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Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:33 AM

 

Radio shacks days are numbered

Whenever I stop by a radio shack, I'm usually the only customer. I always wonder how they stay open


http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/31/news/companies/radioshack-future/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

future is about as bright as the VHS tapes it used to sell.

The chain of 4,000 stores has just $62 million in cash left - a figure that is rapidly approaching zero. Things are so dire that it actually doesn't have enough money to close the 1,100 locations management says it needs to shutter.

Investors, credit rating agencies and the company''s lenders seem to be in agreement that RadioShack's days are numbered.
Even the company's own Super Bowl ad mocked its stores for being decades out of date.

"They have been irrelevant for a long time," said Robin Lewis, CEO of The Robin Report, a retail strategy newsletter. "If they're not the sickest patient in ICU, they're minutes away from being rolled in."


Last month research firm B. Riley & Co. made the unusual move of cutting its price target for RadioShack (RSH) shares from $1 a share -- to $0. Shares of RadioShack (RSH) , hit a record low of 62 cents Thursday after Moody's said it expects RadioShack to run out cash by Fall of 2015.

69 replies, 7183 views

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Arrow 69 replies Author Time Post
Reply Radio shacks days are numbered (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Aug 2014 OP
Sunlei Aug 2014 #1
tridim Aug 2014 #2
IDemo Aug 2014 #3
0rganism Aug 2014 #33
IDemo Aug 2014 #34
0rganism Aug 2014 #41
RKP5637 Aug 2014 #53
IDemo Aug 2014 #56
RKP5637 Aug 2014 #58
MannyGoldstein Aug 2014 #4
Nye Bevan Aug 2014 #9
ProfessorGAC Aug 2014 #36
bhikkhu Aug 2014 #5
gvstn Aug 2014 #46
Nye Bevan Aug 2014 #6
C_U_L8R Aug 2014 #7
Nye Bevan Aug 2014 #10
derby378 Aug 2014 #64
Renew Deal Aug 2014 #8
snooper2 Aug 2014 #16
Renew Deal Aug 2014 #17
snooper2 Aug 2014 #22
Renew Deal Aug 2014 #25
Orrex Aug 2014 #11
SoCalDem Aug 2014 #12
Buns_of_Fire Aug 2014 #18
yeoman6987 Aug 2014 #19
IDemo Aug 2014 #20
JNelson6563 Aug 2014 #26
Liberal_in_LA Aug 2014 #69
Nye Bevan Aug 2014 #39
closeupready Aug 2014 #13
RebelOne Aug 2014 #38
pstokely Aug 2014 #61
CBGLuthier Aug 2014 #14
ChisolmTrailDem Aug 2014 #15
kysrsoze Aug 2014 #23
ChisolmTrailDem Aug 2014 #28
hifiguy Aug 2014 #43
Hoyt Aug 2014 #54
Elwood P Dowd Aug 2014 #57
Hoyt Aug 2014 #59
hifiguy Aug 2014 #60
Rocket_Scientist65 Aug 2014 #32
ProfessorGAC Aug 2014 #37
CBGLuthier Aug 2014 #55
NuclearDem Aug 2014 #30
Baitball Blogger Aug 2014 #21
IDemo Aug 2014 #24
Baitball Blogger Aug 2014 #27
Jackpine Radical Aug 2014 #29
Nye Bevan Aug 2014 #40
Horse with no Name Aug 2014 #31
otohara Aug 2014 #35
Liberal_in_LA Aug 2014 #47
hifiguy Aug 2014 #42
Delphinus Aug 2014 #44
sendero Aug 2014 #45
Hoyt Aug 2014 #62
Garthem Aug 2014 #48
Liberal_in_LA Aug 2014 #49
hrmjustin Aug 2014 #50
JI7 Aug 2014 #51
JI7 Aug 2014 #52
graywarrior Aug 2014 #63
zonkers Aug 2014 #65
Motown_Johnny Aug 2014 #66
lonestarnot Aug 2014 #67
Motown_Johnny Aug 2014 #68

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:41 AM

1. They have a good inventory system. They should place the inventory online & let the closest local

closest local store with inventory in stock, mail to the buyer.

As a temp. job I did their inventory for some stores.

