Radio Shack in the U.S. apparently going out of business

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Garth
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Radio Shack in the U.S. apparently going out of business

Post by Garth » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:11 pm

Radio Shack in the U.S. seems to be going out of business. I remember they were having trouble a year or two ago and closed a lot of stores and turned other ones into combination RS/Sprint stores; but now the one near us is closing, and I just went to the website and it says "Clearance sale up to 60% off" so I ordered ten more of the 276-170 solder-type breadboards I use so much for analog circuits to have on hand, and a few more of the 276-168B. Shipping is free, at least for my $25 order. (It might not be for smaller orders.)
RS276-170.jpg
RS276-170.jpg (31.87 KiB) Viewed 5475 times
RS276-168B-350.jpg
RS276-168B-350.jpg (46.73 KiB) Viewed 5475 times
It's sad what has happened to the electronics hobby over the last few decades. It seems like we've discussed this before, but I can't find it. In 1975 when we came to the city I'm still living in now, I was a teenager and especially interested in amateur radio and stereo, and there were quite a lot of electronics stores of different kinds within bike-riding distance. The closest one, less than a mile away, was privately owned and not part of a chain, but had a load of components and tools and things which to me were just the cat's meow. The local high school and the local community college taught electronics and had amateur radio clubs too, and there were plenty of others of us hobbyists bringing in floor traffic. Gradually the schools quit teaching electronics, hobbyists either got discouraged with all the SMT stuff or took to the convenience of just buying everything cheaply, throwing it out when it went south, never building their own, etc.. The big-box stores undercut everyone in pricing for TVs and stereos. The TV-repair business dried up too, because SMT made things cheaper to produce and nearly impossible to fix. Eventually the owner of this shop found himself doing only the distributor part of the business which he could do on the phone and get things drop-shipped, and he could do that from his house, so he closed the shop.

Of the other shops nearby, some were surplus and carried electronics from WWII and cold-war-era equipment. There's not much interest in that anymore. Most shops sold at least some new parts. Today that business, what's left of it, has gone to internet sales. So many of the local stores are gone, and now Radio Shack too (although it has not been as suitable for electronics hobbyists anyway in recent years).

I'm glad to be able to pick up the phone with credit card in hand and order from Jameco, Mouser, Digi-Key, etc., or even order on eBay; but in spite of the hundreds of thousands of parts I have at home, I still occasionally find myself urgently needing something, and I don't want to wait for shipping. It would be nice to still have stores nearby that I could go to.
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Chuckt
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Re: Radio Shack in the U.S. apparently going out of business

Post by Chuckt » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:05 pm

Radio Shack has lost the CB radio market to cell phones, the TV antenna market to cable and the computer market to other larger companies without replacing these markets.

Radio Shack sales people make it uncomfortable for shoppers like me to shop because they hone in on me and it is very uncomfortable because there are bookstores and convenience stores that leave their customers alone. I can't even find a worker at some of the home improvement stores to bother me. If you call their corporate office, the opposite is true. I can't get anyone to help me. And there is also a lack of responsiveness from Radio Shack to do what the customer wants which is why shoe stores like Payless are closing because you don't force products on the customer that you won't wear or aren't going to buy.

Radio Shack sells products with high and obsolete prices so I would only shop there for convenience and I'm not going to shop there for 25 cent resistors. I also suspected that Radio Shack was getting their boards the same place that Seeed Studio was getting theirs. The reality is that Radio Shack had two cabinets for Electronic Parts in my local Radio Shack before they left the mall and the parts didn't move which means no one was buying or restocking them. Even their Parallax products were more expensive than if I bought them directly from Parallax. Another thing was that Radio Shack never hired anyone in my locality with any experience in hobby electronics that could tell me anything.


