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Fairfield RadioShack makes hobby store comeback

July 24, 2018

RadioShack is coming back to Fairfield — sort of.

Local tinkerers looking to pick-up supplies that were featured at the retailer can now find them in HobbyTown USA stores thanks to a recent partnership between the two companies.

“We’re excited because we think it’s a good partnership for us, and we want more people to know about HobbyTown,” said Fairfield franchise owner Marc Rosenblum. “RadioShack being a national brand that, even though they’ve been out of the market for a couple years, people still know the name and what they did, so we are hoping people find us as a result for looking for RadioShack.”

HobbyTown locations nationwide, including its Fairfield franchise at 847 Post Road, are rolling out new RadioShack Express components in their stores. Rosenblum’s franchise is one of dozens of HobbyTown locations adding the store-within-store concept this week since the chain sealed its deal to adopt the electronics brand, which had virtually disappeared.

Hundreds of RadioShack stores shuttered following the companies 2017 bankruptcy. While some stores stayed open, the retailer said it was taking on a more digitally focused presence.

That hasn’t stopped consumers from looking for connectors, wire, resistors, LEDs and more at physical stores, Rosenblum said.

“There is still a lot of people out there that want that stuff, and they don’t want to wait to buy it online, and they want to get it locally,” he said. “There really isn’t a place here in the area where you can get that kind of stuff.”

With a desire to get back into the market, Rosenblum said the deal allowed RadioShack to partner with the hobby store chain to re-enter the traditional retail market, bringing together two companies with overlapping consumer base.

HobbyTown has more than 140 locations in the U.S. and offers a mix of merchandise, including remote control cars, planes, drones and more, appealing to a similar demographic to RadioShack, which showed in the demand from customers.

“A lot of our customers were asking for this kind of stuff, and we were kind of struggling to find it for them and so this is a great solution,” Rosenblum said.

While the Fairfield store is gradually rolling out signage of the addition, Rosenblum said they are currently carrying a hundreds of electronic products from RadioShack which have already caught the eye of customers.

Jordan.grice@hearstmediact.com

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