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(STLToday)   Radio Shack's comeback effort in doubt. Radio Shack customers were upset when they got the news on their pagers   (stltoday.com ) divider line
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4949 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Aug 2014 at 11:14 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2014-08-12 10:21:37 PM  
7 votes:
If I were CEO....

I'd close half the stores.  The other half turn into maker spaces.  Bring in a bunch of 3d printers, load up on beaglebone/arduino/raspberry pi gear.

But I'm not CEO.  The one they had was so bad he's now co-CEO at Market Basket.
2014-08-12 11:17:10 PM  
4 votes:
They need to go back to their roots: being the place for all the little cheap things you need for hardware hacking.
2014-08-13 02:16:09 AM  
3 votes:
(Kinda sweet CSB incoming)

I always had a soft-spot for Radio Shack. I was 7 years old the first time I saw a PC, at the Radio Shack in the Hudson Valley Mall. The guy running the place was this old codger who looked at the PC as distainfully as I look at most republicans. But he had this young guy - 20 or so at the time - and he was a perfect salesman.

Note my family was DIRT poor, and i do mean dirt - we had floors open that my father swore he'd fix exposed to the dirt underneath. I went up to this demo Tandy computer, and it was running Battle Chess. If you've never seen it, it was a 4-bit game where you played chess, but the pieces were all animated, so the Bishop was a guy in clerical vestments, and the paws like foot soldiers and so-on. I reached up to press the screen and try to make the pieces move and CRASH, down to the floor a 1500$ PC went.

The old codger pulled my parents in, I was hysterical, and he wanted them to pay for it (350$ for the broken monitor plus 150$ for the display, the 1000$ PC was fine). We had no money for this and my mother did her best to try and shield me, until that young guy got in and asked if he could have his salary taken to pay it off, that we couldn't and he was the one to set up the display so it was really his fault. Well it worked out that his insurance covered it, so no one paid directly, and he insisted on me coming in once a week for several months to learn about the computers, which was my introduction to what became my passion and favorite hobby.

That guy got the old codger to calm down just long enough that a solution could present itself, and not bankrupt my poor family. It was a very big, very meaningful gesture which I always have carried with me, and always lead me to have a really good opinion of the store despite its flaws.
2014-08-13 04:54:15 AM  
2 votes:
I suspect their biggest problem is that most RadioShack customers are moderately knowledgeable. They know what they want, they know how much it *should* cost and they know where to order it online if they have to. So they walk into RadioShack in search of an AV cable or adapter, notice the obscene markup on the item and walk out without buying anything.
2014-08-13 02:24:09 AM  
2 votes:
I worked for The Rat Shack from 1992-1994. I was 18 when I started. Len Roberts was the new CEO. Huge, massive, douchebag.

I worked at a small store on Westheimer, in Houston. My first month I wasn't sure I could hack it- had never done sales. Was scared.

Fortunately my manager was a disgraced former district manager from up North. Slick as shiat. Nice sports car. Way about any normal Rat Shack manager salary. And in his 50's. New all the angles.

Anyway, back in those days we still had catalogs of old stuff from the 70s: Speakers, radios, parts, 8-tracks, CB's, TV's. One week I'm scared I'm not going to make it, never having made commission after 3 weeks, the next I'm selling a black and white TV disco(ntinued) to a blind (no lie) German woman.

Middle Eastern guys came in, we were told that their handler was a regular, lived in Houston, and that these guys he would bring in were all, you know, Saudi Princes. Hell, I was so young, what did I know. Or care. They came in with girly mags out in the open, asking silly questions. Well, they wanted to test out different types of portable (Handheld) CB radios and transceivers. OK. They would buy 1, try it out, come back the next day. After a week of this they dropped $5,500 cash and bought enough handheld CBs, plus 2 Mark IV speakers (yeah, those, the kick ass ones from the 70s). Since they were traveling the next day to Disney in Florida, my District Manager pulled strings so that it came out of their stock- and they had to help the guys hollow out the speakers and pack the CB's for the return flight.

