From here:[twitter.com]
    “Shit My Dad Says” the only Twitter account I read.

    “Fucking Radio Shack. It’s a wonder they even know how to use a bathroom and don’t just walk around all day with shit in their pants.”

  4. henrygates says:

    Does this mean I won’t be able to buy cheap Go Phones at Target anymore?

  5. Coles_Law says:

    Extrapolating from the USB cable story, an iPhone should go for the low price of $4776.

  6. jdmba says:

    At least I can get my TRS-80 upgraded at any Target now!

  7. Rick Dobbs says:

    Radio Shack Employee: “What, you want batteries? I’ll have to get the manager.”

    Target has done a great job positioning themselves as “Not Wal-Mart.” This is a step in the wrong direction.

  8. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    Okkkkkaaayyy…. Now I can cross off Target on my list of “Places I don’t shop for obvious reasons”

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Verucalise(countingcalories): It’s one kiosk. It’s not like you have to go to that section. I avoid Wal-Mart in its entirety because there’s no way of getting around the crappiness. Target is 99% pure awesome, with a small dot of blegh.

    • RogerTheAlien says:

      @Verucalise(countingcalories): Why would you cross it OFF that list? Wouldn’t you WANT it on that list with the addition of Radio Shack?

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        @RogerTheAlien: Haha, touche, you are right! I meant to keep Target on that list.

        @pecan 3.14159265: Not a big fan of Target for some reasom, but I’m also not a big shopper in general. Kohls is my worst nightmare.

        • Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

          @Verucalise(countingcalories): The thing I hate about shopping at Target is that THEY DON’T PLAY MUSIC in their stores! The only place the store isn’t deathly silent is in the electronics department where the TVs play the Target TV Network. I hate shopping in complete silence, and I don’t want to walk around the store with buds in my ears.

  9. PLATTWORX says:

    “and address any cell phone needs they may have”

    Really. They will change my current Verizon calling plan? Upgrade my phone? Sell my friend an iPhone and set them up on AT&T?

    Nope, they will push Sprint to new customer. That is not “addressing any cell phone needs our guests may have”

    • PsykoDemun says:

      @PLATTWORX:
      So because they no longer sell Verizon in all stores and they haven’t payed the extortion rate to sell the iPhone they only sell Sprint? Hell I work there and all I hear from my DM these days is sell AT&T and T-Mobile. Not everyone wants to pay Verizon or AT&T rates and not everyone can afford the higher deposits. I have seen the deposit requests for AT&T top in the $750-1,000 per line range. Same customer, who really wants a non-prepaid phone, can usually get Sprint for a $150 deposit per line or a T-Mo line with a cheap phone at full price.

      Despite the fact that it does not suite your particular needs I imagine plenty of people will find it at least moderately useful.

  10. amberlink says:

    I was in costco one time and they “the shack” back then, radio trash, were hawking some cell phone they were allowed to carry, and the prices were so ridiculous. I am guessing that those that sign up for service and/or buy phones from these kiosks were the same ones who probably hired geek squad.

  11. mantari says:

    Radio Shack has lost themselves. They originally were positioned towards geeks and experimenters. And I have to say, they really provided a unique and valuable service to the community. But, as a public company, they started to go chase the money. And they found the money to be in retail electronics.

    Radio Shack appears to offer no distinct advantage over any other electronics retailer (despite their positioning as ‘knowledge experts’). And perhaps, because of their notorious prices, even a clear disadvantage. Remember when Radio Shack somehow convinced Blockbuster to go with a store-within-a-store? Yeah. A loser inside of a loser is an uberloser. It didn’t last long.

    This time, though, I think it is at least a wash. Just about anyone can run a booth to sell cell phones. It isn’t hard to screw up. Radio Shack will offer no distinct advantage in this regard. It won’t be a blockbuster. And speaking of Blockbuster… at least this approach won’t blow up in their face.

    Little risk, little reward. Go, Radio Shack, go!

  12. corinthos says:

    We have one here. What is annoying is that they are like any kiosk and bug you when you walk past even if you aren’t even headed to the cell phones.

  13. Nick says:

    Walmart kiosks in Target stores would complete my life.

  14. evelus2 says:

    And now everbody here does know that Radioshack has the guarnteed lowest price on any phone and doesn’t have any mail-in-rebates. You do know Radioshack outsells the next leading competitor in mobile phone sales (Best Buy) by a 6-1 phone margin. So if anyone in here that is commenting thinks they are getting a “good deal” and they didn’t shop a Radioshack they shouldn’t be writing on this blog as they are the most incompitent consumer out there.

    • mantari says:

      @evelus2: I know that I never shopped at Radio Shack for cell phones. The thought didn’t even cross my mind as a serious option. The truth of these miraculous prices (or not) at Radio Shack aside, they have to overcome the public perception that Radio Shack is a place where ill-informed people go to pay very high prices for electronics. If Radio Shack really is the cell phone haven that you claim (I’m still laughing), sure, people will hold their nose to avoid the stench of shopping there.

    • harvey_birdman says:

      @evelus2: What?

  15. davere says:

    I don’t know…. I went to Target last night, they had some cheapo looking fake palm trees with Christmas lights next to the regular Christmas trees. Yes, that’s kind of crazy, but it is Florida after all.

    HOWEVER, something that should be worth no more than $40 was priced at $219 and I have a picture to prove it.

    Craziness AND a huge mark up, together as one.

  16. Blueskylaw says:

    Everyone should know by now that “added convenience for our guests” translates to ridiculously overpriced products and services.

  17. PsiCop says:

    That combined logo is making my eyes bug out. That said, it perfectly reflects the horror one would reasonably expect from the teaming up of Target and Radio Shack.

  18. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Generally cell phone retail has high enough margins that “The Shack” doesn’t have to rip you off any more than the next guy. They are selling cell phone contracts and subsidized phones at generally the same price as the carrier, and get a residual until the customer upgrades their phone with someone else.

  19. preaves says:

    Wow, guys, or “misinformed readers,” you should go to RadioShack and look at the prices you claim are so exorbitant. I bet you’ll be surprised.

  20. thewriteguy says:

    How would the Xzibit meme go with this? “I heard you like Radio Shack, so we put a Radio Shack… IN YO TARGET!”?

  21. corinthos says:

    @RogerTheAlien: Exactly like that. I was walking past and they offered to save me money on my bill. I was thinking yeah sure by removing stuff from my plan I want.

    Their cell phone prices with contract aren’t bad though compared to other B&M stores. Probably the best I’ve seen. Outright prices and accessories are still a rip off though.

  22. temporaryerror says:

    @RogerTheAlien:
    What I REALLY hate in the mall is the Dead Sea skin products kiosks. Those folks are aggressive AND hand-sie.
    I, along with others that I know actually veer to the far side of the mall to avoid any sort of interaction with the Dead Sea hucksters.