If you're anything like me, you probably spent an uncounted number of hours hanging out at Radio Shack in your teens and early 20's. Sad to say that Memorial Day weekend was the end of the line for this once great electronics industry giant:
Well it's not quite goodbye yet, but it's a bit surprising that it's taken this long. They've had problems going back to at least the 80's. Remember the TRaSh80? How about the IBM Compatible computers that weren't really IBM Compatible? Why did you have to give them your name, address and phone number to buy a pack of batteries?
I find it amusing that they still use the "you've got questions, we've got answers" slogan. It's was usually more like "you've got questions, we've got blank stares." A few years ago I went into one looking for thermal paste. I knew they had it. Guy had no idea what I was talking about. "We've got some computer parts stuff over here" was what I got. He was staring at the wall and I was the one who recognized what it was and picked it up. Have you seen that "Big Bang Theory" episode where Sheldon starts giving computer advice? He would have been in heaven working at Radio Shack.
It was great to be able to geek out at the local Radio Shack over the cool gadgets and gizmos, but with E-Commerce that's really not needed anymore. Geeks were the first ones the go online and that should have sent a signal to them that they were in real trouble. It's easy to grow like crazy when you're the only game in town, but you can't sustain that. AOL and Blockbuster had the same problem and ended up the same way as a footnote (or punchline) in history. Other companies would be wise to pay attention to that.
Interesting that you should mention the TRS-80. That's one of the items listed in Radio Shack's memorabilia auctions of items from their HQ in Fort Worth.
I agree that "Rat Shack" started declining about 20-25 years ago when they began hiring high school and college kids to work for minimum wage instead of the older, more experienced sales clerks who had much better product knowledge. I used to frequent the store on 21st & Harrison in Ogden specifically because of the sales staff, but that location closed at least 10 years ago. Some of the sales people from the 21st ST store transferred to the Harrisville Radio Shack, so I enjoyed shopping there for a few years until they started hiring sales "droids" that knew less about their product line than I did. From the reading I've done it seems that Radio Shack will still have an online presence, it's just the majority of the brick and mortar stores that are gone. I seriously can't remember when the last time was that I was in a Radio Shack. When I need capacitors, tubes or other components to repair the tube radios in my collection, it's just less hassle to buy them on eBay, Mouser Electronics, or Antique Electronic Supply. Even Amateur Electronic Supply (AES Ham) merged with Ham Radio Outlet a couple years ago.
Last Edit: Jun 1, 2017 11:49:17 GMT -7 by David: grammar
The Radio Shack near me in West Jordan closed a few months ago. During its liquidation sale, Among other things, I bought a transitor just so my 13 year old daughter could see what one looked like. She knew from school that a computer CPU chip contained millions of transitors, but the curriculum overlooked teaching exactly what a transitor was, or what they do.
I have fond memories of buying patch cords from Radio Shack to create cassette mix tapes from audio records.
I can match that. I built a normalized patch bay (from scratch) with mostly parts from Rat Shack. The only parts that weren't were the enclosure parts. I still have the parts somewhere. That was a beast.