Apparently these devices are or were illegal there, or so I was told afterwards. Thanks guys. Ooops. Didn't know. Probably wasn't supposed to sell them. Didn't know. No one told me.

But hey, we had receivers that could pick up cell phone bands. Nice.

Never had a problem with commish again after that. became #5 in sales in Houston, beating most of the Galleria store employees (they banked on computer and stereo sales to rich Mexicans who wanted to fly in and buy anything perceived as American). Youth+Just enough knowledge to be dangerous+ability to confidently bullshiat and now sound like a car salesman= $$$$.

Back in those days we had to take exams. Real deal scan tron exams. At least one a week, or more. If we failed any of them we were out. They made sure we were current with product knowledge and could sell. Sometimes, rarely, we were retested, especially if folks had problems selling.

Loss prevention was always riding our asses. Not sure why, tills always matched. And for a company that had most of it's stores with wooden cash trays with underside finger locks/slides: derp. Loss prevention and the shifty district manager pissed me off bad.

All old products after the first year I was there, were recalled to a super warehouse in Dallas/Fort Worth. You could still order them, and god awfully cheap. The speakers I had would knock your socks off- for under $50. 6 disk CD changer/Laser Disk combo- $40. Old 80s cell phones, old TRS computers, all of it. I wonder if that place is still up there? I mean, all stores had the master catalogs for that old stuff. Any store could order from it. Always wonder...

Radio Shack had, and probably still does, a core group of whack-jobs that are so pro-USA/Star Spangled Banner/Buy In The USA that they exclusively shopped at Rat Shack. They didn't realize (and for some reason I don't think anyone here mentioned it) that the crap we sold as Optimus, or Radio Shack, was all name brand Sony, Kenwood, Denton, Pioneer, etc. None of it was outright garbage, well, but most of it was marked up because hey- you're "buying an American name" (on your foreign made crap). I mean, the models, the buttons, the displays- all exactly the same, only the Optimus/Radio Shack tag being different.

Who needs a 1200 watt receiver, anyway? What the fark?

We had 10 walls of farking components to cycle through each week. Plus the huge self-service drawers. That's what most folks here are lamenting- all the little bits n' pieces for their engineering needs. We never sold a huge amount of the stuff back then. I mean, daily sales, nothing that would put anyone on commish for the week.

Commish was all about selling ACER computers (Oh man, I was in a wheel chair [fell off the roof of the store, long story] and sold 2 of those the week I came back, such win), ridiculously overpriced TV's, an endless supply of radios and CD players and stereo systems. Oh man, the stereo systems. Hispanic construction guys come in together on Fridays like clockwork. Check burning a hole in their pockets. Oh, si si, I have *just* the budget stereo system for you- $850 please. All cash. Yum.

Families going on vacations over summer: need those AC/DC converters. Fried the shiat out of some ladies portable TV that way once. Oops.

Cops coming in, paying full price for mini pocket color TV's.

We started a new thing in 1994 where we would guarantee repairs in a week, just bring your pos in and we'd send it off. Our local repair center was by the Astrodome, and they couldn't fix shiat.

Big sales, all the time. Really dense people, and Rat Shack was there taking advantage of everyone's tech confusion. Then I got too good at what I did, and the District Manager thought I could boost sales at any store I went to. So he'd send me around, my customer base would follow, sales would go up, a month later I'd be in a new store. Ad nauseam. I couldn't take it any more. Having to scramble, having to constantly one up and stab co-workers in the back to garner sales just to get by. No, I didn't mind the lying, cheating, scamming, which was par for the Radio Shack course- they made me into that, and I didn't have any moral issues (other than when they told me after my first huge sale that the sale is legal, but those guys couldn't bring their CB's legally back to their country, that upset me). I simply didn't like the unpredictable nature of pay: one week I'm high, the next I'm less high (always on commish, but minimum commish was the equivalent of $5/hour then).

