NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As far as I am concerned, RadioShack
is no longer in business. In fact, the U.S. population has basically voiced that same opinion in the last five years, as seen in the complete evaporation of RadioShack's sales, profits, and liquidity. So, if I was a mall owner such as Simon Property Group
, or a commercial real estate owner of strip malls, while collecting hard-earned rent from RadioShack, I would be pondering what will go into 4,000 plus closed small electronics stores. Property holders will have a rare opportunity to shape the mall of the future, and serve the local community in new ways by RadioShack officially closing up shop across the country.
Here are three ingenious, realistic suggestions:
3D printing stores: Attention 3D Systems Corp
, it may be time to call a mall owner and gauge their interest on joining forces (as in rent relief is given to this new mall concept) on opening up 3D printing shops. Mall owners should love the opportunity to do this, as 3D printing could be a consistent traffic driver, from construction workers on job sites stopping by for a tool or a doctor picking up weekly supplies of molded test equipment. 3D printing technology must be released from inside the confines of random manufacturer floors and Staples
has quietly begun to test 3D printing stations, FYI.
Plugin car charging stations: For those RadioShack locations in high traffic urban areas, the exterior of the stores could be lined with car charging stations for Earth-friendly autos from Tesla
, BMW and others. After all, the top three markets for RadioShack are in California, New York and Texas. Or, the former stores could serve as dealerships and charging stations for whatever car Google
will unleash on roads over the next five years. The sites could also double as merchandise pickup hubs, since surely Google is going to use the power of its mapping technology to play in the same-day merchandise delivery game along with Amazon
Baby boomer social media and testing facilities: By 2029, 18% of the U.S. population will be 65 years old or older. The boomer generation will need to know how to utilize the full power of existing social media services Facebook and Twitter
, as well currently unforeseen platforms, to stay connected and independent. Facebook and Twitter may want to consider a few storefronts to run nationwide social media training classes, in addition to launching tests of new services. Hey, sucking in more boomers on social media, and having them leverage it correctly, would place a greater number of eyeballs and clicks on the ads that social platforms breathe in order survive.