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(Yahoo)   Not your Pappy's Radio Shack: RadioShack, the poor cousin of the electronics retail business, is sprucing up its image with a new logo and redesigned stores   (finance.yahoo.com) divider line 87
    More: Cool, Radio Shack, jokes, Apple, cousins, images  
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2541 clicks; posted to Business » on 15 Jul 2013 at 10:06 PM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-16 12:52:38 AM
I go in there for the occasional doodad. At least Walmart hasn't put them out of business. More often than not if I need an electronic part, I need the guy to know a little bit more about it than I do. And there are ten Radio Shacks for every real electronics store.
 
2013-07-16 01:27:16 AM

Silicon Sam: Time to bring up this old, nostalgic link:

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/catalog_directory.html


I could actually take a bus to Allied World Headquarters in Chicago. There was an Olson Electronics across the street. It was in a scary neghborhood for a 9 year old.
 
2013-07-16 01:36:00 AM
We have one in a strip mall here in Glasgow, buts its not stocked like the old days.  Probably more so than the ones people gripe about going to, but still so-so.  Mainly phone shiat/accessories.  A decent little corner of DIY and interesting stuff in the back.

Some Radio Shacks are side businesses here in the south.  The one in Campbellsville, KY is also a carpet store.  The one in Taylorsville, if I remember right, is also a satellite TV reseller/installer, and maybe a sporting goods store?
 
2013-07-16 02:43:35 AM
Given how aggressively they're pushing cell phones these days, it'd make sense that they would try to hip up their image. I popped in our local store to buy a battery for my car's remote entry dongle and found that they weren't interested in talking about anything but trying to get me to upgrade my phone.

The sad thing is... that brand actually means something to older folks. I've long said RadioShack should focus on catering to those who want to get into technology but who aren't tech-savvy. Your average millenial consumer doesn't know anything about RadioShack's heritage, its expertise or even what its name is referring to. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, know and trust the brand.

There's nothing wrong with a retail store being uncool and serving the Baby Boomer curve -- there's a lot of profit to be had there. (Geek Squad has been fleecing them for years.) They could then launch a newer, hipper spinoff chain and grow something new while letting RadioShack be a cash cow as long as possible.

Instead, they try to refresh their brand every few years and are always met with "meh".
 
2013-07-16 02:45:36 AM
 
2013-07-16 04:28:12 AM
I need 2 100 ohm resisters, do they still sell those?
 
2013-07-16 05:02:26 AM

Nuclear Monk: I'm kind of surprised they haven't pushed to get an early entry into Maker stuff, Raspberry Pis, Arduino, and maybe even 3D printing by hosting classes and activities (think Home Depot type seminars). The products and customers are out there and it would be a very logical evolutionary step for RadioShack to take. People didn't turn away from the hobbies RadioShack supported...the hobbies have just advanced beyond what they were able to keep pace with.


I stopped in at a new local Radio Shack out of desperation for a component; I'd been in this one before, and it was the usual idiot store where the most DIY parts were the audio cables.  Sometime in the last few months, they've redone the whole floor, and while they're still focused on the consumer electronics, there's about a 6-foot double-sided island with nothing but maker stuff.  They have the old tray carts, the project boxes, 8 different types of solder, tools, even Arduino starter kits and a variety of shields.  I think somebody with some pull finally realized that the only thing they'd ever had that differentiated them was the ability to offer components in-store for hobbyists, and they're trying to regain some of the lost ground.  It'd be great if they can manage to make a profitable business out of it; a good bit of what I learned about electronics and a lot of my interest came from talking to the manager of the local store when I was in grade school about project ideas I had.

Kanemano: I need 2 100 ohm resisters, do they still sell those?


If you don't need surface-mount, yes.  In the case of the store I mentioned, they don't sell them "still", they sell them "now", which I think is the first hopeful sign in a long while.
 
2013-07-16 05:27:40 AM

Raider_dad: Jeez you guys.

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/catalogs/1978/


Thanks for nothing. My entire day is now going to be wasted reading this site.
 
2013-07-16 05:28:06 AM
They carry electronic components and Arduino gear, which is nice when I need something RIGHT NOW and don't feel like waiting 2 weeks for them to arrive from China.
 
2013-07-16 06:54:33 AM

The correct answer is...: I remember every once in awhile picking up mobile phone conversations (waaay before cell technology) on one specific frequency, and just listening in on random strangers' conversations


I remember listening in on one call in about 1984 or so of a frazzled husband, stuck in traffic and arguing with his sarcastic wife over just what to do with their teen druggy son who was then flying off the rails.

These were clearly well to do people (they had a car phone 30 years ago FFS) and the hubby sounded as miserable as the next guy.
 