And zero farking respect, just deliver deliver deliver. Have to study for your next product exam? Oh, too bad, sell shiat.

What a fun bit of reminiscing; the job I garnered the very day I left home. It was, without any doubt, an education on the ways of the world, of people, that I still hold true today. The whole experience reminds me of the movie Waiting, but sans restaurant. My roommate had a college degree, and was working at the first store where I got my job. I introduced her to her husband. All of us partied together after work- there are nights I don't remember how I got home, much less made it to work the next day. You could, and would, meet equally attractive people in other dead end professions and have unsatisfying drunk sex with them (young lady my age that worked in Men's Shoes at a local Mall comes immediately to mind). Geriatric customers trying to attack you, fists flying, then coming back the next day to be your best friend and spend $8,000 in cash to make it up, and ensuring you had booze money for weeks.

If you didn't know all the specs of a product: bullshiat it. Ask questions, find the chink in their armor, then chisel the sale home. Close close close. People are bad, people are dumb, they love being both, so take their money.

Definite lessons on society. Great times. Sad to see it's not a party/educational experience any longer.
2014-08-13 01:23:50 AM  
2 votes:
I worked at RadioShack for two years, so I'm having a hoot at all you people saying their parts bins suck. RadioShack hasn't cared about those parts bins for the past twenty years - they don't make money. When I was there 2009-2011 - it was all about shoving cell phones down customers throats. Buying a battery? Want a cell phone? Buying XM Radio? Hey, how about a phone. Buying a cell phone? Hey, you want another cell phone? You had strict time limits to greet and engage with customers, and the sales aspect for cell phones were way more high pressure then you could imagine. Within my time I saw no less than five employees fired for failing to meet cell phone targets - despite my store having zero customers come in. Seriously, we'd close some days with $0.00 in sales, sometimes negative if we had a return.

We were also encouraged to lie and deceive, we'd sell you an SD card for your phone while sticking the one that came with the phone in the drawer. And better check you're receipt, because they'd stick that $1 charge for LiceSTRONG despite you saying no and not at least getting the band. The only way the company is surviving is the paltry amount of phones it sells and marketing bundles from collecting your information. I absolutely hated the company, worked with some cool people, but after being told to upsell, upsell, upsell to absolutely nobody I left.
2014-08-13 12:10:40 AM  
2 votes:

Fark like a Barsoomian: They need to go back to their roots: being the place for all the little cheap things you need for hardware hacking.


I agree, it's tough to find a local place that carries parts for electronics I plan to build. Lately RadioShack is like CompUSA in the 90's... The "Sorry, we don't carry that anymore" store.
2014-08-12 11:44:13 PM  
2 votes:
Dominant CE sales by decade and impact on legacy retailers:

1980s: VCRs, CD boom :)
1990s: DVD, camcorder, PC, portable audio boom :)
2000s: Ultra powerful gaming consoles, digital imaging, GPS, digital flat TV and dumb cell phone boom (Blu-ray sorta flops) :)
2010: Smart phones wipe out standalone MP3, digital imaging, portable DVD, handheld gaming, e-readers and GPS and are basically de facto cash registers for the companies that build the OS, other software or subsidize the device. :(
2014-08-12 11:21:18 PM  
2 votes:
Mock as you will, but they are one of the last stores I have seen with true customer service for electronics needs. Everything else is a "get online and figure it out yourself" motto.

Maybe they are dying for a lack of customers, fine, but it is not because it is the right thing. There will always be people who just need help and the big box stores do not seem to give a fark.
2014-08-12 11:17:29 PM  
2 votes:
I have never understood how they have managed to hang on as long as they have.

I suspect in a few years Gamestop is going to be the next "Radio Shack."
2014-08-13 01:11:48 PM  
1 vote:

People_are_Idiots: enry: Mudboy: People_are_Idiots: Fark like a Barsoomian: They need to go back to their roots: being the place for all the little cheap things you need for hardware hacking.

