RadioShack is reinventing itself as a crypto platform with wild tweets

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Gen Z may not be familiar with their grandparents’ RadioShack, but they’re starting to learn what will replace it. The 100-year-old retailer has reintroduced itself on Twitter this week – some after being deleted – with a stream of often abusive tweets filled with vulgar comments and drug references.

“What is going on in the world?” Its variations slandered comment threads, but a look at the company’s Twitter profile partially contained the answer: RadioShack is no longer the electronics store Americans have run for generations, but an online cryptocurrency company that sells batteries.

“This is our voice, a new voice, for the people,” said Abel Czupor, Director of Marketing. “RadioShack’s audience used to be just an older demographic, but as times change and e-commerce takes over, RadioShack’s old voice is no longer relevant.”

After a decade of decline, RadioShack was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange in 2015. In its struggle to find a brand identity, the chain has filed for bankruptcy twice and had nearly 5,200 US stores in 2014, increasing to nearly 400 when the private equity firm closed. Acquired Retail E-commerce Ventures (REV) in 2020.

That year, the vulnerabilities of the retail industry were fully realized during the coronavirus pandemic, as hastily demonstrated. from bankruptcy filings. Here then is a series of Miami-based REV Embattled retailers intend to turn them into online-focused stores, including homeware store Pier 1 Imports, sporting goods chain Modell’s and discount retailer Stein Mart.

REV was founded by Alex Mehr, co-founder of online dating site Zoosk.com, and online influencer Tai Lopez, known for coaching about the luxury lifestyle. They have launched RadioShack Swap, a decentralized crypto exchange platform that allows users to exchange coins or tokens, a format that comes with greater flexibility and lower transaction fees than trading. Its $RADIO coin is worth about a penny.

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On the RadioShack Swap website, the company said its relaunch is aimed at people who might not normally be thought of as crypto investors. “There is a real generation gap between the average crypto user and the average business decision maker,” the company said. “This demographic difference poses a significant psychological barrier to crypto adoption.”

In a May statement, the company reported a daily trading volume of $40 million, which averaged $500,000 to $2 million. “The swap adds two or three new coins every week and we continue to see strong interest, especially among gaming coin startups. They understand that the RadioShack brand fits their game,” Mehr said.

But with Twitter’s latest marketing strategy, reactions have been mixed. One day the platform itself “randomly closed our account and locked us out”. Some tweets were later restored, Czupor said.

Several internet figures with large numbers of followers have issued warnings, call It is a “public ad campaign for crypto schemes” and urges people not to fall for it. Jack Appleby, author of Morning Brew’s social media newsletter Future Social, aforementioned “It doesn’t matter if the loyalty doesn’t turn into a sale,” pointing to the value of his coin in a thread analyzing his strategy.

“These criticisms are completely false,” the company said in an email. “Sales have really increased since we started upping the Twitter game over the last few weeks.”

Kylie Cammon, founder of social media marketing consultancy Flying Hare Social, described RadioShack’s tweets as an effective way to gain visibility. “Anyone interested in crypto is interested in this kind of humor,” she said. “They certainly found what they were looking for there.”

While some of the content may be viewed as offensive, Cammon said their audiences “may not necessarily care.” “It was a gamble for RadioShack to follow the pupils while risking alienating a larger group,” he said.

RadioShack, which declined to identify the poster, made it clear that it was committed to the strategy. in a full tweet internet shorthair, the anonymous “intern,” wrote: “The barracks intern here. I wanted to take a second to think about my post. In my wildest dreams, you expect me to say I never thought the tweet would go viral and apologize. … No we weren’t hacked and no I wasn’t fired. Belt fastening…”

The campaign comes at a bad time for the crypto industry. Bitcoin, the most important cryptocurrency, is trading around $19,000, 70 percent below its November peak. South Korean crypto project Terra – both a token and a so-called “algorithmic stablecoin” – saw much of its value wiped out in a matter of days in May. This triggered losses in the market, including crypto bank Celsius, which will continue to freeze assets, and the Three Arrows Capital hedge fund, which will go into liquidation this week.

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