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RadioShack Plans New E-Commerce Site

RadioShack, the electronics retailing arm of Tandy Corp. said Monday it is launching a new e-commerce unit, Radioshack.com, which will feature a comprehensive offering of products and services.

The e-commerce site will include an electronic catalog of more than 30,000 products, ten times the inventory normally found in a RadioShack bricks and mortar store. In addition to electronics, thousands of technical books aimed at hobbyists, technicians and engineers will be available.

The new initiative centers around Radioshack's push into retailing high-speed bandwidth technology. The strategy will start with a roll-out of high-speed bandwidth connections in RadioShack stores throughout the country. Radioshack said that as demand for new bandwidth increases, it will provide its stores and dealers with installation capabilities to connect residential and business users.

Recently Tandy signed an agreement with NorthPoint Communications, Inc., who will provide Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology to speed adoption rates. The company said its plans also include using Sprint's new ION or Integrated On-Demand Network, which allows multiple phone numbers and an Internet connection to pass through a single line at speeds up to 100 times faster than a modem.

In addition, RadioShack is working on new alliances to sell bandwidth technology delivered via cable TV lines, satellite or fixed local wireless transmissions.

The RadioShack.com site will also feature an answer section to respond to consumer queriers concerning products, services, bandwidth, installation and new technologies. Consumers can link to Radioshack services provided by its 7,000 stores, dealers, and strategic partners. A business section on the site focuses on the commercial needs of businesses, schools and government agencies.

The company said the site will also have the backing of RadioShack's distribution, information, marketing/advertising and call center infrastructures. The site will be supported by a team of 45 Tandy employees, including professionals specializing in Internet/e-commerce, merchandising and marketing. Henry Chiarelli, executive vice president and general manager has been appointed to head the radioshack.com effort.

"When it launches in early fall, radioshack.com will be one of the biggest, most differentiated E-commerce sites online with more products, services and resources than any other site in the consumer electronics industry," said Len Roberts, Tandy Corp. president and chief executive officer.

"With RadioShack's strong brand equity and all the products and services we plan to offer, this online supersite could set a new standard for E-commerce business."