I agree, it's tough to find a local place that carries parts for electronics I plan to build. Lately RadioShack is like CompUSA in the 90's... The "Sorry, we don't carry that anymore" store.

Every time I go in, it is less Radio and more Crap Shack.  Can't even get DIY kits to get people interested in learning more electronics. They forgot who their customers were and deserve to go out of business

They carry some good Arduino gear now.  It's overpriced but if you need something now and don't want to wait for the slow boat from China, it's a good alternative.

Hint the word: Overpriced. If you need wire, any wire will do.

/don't buy name brands
//The More You Know


Wire I have.  Toggle switches?  Specific resistor?  Potentiometer?  Diode?  Relay?  If I'm building something now I'm not going to wait two weeks to get it from dx or pay more for shipping than the item costs if I get it domestically.  I'll go to Radio Shack and pay the premium to get it now.

/or drive to You Do It, but that's at least an hour trip.  Radio Shack is a mile away.
2014-08-13 11:03:57 AM  
1 vote:
I am a bit of a gadget nut, and technology/electronics have always been a huge part of my life.

Things that contributed to Radio Shack's struggles:
* Electronic Component sales
   I miss the days of being able to go in to get an IC, Relay, sensor or switch without wait.
   But a larger contributor to selling those parts in store was that in the 70s and 80s, and
   even through most of the 90s, a lot of devices were still made with parts that were easily
   replacable by a good technician. I actually have a TV made in 2010 that had a power supply
   board fail, and it was only a few solder joints to replace a transformer. That used to be
   the case most times. Today, it's rare. This TV also had a failing inverter, which instead
   of replacing the one inverter that died, the manufacturer sells an inverter board already
   pre-assembled for about $30. Cheaper than the cost of the inverter itself off-board.
  
   You also don't have kids getting into building circuits like you used to. Mostly because
   the days of manually building circuits is over, and kids are more often more fascinated
   by smartphones.
  
* Radio Sales
   I am not talking stereos, but radios. Radio Shack used to be the one-stop two-way radio
   shop. Yes, there is still a market for these type devices, but it's not the booming
   business it used to be. Truck drivers, OHV drivers in more remote areas, and hunters,
   all still make up a large portion of the two-way radio market today. I being one who
   goes off-roading in my Jeep in an area where no cell towers are around, it has come
   in handy having a cheap CB Radio more times than not where my phone was useless. Today,
   most of those individuals can find radios in specialty shops like a sporting goods or
   offroading store. They don't go to Radio Shack anymore for them if they go to a store
   at all.
  
* Audiophile Radio
   This is where they messed up. As another poster noted, most of what RS sold was actually
   someone else's device, rebranded, and then marked up. A lot of people caught on to this
   a long time ago. I noticed it back in the 80s. When you see the same shape, sound, etc,.
   where only the name and sticker on the back is different, you tend to go for the cheaper
   of the two if you don't care about having an "American" name on the front of your product.
  
* Toys/Holiday Sales
    This was also a stupid move on RS's part: Holidays would come around, and they would
 sell RC cars, video games, etc., but none of them really wholly fit into the Radio
 Shack image. It was more of a 'lets buy the cheap stuff from Toys R Us, and resell
 it.
 
* Add to it all the pushing for commission sales, questionable practices, and even
  some really bad marketing, and it has really cost them their image all around.
 