2013-07-16 07:39:21 AM
The store has been dead for a decade. But through the miracle of modern financing, it is only now realizing it.
 
2013-07-16 08:06:51 AM

Charlie Freak: Worked at rack shack 15 years ago, big kick, etc...

We were pushed HARD to sell their shiatty Compaqs. Then came cell phones. The scanners, diodes, and resistors started collecting dust and all the people with the knowledge and skill set to sell that stuff retired or went elsewhere.


I worked for them back in '88 or so.  It frIed my bacon that they lowered the commission from 7% to 4% around Christmas time.
 
2013-07-16 08:07:40 AM
I actually hope this helps, but I doubt it.  I actually has a sad about the possibility of them closing down.

<CSB>
I literally grew up out in the boonies.  We had a well for our bath/laundry water, and we had to shlep in a handful of 10 gallon containers of water every week or so for drinking.  Not sure if propane or what type of gas we had in the back, cause it scared the bajeezus out of me thinking that thing might explode.  Trying to imagine dimensions compared to my kid size, I'd say 500 gallons or such?

But I had a 10 speed.  And 15 miles away, there was a Radio Shack.  And the guy there at the RS would let me come in every summer morning over a few years and let me spend hours typing in hundreds of lines of code from the computer magazines that were available at the time on the TRS-80 model I.  It was probably against policy, but the hell, this store was out in the middle of nowhere.  I probably provided some comic relief and swelled the guys ego with hero worship.  Or he was a pedophile and just never got the chance to get me back in the stockroom.

Fast forward a few years to high school, and based on my existing capabilities, I got into the computer class ahead of when the teacher normally let students take the class.

Fast forward to now, and I'm still pushing buttons to make electrons go where I want them to.  I'm content.  It still entertains me, and lets me feed my family.

I've gone "home" a few times, and I've had people from way back then hunt me down on Facebook, and so few of them ever found what they were looking for.

I got lucky in my life, and it's all because of a Radio Shack, and some dude willing to let me play on their machines.  So the idea of RS closing down (even though only a few, at least where I'm at these days, have actual PCs available) makes me a little sad about the next kid out in the boonies looking for something.
</CSB>

/Will raise a glass if they shut down
//Get off my lawn
///Five slashies are right out.
 
2013-07-16 08:24:42 AM

Mad_Radhu: Johnson: Everything in the store is there only to get you in the store so they can try to upsell you a new phone and plan.

Not just them, but the cell phone section in your local Target store is run by Radio Shack.


Not any more, as of April this year.
 
2013-07-16 08:26:33 AM
My first job after High School and after getting home from basic training for the Air Force reserve was at Radio Shack... I went from part time stock boy to store manager in about a year... Had a nice little store, managers were supposed to work 54 hours per week but due to town laws my store was only open 45 hours per week so I was there open to close every day, with time to see friends and family and every Sunday off. Made it easy to manage the store since I was there for open, close, bank deposits and shipments. Store was not busy but it was a rich town so it was not unusual for a customer to come in and drop $2,000 on a computer or stereo and make our goal for the day. Also, we got all the cool new stuff before the other stores in our district because new gadgets sold well in our store. Pay was not bad, base salary plus a percentage of total store sales plus 1% of my personal sales, and of course 10% spiffs on discontinued merchandise and service plans. I really enjoyed the couple of years I was there until I went on to bigger and better things.
 
2013-07-16 08:40:04 AM

Wall_of_Doodoo: jaylectricity: So that whole, "Just call us The Shack" thing didn't work out?

Wall_of_Doodoo: Can somebody please explain how Radio Shack still exists? Onion article aside, how does it survive? Are Tandy computers some kind of deep Internet craze? Are teen bouncing around to Skrillex while they play with their 100 in 1's?

They do cell phones now which can keep the store open singlehandedly. Then while you're there you notice things that you don't see in regular electronics stores.

OK, all snark aside, I literally had no friggin idea, thanks. Fifteen years ago Radio Shack was a destination of last resort if you needed whatever 1990s item we needed in the 1990s.

I must say though, as a youth I had a deep lust for a couple of their RC cars.


Several times this. In particular, I remember a yellow can-am type car....I must have held that display sample 1000 times.
 
2013-07-16 08:58:01 AM

Hagbardr: Wall_of_Doodoo: Can somebody please explain how Radio Shack still exists? Onion article aside, how does it survive? Are Tandy computers some kind of deep Internet craze? Are teen bouncing around to Skrillex while they play with their 100 in 1's?

Jesus, I would occasionally buy an iced tea at Borders while I was reading a few hundred bucks worth of graphic novel but I haven't been responsible for a nickel being dropped at Radio Shack since 1984.

The past few times I've been in they didn't have what I needed (SATA cable and a solderable replacement power jack) and I had to order from Amazon or Monoprice or Newegg.