They could place those parts lists online and they could move-out those millions of items from all those locations.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:41 AM

2. I'm shocked they made it through the last decade.

I just stopped by our local independent electronics store yesterday to get a new soldering gun and was blown away by the massive stock... Two jam-packed levels worth! Radio Shack is no longer a serious competitor. I wouldn't miss them at all.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:43 AM

3. Consumer electronics - Amazon and Newegg; electronics parts - DigiKey or Mouser

I was in a Radio Shack for the first time in a decade last month and my experience was the same. This was the go-to place decades ago for electronics hobbyists, but the business model can't compete anymore.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 12:27 PM

33. where are you going to go to get 3 npn2222s, 6 2k resistors, and a handful of LEDs on the fly?

Digikey? Mouser? You need to prototype a single unit overnight, not wait 5 days for a shipment to come in, so where you gonna go? i'll definitely miss Radio Shark, it was my convenience store for certain parts through grad school. There's a couple indy electronics component outlets around, but that's another two hours in traffic and there's a RS on the way home from work -- which one is going to get your project going on time?

Granted, whenever i went in there i was the only one going through their component bins, and the whole store seemed like a ghost town with a large cell phone rack. I really felt for the workers there, i'd pop in, spend a few minutes poking around, and show up at the register with $10-worth of overpriced parts. You could just see the despair in their eyes, "our only customer in 4 hours and he's not here for a phone."

I'm thinking it's not really possible to have a successful business based around catering to the needs of short-on-time EE grad students, although sparkfun does come close...

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #33)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 01:20 PM

34. We have a fair inventory of the standard items already

Any of the pieces required for replacement/repair on our product are on the shelf. The very rare occasions we need anything urgently is generally overnighted from DigiKey. Lots of kits remain from previous projects, and it's all inventoried.

There are two very large R&D labs here in Boise and neither of them relies on the local retail market for emergency parts (yes, I know this directly from work experience). Radar was great for small business and hobbyists while they lasted but they are gone.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #34)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 03:54 PM

41. fair point, if you already work in an electronics lab/shop, you're set

but for those of us who do programming or ECAD by day and cobble together projects by night, which may span a wide variety of ingredients requirements, having a store nearby that stocked the basics so we didn't need to is/was pretty neat.

Agree with you about Radar, they will be missed. But so will Radio Shark, as for some of us it filled an otherwise empty niche. Maybe they'll have a closing inventory liquidation sale, and i'll get in there to gobble up the last of their op-amps.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 05:15 PM

53. Yep, I use the same sources you do. I also use Allied Electronics from time to time. I always

preferred the old local electronics store to RS, but they are long gone. There used to be an incredible one in San Jose, Quement Electronics.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #53)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 05:37 PM

56. Allied, Newark, many of them out there

Findchips is a good search tool for parts availability and cost comparisons (not just for chips!) -

http://www.findchips.com/

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Response to IDemo (Reply #56)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 05:57 PM

58. Thanks for the link! n/t

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:50 AM

4. The guy who finished crashing Radio Shack is now co-CEO of Market Basket

 

http://www.boston.com/business/news/2014/07/15/market-basket-keeping-things-the-same-then-why-the-change/NwafFl3u1mv5fNrbg9aWYL/story.html

So why are Market Basket workers worried? He couldn't possibly #%^* up a *second* company that badly, what are the odds?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:59 AM

9. By the laws of averages and statistics, he is due for some good luck next time around.

Regards,

Non-mathematical Nye

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 02:12 PM

36. Al Dunlap Did!

Three times! So, the next poster who is hoping for a regression to the mean may not get his/her wish.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:56 AM

5. I always liked the store, but they price themselves out of the business

Our local store has done ok by being a good place to get cell phones and service, but they are ridiculous on some basic things. The last time I shopped there I needed a charger for a phone - $20. Next time I needed on I got it on Amazon for $9. I'd rather shop local, but its not easy when you walk out of the door feeling like you just got suckered.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 04:35 PM