 
So after thinking about today's market, and how Radio Shack could not only survive, but
be a leader to regain some headway, here are my suggestions:
Shortest Path from where they are today:
Today, Radio Shack is more centered around the mobile device market. Phones and accesories.
The problem is that they are conforming to the established model. in the US, you generally have only a few cell phone options: Contract/Subsidized, and pay-as-you-go limited to a single carrier. in both models, the phone selection is ridiculously limited as well.
Anyone who has gone overseas has seen actual Nokia, Motorola and even Sony retail stores that sell unlocked, unmodified, and carrier-independent phones. in the US however, carriers offer phones 'off contract', but it's only a few select phones. To go outside the menial offerings in carrier stores, you are limited to online, and for some phones, having to  order them from outside the US.
Radio Shack could take this to the next level and be the brick-and-mortar showroom  for all the phones carriers do not make available here, and be a prime reseller for the prepaid/pay-as-you-go service plans. They have enough locations today that with little change to their structure today, they could EASILY pull this  off. They would have an instant preference over the local mom & pop shops that try to do this since they are already national and established as well.
Second Hardest Path: Moving from Mobile to Personal Devices One of the most interesting things I see is how Apple stores sell their phones, cases, some speaker boxes, and even some fitness bands and such. However,  when you step outside the iOS world into devices that are not as limited, you don't find a one-stop shop for everything. Radio Shack could be a game changer here. Move beyond the audio/video and toys accessories and move into the more useful stuff like home automation, home security, and limit it to those that are mobile device integrated (like Insteon).
Third Hardest Path: Expand into the Professional Devices Model Most phones are classified as 'consumer' devices. However, there are ruggedized phones, and a long list of accessories for smartphones that cater to the DIY and professional groups beyond simple music and toys. Auto Mechanics, HVAC techs, construction, and more have devices out there to extend mobile devices to be useful in their trades, but finding them can sometimes be a pain. RS could pull these together and not only make those more apparent, but also be the one-stop shop for those professionals.
Ideally, Radio shack should work on one of the above, but also maybe have a single "master store" in each market with all the other devices, components, etc. They could push being the go-to stop for Pi/Arduino projects, educational resources, and be an entirely different company from the 'just another mobile phone store' model they seem to be in today.
2014-08-13 09:27:00 AM  
1 vote:
Radio Shack's catch phrase: "You've got questions? We've got blank looks!"

I was in a local parts house (surplus and new parts, the way Radio Shack and Crabtrees used to be) and a customer mentioned to his daughter that this is what Radio Shack used to be. His daughter, in the 10 to 12 year old range, asked "What's Radio Shack?" They were there buying parts for her robotics project.
2014-08-13 08:47:01 AM  
1 vote:
Remember these?
img.fark.net
2014-08-13 08:12:45 AM  
1 vote:

italie: chitownmike: bibli0phile: Mock as you will, but they are one of the last stores I have seen with true customer service for electronics needs. Everything else is a "get online and figure it out yourself" motto.

Maybe they are dying for a lack of customers, fine, but it is not because it is the right thing. There will always be people who just need help and the big box stores do not seem to give a fark.

I have never been in a radio shack that had anything approaching ok customer service. Stopped in one a few years because I was in the market for a new phone and it was on my way to the train. After looking at their phones a sales person approaches me asking what I am looking for and pushing me toward expensive  models that I could get a great deal on if I sign a service contract. When I told him that I was not interested in signing a contract he looked at me blankly and said 'well then there is nothing else I can help you with' and walked away. fark them!

I was in a pinch one Sunday, needed IC sockets and flux remover for a PCB repair. Didn't have time to make it all the way to Frys, so I gave them a try.

Clerk: "Can I help you?"
Me: "I need IC Sockets and flux remover, can't seem to find them."
Clerk: "I'm not familiar with either of those. Can you describe them?"
Me: "Sockets...for ICs, and remover...for flux."
Clerk: "Yeah, not ringing a bell. Want me to check the computer?"
Me: ~walks out~


So Mrs. Zroop decided she wanted to get a Raspberry Pi to mess with. She didn't want to wait around. The only place in town that we thought might have one was Radio Shack, so she called.

Mrs Z: "Do you carry Raspberry Pi"
Clerk: "No, this is a Radio Shack"
Mrs Z: "Right. So do you know what a raspery Pi is?"
Clerk: "It's a pie, with raspberries."
Mrs Z: "Well, sort of, but it's also a little tiny computer for projects and stuff"
Clerk: "No, we don't have one."

We didn't believe him since he sounded stupid, so we drove down to look. There was an entire shelf section right in the middle of the store, floor to nipple height, dedicated to Raspberry Pi and Arduino, with kits, books, expansion bits, etc.