The last time I went it was for some rj-45 connectors for some custom cable runs.  They had 100' spools of cable (which I already had) and 4- and 6- pin connectors, but no 8-pin.  They literally had everything I didn't need, and were completely out of the one thing that would have been useful.
 
2013-07-16 08:58:52 AM

markie_farkie: Wall_of_Doodoo: Centifuge or mole rules?

No, this tube:

[aetherforce.com image 285x380]


yesteryearremembered.com
 
2013-07-16 09:01:54 AM

Lolpwnt: I was pretty shocked to find arduino stuff on the shelf at a RadioShack. However the employees were absolutely useless unless I wanted an iWhatever accessory or cell phone plan.


Therein lies the problem. I started seeing Arduinos at Radio Shack when I went there to get a short RF cable. But, if nobody KNOWS they're waking up and catering to the maker crowd, they're not going to get much business. Not only that, they need to keep the prices competitive, or everyone's just going to order from DigiKey, Newegg, etc.
 
2013-07-16 09:09:34 AM

Fubegra: Lolpwnt: I was pretty shocked to find arduino stuff on the shelf at a RadioShack. However the employees were absolutely useless unless I wanted an iWhatever accessory or cell phone plan.

Therein lies the problem. I started seeing Arduinos at Radio Shack when I went there to get a short RF cable. But, if nobody KNOWS they're waking up and catering to the maker crowd, they're not going to get much business. Not only that, they need to keep the prices competitive, or everyone's just going to order from DigiKey, Newegg, etc.


That's the biggest problem.  Anything you might want to buy at RS you can get online for less money and in greater quantities.
 
2013-07-16 09:47:36 AM
I'm one of those people on US Cellular who now has to switch carriers and get three new phones.  I'd actually consider going to Radio Shack to do it because there happens to be a Radio Shack about two miles from me.  Should I do it?  My thought is it doesn't matter much where I go...will get about the same deal or pretty much what I'm willing to pay for.  I actually like Radio Shack even though I go there MAYBE once a year.  Maybe it's the good memories from the days when it was one of the fewer retail stores with a good selection of car and home stereos, PA stuff, speakers, RC cars, TV antenna shiat, and any cable or adapter you needed, etc.

And less common size batteries...
 
2013-07-16 09:47:51 AM

Wall_of_Doodoo: Can somebody please explain how Radio Shack still exists? Onion article aside, how does it survive? Are Tandy computers some kind of deep Internet craze? Are teen bouncing around to Skrillex while they play with their 100 in 1's?

Jesus, I would occasionally buy an iced tea at Borders while I was reading a few hundred bucks worth of graphic novel but I haven't been responsible for a nickel being dropped at Radio Shack since 1984.


Well, it used to be called 'hack Shack' by people who knew what the store was REALLY about. It wasn't about the Tandys and the Trash-80's, it was about being able to buy individual components and circuit boards for your own products. Sadly, this is disappearing there, but they still have some of it.

You don't go there for the electronics, you go there to build electronics. Luckily, Fry's Electronics(Where they exist) have an even bigger selection. Unfortunately, Fry's has the absolute worst customer service, hands down, so if you don't know what you want and where it is, you are screwed until closing comes around and they finally come to kick you out. Radio Shack always at least had attentive and knowledgeable customer service. I still check there if I need a weird adapter or a cheap charger or replacement part occasionally, as in once every 5 years or more...
 
2013-07-16 09:52:32 AM

StrangeQ: Fubegra: Lolpwnt: I was pretty shocked to find arduino stuff on the shelf at a RadioShack. However the employees were absolutely useless unless I wanted an iWhatever accessory or cell phone plan.

Therein lies the problem. I started seeing Arduinos at Radio Shack when I went there to get a short RF cable. But, if nobody KNOWS they're waking up and catering to the maker crowd, they're not going to get much business. Not only that, they need to keep the prices competitive, or everyone's just going to order from DigiKey, Newegg, etc.

That's the biggest problem.  Anything you might want to buy at RS you can get online for less money and in greater quantities.


And the customer help on the online site is probably more responsive and knowledgeable than any of the employees at the Radio Shack
 
2013-07-16 10:15:47 AM
No radio stuff at Radio Shack. DigiKey or Mouser for me. The really good stuff is at RF Parts.
 
2013-07-16 10:28:11 AM
Start by changing the name from (antiquated technology) + (place without indoor plumbing where hillbillies live) to something a bit more contemporary, like Laser McMansion or Nannite Yurt.
 
2013-07-16 10:52:08 AM
 
2013-07-16 11:29:00 AM
I don't mind Radio Shack, sometimes they have some neat things for sciencey type stuff for the nieces and nephews, but it's the 27 questions they ask me at check out.

