RadioShack reinvents itself as a crypto platform with wild tweets

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Gen Z may not know their grandparents’ RadioShack, but they’re getting to know its replacement. The century-old retailer took to Twitter again this week with a stream of often profane tweets – some since deleted – filled with rude comments and drug references.

Variations of “What’s Happening in the World?” spiced up the threads with comments, but a look at the company’s Twitter profile contained part of the answer: RadioShack is no longer the electronics store that Americans have run into for generations, but rather a company’s online cryptocurrency company that also sells batteries.

“It’s our voice, a new voice, the voice of the people,” said Abel Czupor, director of marketing. “RadioShack’s audience used to be an older demographic, but as times have changed and e-commerce has taken over, RadioShack’s old voice is no longer relevant.”


After a decade of decline, RadioShack was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in 2015. In its fight to find a brand identity, the chain filed for bankruptcy twice, growing from approximately 5,200 stores in the United States. United in 2014 to around 400 when private equity firm Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) bought it in 2020.

That year, the retail sector’s vulnerabilities were fully realized during the coronavirus pandemic, as illustrated by the storm surge. balance sheets. It was then that Miami-based REV bought a series struggling retailers who intend to relaunch them in web-focused stores, including the home-based store Pier 1 Imports, the sporting goods chain Modell’s and the discount retailer Stein Mart.

REV was formed by Alex Mehr, co-founder of online dating site, and Tai Lopez, an online influencer known for his lavish lifestyle advice. They launched RadioShack Swap, a decentralized crypto-exchange platform that allows users to exchange coins or tokens, a format that offers more flexibility and lower transaction fees than trading. Its token, called $ RADIO, is worth about a penny.

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On the RadioShack Swap website, the company said that its relaunch is aimed at people who normally cannot be considered crypto investors. “There’s a real generational gap between the average crypto user and the average business decision maker,” the company said. “This demographic difference creates a significant psychological barrier to cryptoadoption.”

In a May statement, the company reported a trading volume of $ 40 million with a daily average of $ 500,000 to $ 2 million. “The swap adds two or three new tokens every week, and we continue to see great interest among gaming token startups in particular. They understand that the RadioShack brand is in tune with their own game,” Mehr said.

Still, the reactions have been mixed with his latest Twitter marketing strategy. One day the platform itself “accidentally closed our account and locked us out”. said Czupor, though some tweets were later restored.

A few internet personalities with a large number of followers have sent warnings, calls it is an “advertising campaign to gain public favor for their cryptosystem” and urges people not to fall for it. Jack Appleby, author of Morning Brews social media newsletter, Future Social, said that “commitment does not matter if it does not translate into sales,” emphasizes the value of its token in a thread analyzing its strategy.

“These reviews are completely untrue,” the company said in an email. “Sales have actually increased since we started developing the Twitter game over the last few weeks.”

Kylie Cammon, founder of marketing consulting firm Flying Hare Social on social media, called RadioShacks tweets an effective way to gain exposure. “Everyone who is into Crypto is into this kind of humor,” she said. “They definitely got what they were looking for there.”

While some content may be considered offensive, Cammon said their target audience “does not necessarily care.” It was a gamble for RadioShack to go after eyes while risking alienating a larger group, she said.

RadioShack, which declined to identify the poster, made clear its commitment to the strategy. In a tweet filled with internet shortcut, the unnamed “intern” wrote: “Shack intern here. I would like to take a moment to think about my message. I expect to say, in my wildest dreams, I never thought this tweet would go viral and apologize. … No, we were not hacked, and no, I’m not fired. Fasten your seatbelt… “

The campaign comes at a bad time for the crypto industry. Bitcoin, the best cryptocurrency, trades near $ 19,000, more than 70% below its peak in November. The South Korean crypto project Terra – with both a token and a so-called “algorithmic stablecoin” – saw much of its value wiped out in a few days in May. It triggered losses across the market, including the crypto bank Celsius, which would then freeze assets, and the hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which would go into liquidation this week.

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