I remember one bookstore in the mall had an article in the paper tell why they are closing. They only made less than a hundred dollar profit for a year and they did business. The malls sent out people doing surveys and customers were all too happy to do the surveys so the malls know how to charge us more by knowing how much rent to charge the stores. The survey people found out how much money people made, how much people spend on an average shopping trip, etc. They remind me how venture capitalists operate. If you ever wanted to do business in a mall, you have to be in bed with them basically. You get fined for opening late, you get fined for closing early and you have to pay double the rent on holidays. The malls can move you and there was a pet store that was doing the business that went out of business and had to declare bankruptcy because the mall moved them three or four times and every time they have to remodel which can cost a lot of money. Malls are basically being called Energy Suckers and investors are avoiding them. The price of anything you buy depends on what type of rent the store at the mall pays. You would be actually be scared to do business in a mall.

The Amazon phenomenon is taking off and as a result, there are going to be 7,000 to 8,000 brick and mortar stores closing this year because I don't have to leave my house and I can get free shipping.

Kmart and Sears are going to go out of business but the question is when they will close. I don't think they will make it through the year.

Bebe is closing all its stores, the latest casualty in retail
Bebe is closing all its stores, the latest brick-and-mortar retailer to get dumped by customers who would rather shop with their phones than their feet.
http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/21/news/co ... ng-stores/


Brick-and-Mortar Stores Are Shuttering at a Record Pace
Years of overbuilding and the rise of online shopping have come to a head; malls as ‘energy suckers’
https://www.wsj.com/articles/brick-and- ... 1492818818

(Need subsription or sign in to read the article.)

Garth
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Re: Radio Shack in the U.S. apparently going out of business

Post by Garth » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:33 am

Well said. The Radio Shack closest to me is in a shopping center that's not a mall, but I know malls are extra bad for renters. The previous closest one was at a mall, but that mall had an awful lot of empty spaces, probably because of the high rent and penalties and so on, and it got torn down. Same with yet another one nearby. These malls were very pleasant places to go, but I wouldn't set up shop there. These investors get so greedy they become blind to what's good for them and what's not.

I also didn't like that the 20-year-olds in ties (I don't know if they're still required to wear a tie) would practically attack me at the door as I came in and ask what they can help me find, delaying me. I usually said, "I know right where it is," or I'd even give the catalog number (which was meaningless to them). Sometimes I wanted to say, "I've been shopping at Radio Shack for 43 years (ie, twice as long as you've been alive)" but that's a bit confrontational.
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Re: Radio Shack in the U.S. apparently going out of business

Post by brad » Thu May 04, 2017 8:52 pm

I do remember talking about this sort of thing a while back. I may have brought it up when Dick Smith Electronics went from being a hobby electronics store, to your standard tv / entertainment / computer store.

I used to get all sorts of electronic kits and parts and tools etc... from Dick Smith. There were stores all around Australia. A few years ago they completely emptied the shelves of the hobby electronics gear and now, they have completely gone out of business. Another store bought the naming rights and only sell online now - but it's still just home electronics like tv's etc.

I do appreciate how cheap I can get components online and how easy it is to get some PCB's made in China etc. however this has come at a great cost - basically just as you have described above.

Garth
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Re: Radio Shack in the U.S. apparently going out of business

Post by Garth » Wed May 31, 2017 2:00 pm

They're auctioning off some old stock they found. Neat stuff. Take a look: https://ubidestates.hibid.com/catalog/1 ... uction--1/
I see they have TRS-80 model 100 and 102 portable computers with the high bid so far being in the $30's, radio equipment, other stuff.

The address:
RadioShack 900 Terminal Rd
Ft. Worth, TX 76106
might have been a curse. :lol:
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Re: Radio Shack in the U.S. apparently going out of business

Post by brad » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:04 am

They've even got an acoustic coupler! I wonder what the baud rate is on that thing :)

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Re: Radio Shack in the U.S. apparently going out of business

Post by Garth » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:47 pm

Who Killed RadioShack?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYdtsfFTRQY

The Decline of RadioShack...What Happened?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFivtOmXPPM
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Re: Radio Shack in the U.S. apparently going out of business

Post by brad » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:35 pm

I had always wondered how/why postage from China was so cheap. Electronics stores in Australia have gone the same way unfortunately.

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