It is really bad to see how Radioshack is fading away. Here in Westchester county, near NY they are shutting down stores that once were filled with curious people like me that were looking for items that I was unable to find elsewhere in other stores. The spikes in rents and the monopoly of Amazon palyed a big role in all this.
It's a shame you seem to be so dismissive of a business that provided a great service over many years and helped many to become part of the elctronics industry.
Radio Shack provided some of the best electronic kits that were available. They were not cheap, but they provided every detail, evey thing you needed and educated builders of their kits in great detail. If you got stuck, they were there to help.
Many young kids became part of the electronics industry and went to College or University to pursue a career in electronics because of the initial interest that they helped create and foster.
Maybe they've lost their way, but there are many that do that. Maybe they might find it again. It might be all over in your mind, but I'm sure it isn't in theirs. I guess that's why they are considering what they are going to do.
Many years after the tube testers disappeared, I read that any Radio Shack could obtain for you just about any vacuum tube in existence. Apparently they had some sort of service where someone at Radio Shack's HQ would call around until they found one. I wondered whether they could find unusual radio transmitter tubes (Eimac, ceramic, or Phasitrons?), but never found out. It might have been fun to try.
Sorry, but you don't have a proper Radio Shack story or comments unless you mention the venerable tube testers they used to have, along with a good stock of the "lifetime" vacuum tubes with the gold plated contacts. I can still picture the gold pins :).
Way back when (yes, I'm dating myself) televisions primarily used vacuum tubes for the active components, Radio Shack did a brisk business in tube testing and selling replacement tubes to the do-it-yourself repair dads.
I haven't even seen so much as a picture of one of their tube testers in ages.
These days when hardly anything is easily repairable, the unique value of Radio Shack is long gone, so all they do now is compete with a confused mix of other stores. The only things I've bought there in the last two decades is a new thermal fuse for a rice maker and an electromagnetics learning kit for a teacher.
The Coolidge Corner area is still quite vibrant despite several empty storefronts. Of course, having four frozen yogurt bars was a bit much. It's down to one, with another really being more ice cream so it has always done well. Areas like this are getting more restaurants. The hardware stores are long gone, though there are a few within a short distance. Here's now an abundance of artisan pizza places. Having a Trader Joes helps bring people to the area.
Radio Shack was important to me as a kid in rural Indiana. It was the only place I knew of to get 555s, 74LS chips, resistors, etc. I had to wait until we made a trip to the "big" city so I could buy parts and Forrest Mims notebooks. But that was a long time ago and I haven't been to one of the stores since my formative years. If I needed any parts now I would just order them. I even order toilet paper now. This is why retail shops are hurting.
The Coolidge Corner building where the now closed Radio Shack was located is the S.S. Pierce Building, orginally home to the food distributor. After that, I housed Software Tool & Die, the first company to offer public internet service. My first internet accout was there, domain world.std.com. The company's web site hasn't been updated in years, making me wonder if they still are operating. I gave them up when DSL came along becuase they only offered dialup access. Looke like you can still get diapup, but why?
The SS Pierce Building appears in three photos in the Coolidge Corner link above.