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RadioShack: The End Is Nigh!

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kfield
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Re: I'll still miss it
kfield   9/30/2014 5:28:50 PM
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 @SusanRambo "We have a small commercial strip that mostly has nail salons and restaurants."

Amen. On the commercial street that is closest to my house in East Cambridge MA, i need more than ten fingers to count all the nail salons that have opened up. Barber shops are pretty much in evidence too, although I thnk they funciton more like social clubs. I'm losing hope that we are going to ever get much else, much less a small electronics store!

David Ashton
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Re: Bricks-and-mortar
David Ashton   9/30/2014 5:13:49 PM
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@antedeluvian... "My favourite Flanders & Swann is The Hippopotamus Song"

Mine is the Gnu song.... gotta get to work so google or you tube if you need.  There was a great version of it on the Muppet show as well.

Duane Benson
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Already gone
Duane Benson   9/30/2014 4:04:10 PM
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I was saddened when I first started reading threads about the likely demise of RadioShack. Upon further reflection, I'm thinking that it's really about time. They once were great, but for a very long time, they've been lost and on the wrong path. The real surprise is that they've lasted this long.

The RadioShack of today is very far from the hobbyist meca, with tubes, transistors and capacitors, that filled an important need. It's a long way from the TRS-80, CoCo and Model 100 days. Those were great innovations. But then came the Tandy 1000.

Today's RadioShack has some of the right products - Arduino and Vex, for example - but not an atmosphere conducive to selling them. People shopping for cell phones don't want to buy them from a "geek place." People buying hobby electroncis don't want to hang out in a cell phone store.

Maybe they can be saved. Maybe not. But what they are today needs to go regardless. There still is a glimmer of potential, but the required changes are probably far too redical for them.



mikekirschner
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Re: I'll still miss it
mikekirschner   9/29/2014 3:34:52 PM
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Well Susan, I think we live in the same neighborhood! I have occasionally walked into that Shadio Rack (as I once heard it referred to by hams in the 1970s, back when I would bring tubes in for testing and replacement!) and, more times than not, failed to find what I was looking for. It's OK for very, very common objects like 1/4" stereo jacks but I don't want to pay so much for cables, etc. RS lost its way long ago. I'm shocked that the store still exists every time I walk by it (and shocked that they even bothered to re-open it after a fire in an upstairs unit severely damaged the building, which shut it for months and months).

There is quite honestly no reason for such a store to exist. You can buy electronic components online much cheaper (100 2N2222 transistors for $4...how the heck do you beat that if you're RS and intent on selling a single unit for $2 or more?) with free delivery (thank you Amazon). They can't compete with the cell phone stores or with anyone that sells electronics of any sort, on both price and knowledge - the seem to hire people with no knowledge of electronics whatsoever. Even BestBuy has better trained employees. I just have no reason to go there...ever.

But I do fear that, once it closes, it will be replaced by another utterly useless bank, nail salon, or real estate office.

Susan Rambo
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I'll still miss it
Susan Rambo   9/27/2014 10:25:45 AM
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Even though Radio Shack is a shadow of its former self, I will still miss it. It's great to have a little electronics store in my neighborhood. We have a small commercial strip that mostly has nail salons and restaurants. We lost our hardware store (the store manager retired) and now sounds like RadioShack's days are numbered. It seems to me if you live in residential neighborhood that isn't very close to the center of your town's commercial district, it would be ideal to have a small neighborhood commercial strip with a small grocery store, a hardware store, a mail center or post office, a florist, a locksmith (which my neighborhood stip has) and an electronics store. (And of course, one or two nail salons and restaurants.)

C VanDorne
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CEO
Yeah, but did anybody...
C VanDorne   9/26/2014 2:13:54 PM
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...see their Superbowl commercial?  It was simply the best!

Enjoy!

astromatt
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Rookie
Parting is sweet sorrow
astromatt   9/26/2014 10:22:32 AM
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I miss the Radio Shack of days past. I grew tired of going in and the attempts to sell me a cell phone when all I wanted was to pick up some components. I was also saddened when I would ask if they would have any of a particular component to have a sales person not have any understanding of what I was asking for. I switched to other sellers years ago. Goodbye Radio Shack. It was great while it lasted.

seaEE
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CEO
Bring back the free battery club card
seaEE   9/23/2014 12:15:24 AM
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What brought me to Radio Shack more often than nought was the free battery club card. 

DMcCunney
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CEO
This is not a surprise
DMcCunney   9/22/2014 6:58:25 PM
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I've been watching this coming for a while.

Radio Shack's problem isn't unique to Radio Shack, and is a general issue affecting all most all "brick and mortar" retailers.  If you can order whatever it is online and have it shipped, why go to a store?  Increasingly, you don't.

I go to Radio Shack once in a while, and I've watched their product mix and ability shift.  I think there may still be one close to me that actually has some of the components they built thier original business on, with an employee who actually knows something about them.  The rest are selling generic consumer electronics and electronic toys, and the staff seems mostly interested in selling you a cell phone contract.  There is simply no way Radio Shack can survive doing that.

The reason I went to a Radio Shack in the first place was I needed a particular gadget now, and Radio Shack might have it and I'd be able to buy and bring it home that day, instead of ordering and waiting several days for delivery.  More recently, Cleveland based computer retailer Micro Center opened a store in my area that carries everything. It's a subway ride rather than a walk, but it's still same day.  I won't miss Radio Shack.

I see a couple of possible outcomes for Radio Shack.  Bankruptcy is almost a certainty, with the question whether it will be a Chapter 11 restructure or a Chapter 7 liquidation.

If it's Chapter 11, one thing I expect is a dramatic downsizing of their retail footprint.  They have too many unprofitable stores, but retailers tend to have long term leases you don't just walk away from. One of the reasons for a retail chain bankruptcy is precisely because it will let them break long term leases.

A different alternative might be what Computerland did: convert to an online only presense, and sell via the web.  There's probably a niche market Radio Shack could fill selling the sort of parts that were their traditional business online, but it would be a far smaller operation than what they are now.

Either way, they shrink dramatically or die horribly, and if it's Chapter 7, they die horribly.

It's sad in various ways, but also inevitable.

chrisnfolsom
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Manager
Re: In our small city, they're all we have...
chrisnfolsom   9/22/2014 5:08:14 PM
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Yes for you little guys at the end of the distribution loop it will be a bit tougher...  I was spoiled - have 3 Fry's in the neighborhood and I don't know how many electronics places - hated to loose Quement though...

I think we need to work on a automated distribution system - standardized as with container ships, but small enough to pack in tubes - like to think of it like how the internet works, but with tubes instead of packets...Perhaps with drones as the "last mile"...  You could get anything from anywhere in minutes, hours days...  Then it would not matter where you were, but would kill almost all brick and mortar and copycat franchises as location would mean much much less and we would all be supplied and fed from large distribution hubs - nirvāṇa/dystopia - not sure....

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