After nine years of operating their local Radio Shack franchise in Decatur, Joe Neil and Marianne Henderson announced Tuesday the closing of their store in Prada Shops.
“This was a very difficult decision for our team, mainly because we have prided ourselves on being the go-to place for technology questions and solutions in Wise County,” said Joe Neil. “The retail climate has changed so drastically that we have found it difficult to sustain in the grand scheme of things.
“Radio Shack has been a solid partner for us for years, but our business plan has taken a different path,” he said.
Joe Neil said more customers are purchasing items online, and Radio Shack did not have a way in which dealers could benefit from those purchases.
“We love serving our customers and delivering the solutions they need, but when you spend the bulk of your payroll to educate customers and then have to send them online to make a purchase, it eliminates a lot of our profit,” he said. “We simply could not operate like this going forward.”
Joe Neil said the AT&T Wireless store is thriving and was recently ranked No. 3 in the North Texas Region for sales volume and customer care.
“Through early October, we’re currently at No. 1,” he said. “We’re very proud of this position and know that our efforts should be focused on doing what we do best.”
Joe Neil said the purchase of wireless phone and tablet devices are not simply retail transactions, but also customer service transactions.
“That’s been the differentiating factor in our AT&T business. People are not just buying an electronic device, they are needing counsel on rate plans, insurance protection and guidance in buying enough device, while not going overboard with unnecessary features,” he said. “This is the type of relational selling that we do best in the Wise County technology retail environment.”
Joe Neil and Marianne said iCopy, their office supply and print business, will offer a large selection of electronic accessories, including basic adapters, storage media, batteries, cables and computer accessories, to help fill the merchandise void left by Radio Shack. They offer more than 40,000 products with free next day delivery.
“We can offer a similar breadth of product and availability on the electronic/technology side without having our electronics franchise store,” they said. “We have analyzed our inventory flow and will incorporate the most common technology items into our iCopy retail store.”
They said customers can also purchase these items online at www.iCopyOfficeSupply.com.
“Purchasing habits have changed, distribution channels have changed and so will we,” said the Hendersons.
The Hendersons will liquidate their Radio Shack inventory beginning Wednesday, Oct. 9, and plan to have the store transition complete in the next couple of weeks.
AT&T Wise Wireless will be moving to suite 100 in Prada Shops with future plans for a complete AT&T Experience Store upgrade in 2014.
“It will be an amazing location,” Joe Neil said. “We will be an even stronger resource for our wireless customers going forward. Plans for more live device demo areas, new innovative wireless technology, training classes and wireless bundling options are on our future horizon. We want to keep focusing on being the No. 1 wireless store in Wise County and beyond.”
“Most importantly, we want to thank Wise County for the years of loyalty and for your continued support in our decision,” the Hendersons said. “We are doing what we can to stay fresh, relevant and responsive in this marketplace. Doing business with the people of Wise County has never been better and for that we are blessed. We look forward to our continued relationship at AT&T Wise Wireless and iCopy.”