It really seems like this is exactly the kind of market that Radio Shack should expand on. That, and come on, if you are a sales person at a store, pay attention to what you have in the store, you know, so you can sell it.
2014-08-13 07:31:03 AM  
1 vote:
Remember when Radio Shack sold stuff you needed/wanted?


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


/I could spend hours and hours browsing those catalogs...
2014-08-13 03:01:22 AM  
1 vote:
Are they going to sell electronic components, and have sales people who actually know what each and every one of those components is/does?

/dnrta
2014-08-13 01:12:40 AM  
1 vote:

People_are_Idiots: Fark like a Barsoomian: They need to go back to their roots: being the place for all the little cheap things you need for hardware hacking.

I agree, it's tough to find a local place that carries parts for electronics I plan to build. Lately RadioShack is like CompUSA in the 90's... The "Sorry, we don't carry that anymore" store.


sad to say that's what i got told too. that and too much of what they do have is monster cable type crap with corresponding prices.
2014-08-13 01:02:06 AM  
1 vote:

Fark like a Barsoomian: They need to go back to their roots: being the place for all the little cheap things you need for hardware hacking.


That's just it.  The customer base knowledgeable enough and interested enough to market to is constantly shrinking. Solderers unite!
2014-08-13 12:46:38 AM  
1 vote:

bibli0phile: Mock as you will, but they are one of the last stores I have seen with true customer service for electronics needs. Everything else is a "get online and figure it out yourself" motto.

Maybe they are dying for a lack of customers, fine, but it is not because it is the right thing. There will always be people who just need help and the big box stores do not seem to give a fark.


I respectfully disagree.  Their employees are hired based on cost, not on electronics expertise.  It has been that way for a long time.

I'm not saying that you can't find a unique/niche store with a tube tester hidden in the back (gawd, I'm old) - but many years ago Radio Shack fell off of my list of viable sources of parts OR information.

They fell off after several sad visits where they didn't have basic parts and their employees didn't know anything.  I'm not talking about some random IC or transisitor.  I'm talking about basics like relays and audio cables.

People who need help aren't just stuck with "get online and figure it out" - forums are a great source of help.  Someone that would be helpful at Radio Shack is probably doling out help online in a forum somewhere.

monoprice.com for cables, mouser electronics for parts, forums for help, and google for diagrams.
2014-08-13 12:16:33 AM  
1 vote:

chitownmike: bibli0phile: Mock as you will, but they are one of the last stores I have seen with true customer service for electronics needs. Everything else is a "get online and figure it out yourself" motto.

Maybe they are dying for a lack of customers, fine, but it is not because it is the right thing. There will always be people who just need help and the big box stores do not seem to give a fark.

I have never been in a radio shack that had anything approaching ok customer service. Stopped in one a few years because I was in the market for a new phone and it was on my way to the train. After looking at their phones a sales person approaches me asking what I am looking for and pushing me toward expensive  models that I could get a great deal on if I sign a service contract. When I told him that I was not interested in signing a contract he looked at me blankly and said 'well then there is nothing else I can help you with' and walked away. fark them!


I was in a pinch one Sunday, needed IC sockets and flux remover for a PCB repair. Didn't have time to make it all the way to Frys, so I gave them a try.

Clerk: "Can I help you?"
Me: "I need IC Sockets and flux remover, can't seem to find them."
Clerk: "I'm not familiar with either of those. Can you describe them?"
Me: "Sockets...for ICs, and remover...for flux."
Clerk: "Yeah, not ringing a bell. Want me to check the computer?"
Me: ~walks out~
2014-08-13 12:08:59 AM  
1 vote:
I hate Radio Shack with a passion. They completely turned their back on their customer base to jump into the cell phone market and now that they can no longer compete they're trying desperately to court the 'maker' market. They added some Arduinos and kits from Make magazine but it's all overpriced and the sales staff has no idea what any of it does. I go there in emergencies but I buy most everything direct from Chinese distributors. Rat Shack gets $2 for 5 resistors. The Chinese sell a couple of hundred for the same price with free shipping.
fark Radio Shack.
2014-08-13 12:00:28 AM  
1 vote:

bibli0phile: Mock as you will, but they are one of the last stores I have seen with true customer service for electronics needs. Everything else is a "get online and figure it out yourself" motto.