/do you really need to know my blood type for a bag of diodes?
 
2013-07-16 11:45:48 AM

Lsherm: I lament the demise of Radio Shack, but it's indicative of the stupidity and lack of manufacturing talent in the US as a whole.  I have a Heathkit stereo receiver that I built with my father in the early 70's, and it quit working about a year ago.  I had been going through the build manual and found two bad resistors and once capacitor on the mainboard, so I went to Radio Shack about six months ago to get replacements.  They didn't carry any.  I ended up ebaying the parts from China.

Five years ago the ballast that fired my Phillips first generation plasma went bad.  Back then I could get two of the capacitors from Radio Shack to fix it, but I had to order a resistor panel from a supplier in China.

I can appreciate that times change, but even back in the day that's the kind of thing Radio Shack was known for.  It's why it existed.  But since no one in America is repairing electronics at all, much less building them, they're farked.  They were great small specialty shops for electronics aficionados.  They are a terrible cell phone sales front.

Of course, Heathkit shiat the bed years ago and never recovered, so this is all to be expected.  Just throw it out when it quits working and buy a new one.


http://www.heathkit.com/ some iteration of heathkit is coming back...
Should be interesting,
 
2013-07-16 12:36:15 PM

HempHead: Radio Shack got the city of Fort Worth to condemn the section 8 projects downtown(which were very convenient as the criminal courts building was right next door so the Sheriffs Deputies could arrest miscreants and have them in court in 2 minutes) to build a very awesome and expensive new headquarters.

It was revealed their new CEO made up his college degree after he got caught drunk driving and the local paper took an interest in him. Radio Shack promptly lost a sheet hole of money 6 months later and laid off 1/2 the staff that worked there.

The local community college then stepped in to buy the new HDQ from them for an obscene amount of money.

No idea how that company survives today.


Hell, I was in college when that happened, working at Radio Crack as an assistant store mangler. That CEO was a giant douchebag. I actually met him during a big all-hands conference sort of thing, and I immediately thought "boy, I'm glad I graduate at the end of May". The morale in the stores was awful. Everyone hated that dude except for the arse-kiss district manglers.

After I quit to start my first real after-college job, the place imploded. I don't miss it, and I haven't set foot in one since then. They have nothing that interests me at the prices they are asking.
 
2013-07-16 01:09:05 PM
i always like radio shack and i still do.  for that random weirdass electrical thing that i need or some cable.
 
2013-07-16 01:37:42 PM
I worked at Radio Shack in the late 80's, and briefly managed my store. (no one else wanted it.)
Another manager tried to explain the monthly profit and loss statement.
Some of the expenses were for the burglar alarm (Tandy Security), advertising, and another expense to a Tandy owned company.

The warehouse would often dump a crapload of stuff we never requested, and rarely gave us large quantities of stuff which were easy move.

I figure the stores exist to keep Tandy paid. Any store profit is unintentional.
 
2013-07-16 01:58:50 PM

Great Janitor: Will I still have to give up my name and address when buying a pack of batteries in cash?


Yes.  You are going on the list damn it.

/Worst part of working for them was the names and addresses count.
//When a customer refused (and we were forced to ask three times), we'd just pull a name and address out of the phone book if we were "low" for the month - needed 99%+ to not get reprimanded.
///The battery club should have been "battery coupons" - that way you would want the damn flyer, and we wouldn't have old dudes with 6 of the damn cards coming in and buying nothing else.
 
2013-07-16 07:04:34 PM
A friend who worked for Radio Shack corporate several years back. There was a big push to change their name to "The Shack" and change its store logos. The CEO at the time pitched it as the way that they would change and be able to compete for the next 30 years. It was only after they rolled out the campaign and paid Shaquille O'Neal an obscene amount of money to be its spokesman that they realized that they couldn't afford to implement any of the changes that they had advertized.

I have no idea how they are still in business.
 
2013-07-16 07:41:06 PM
I managed a couple stores over the years of 2004-2006. I assistant managed a million dollar store on a college campus, then ran a 250, 000 then just under half a million dollar store. Only place it was tolerable was the small store that closed. Huge retail space, carried a lot of older product, and could do great christmas displays. left in january of 2006, right before they closed a ton of district offices and stores.
 
2013-07-16 09:59:09 PM
Radio Shack is a TX-based company. Discuss.
 
2013-07-16 10:23:31 PM
Not sure why but this thread make me wanna watch this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POxMp61Ksbk
 
2013-07-17 07:11:00 AM
Only Time I go to one is when a new iPhone comes out and they take tradeins. Picked up the 4 and then the 5 for $25 each.
I'm amazed at how long the process takes, but a lot of that is probably waiting on att systems.
 
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