Radio Shack HDTV: Buy Online, Pickup Locally

As I’ve pointed out before, Radio Shack has a problem with its new foray into becoming an HDTV dealer; its stores are small. As a result, they don’t have room for large screens, and only stock models up to about 37″. And that’s not nearly large enough for most American living rooms. So the company now offers larger sets for sale online through their Web site.

Now Radio Shack has created a new wrinkle in the “Ship-to-Store” program. Order online, and they will ship your order for free to the nearest participating Radio Shack store, where you can pick it up and take it home. It will take three to eight business days to get there (though you can pay to shorten that time) and you’ll have two weeks to pick it up from when it arrives at the store. This service will not be available for all HDTV models; some are too big for most customers to pickup on their own.

I have to give Radio Shack points for effort, but I don’t see how this is going to help a lot. American consumers don’t do well with delayed gratification, and waiting a week or more for your new TV is not going to be popular. Free shipping is nice, but if you go to the local big box store, you get to drive off with your purchase as soon as you pay for it. Plus, you get to see what you’re going to buy before you make your choice. I continue to be skeptical about how well Radio Shack will succeed in this new effort.