Maybe they are dying for a lack of customers, fine, but it is not because it is the right thing. There will always be people who just need help and the big box stores do not seem to give a fark.


I have never been in a radio shack that had anything approaching ok customer service. Stopped in one a few years because I was in the market for a new phone and it was on my way to the train. After looking at their phones a sales person approaches me asking what I am looking for and pushing me toward expensive  models that I could get a great deal on if I sign a service contract. When I told him that I was not interested in signing a contract he looked at me blankly and said 'well then there is nothing else I can help you with' and walked away. fark them!
2014-08-12 11:52:32 PM  
1 vote:

jsmilky: Radio Shack is an institution.  no mall should be without one.


Problem is, malls are also dying off.
2014-08-12 11:40:46 PM  
1 vote:

DON.MAC: For a while they also ended up buying many strip malls.


So that explains why a while back I saw several Radio Shacks converted into Tandy Leather stores. If they owned the shopping center and couldn't find a new tenant, might as well fill it with one of their other retail lines.
2014-08-12 11:36:16 PM  
1 vote:
Radio Shack long ago put their employees in adversarial positions with their customers. It started when they demanded your telephone number to buy anything, even a single battery. And while the stores have long operated on commission, it was only in the last ten or fifteen years that they went bat shait crazy with it which lead to customer harassment. That started around the time they got into the extended warranty game. Going into Radio Shack became an experience not all that unlike walking down a dark alleyway filled with hobos while carrying a case of Night Train. Is it any surprise that people only go to Radio Shack as a last resort?
2014-08-12 11:35:57 PM  
1 vote:
About 5 years ago they should have introduced TRS-80 3d printer.  But they didn't.

In the 80s their parts inventory was mostly a marketing ploy to look like they were technically competent because non-technical people would never guess than 99% of what is on the wall was either useless or bubble packed surplus that wasn't quite what it claimed to be on the package.  They started out selling radio parts when  tube radios needed parts changed about as often as light bulbs.  Then came the "cheap transistor equipment" days with hand held cheap radios.  Next came the CB days.  After that followed the TRS-80 days when them and Apple were competing for small business computer business that was very profitable until they too too much money away from IBM's expensive computers and they got in the game with a machine just slightly better than the TRS-80 model 4.  Had Radio Shack dropped the price of Model 16 to under the price of the XT, there would be no PC market as we know it today.  After that, they were in to cell phones.  There next market has to be something people have to go to the store for.  Maybe an after hours pickup for Amazon or something because people don't need to go to stores anymore.

One other odd point about Radio Shack is they convinced lots of malls to give them long term discounts on rent as a way to encourage couples to visit the mall.  They even provided reports showing that women spend more at malls when their husbands got to buy something too.  I've heard that some were paying $1/month rent or no cut on sales that clothing stores often paid.  For a while they also ended up buying many strip malls.
2014-08-12 11:22:00 PM  
1 vote:

Glitchwerks: I have never understood how they have managed to hang on as long as they have.

I suspect in a few years Gamestop is going to be the next "Radio Shack."


I worked there for a few years in the 90's... It was often said that the money made during the CB boom of the 70's was what kept the company going for decades... They also had a hit with the Tandy 1000s, at one point it was the most popular computer in America... But without some niche market that requires lots of accessories and return visits they have nothing left to offer, in my opinion... It seems that they banked on cell phones being that market and they were wrongs...
2014-08-12 09:52:59 PM  
1 vote:
When Radio Shack became a midget version of Frys/Best Buy/hhgregg, what did they expect their customer base to do?
 
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