46. Yes, I just needed a headphone extension cable.

$2 online from monoprice or ebay--Radio Shack $14.99. They should be able to sell it for $5-6.00 with no problem. Everyone knows Best Buy rips you off on cables but Radio Shack once upon a time had stuff like this for next to nothing. When I was a kid I had boxes and boxes of these types of electronic connectors all bought at Radio Shack. Now, I'd feel like a fool to pay that much unless I needed it immediately.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:56 AM

6. Bricks and mortar stores need to move with the times, or die.

You can't just keep the same old business model and have Amazon undercut you and steal all your business. You need to offer something that Amazon cannot. Why not start up a "genius bar" type of thing but for non-Apple products too? With free coffee? Why not offer 10-minute, guaranteed flawless installation of screen protectors on smartphones and tablets? (Something that would definitely have brought me into my local Radio Shack). How about same-day local delivery from stores?

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:57 AM

7. And pretty much missed the Maker Movement. Doh !

Around here you now find tons of kids (boys and girls)
with soldering guns making their own 'toys' - from radios
to robots. Adults too. Radio Shack could have found itself
again in its own roots - but instead stuck to shitty cellphones
and other landfill.

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:00 AM

10. Who goes to a store for a cellphone, anyway?

I just upgrade at the Verizon website and they Fedex it to me for free overnight.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 03:09 PM

64. I did, for one

When my old cellphone fried while exploring Picher, OK in a rainstorm, I drove to a Best Buy store and grabbed a new phone.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 08:58 AM

8. It would be a shame to lose radio shack

They stock lots of electronic parts that are otherwise hard to get. That said, I rarely need those parts.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:45 AM

16. Their inventory sucks these days, You can get anything online they have + more

 

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #16)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:55 AM

17. Yes, but online has a 1 day wait time...

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #17)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:07 AM

22. well, until they close you can still waste gas going over there to find out they don't have

 

the 150F capacitor you need

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:11 AM

11. Even CEO Can't Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:32 AM

12. Not surprised here..

I once stopped in and was asked for name address phone number to buy a package of batteries..

The young clerk said that the register would not allow him to ring me up without it.. I told him they could keep the batteries & left.

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #12)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:55 AM

18. That always annoyed me no end.

Just to get what I went there for, I just started making up crap off the top of my head. I wonder how many of their mailings came back as "undeliverable?"

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #12)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:58 AM

19. I agree

 

I don't want to give them my address and phone number and they always insist. I am glad that they are going out of business. I think they are a horrible company. When I went in for a simple item request, they did not even have it and sent me to Best Buy. Weird.

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #12)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:01 AM

20. I used to use 867-5309 n/t

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Response to IDemo (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:24 AM

26. Yes, and 1313 Mockingbird Lane. :)

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Response to IDemo (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 02:58 PM

39. When clerks ask my zip code it's always "90210" (nt)

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:35 AM

13. A shame - their locations are convenient to me, and I go there for things.

 

Reasonable prices, and you just have to know exactly what you are looking for.

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Response to closeupready (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 02:56 PM

38. I agree. There was a Radio Shack almost around the corner

from my house, and it closed about a year ago.

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Response to closeupready (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 12:10 AM

61. way overpriced even if you need it today

even Best Buy is cheaper, I use store pickup for things I can't wait to be shipped to me

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:36 AM

14. Five or so years ago, when I still bought parts from them, they offered a quantity based discount

But they never kept enough stock on hand to get the quantity based discount. Went online and found better quality at a better price and never looked back.

They never really adapted to the death of hobby electronics and people needing replacement vacuum tubes. if it weren't for cell phones they would have vanished 20 years ago.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 09:41 AM

15. OH SHIT!!!

 

Where will I get my vacuum tubes???

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Response to ChisolmTrailDem (Reply #15)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:10 AM

23. fear not: tubesandmore.com

you can buy vacuum tubes all over the place because of the demand from guitarists, and some hifi nuts. they're still extremely popular due to the explosion of small and boutique tube guitar amp sales. Tube amps are still highly regarded as sounding way better than their solid state counterparts, and there are scientific reasons why; second- and third-order harmonics created by the tubes. The old vintage stuff sells for big $$$ on eBay.

I guess that's a geeky way of saying there is still a lot of demand for analog parts like tubes, capacitors, etc.

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Response to kysrsoze (Reply #23)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:47 AM

28. OH SHIT!!!

 

Actually, I was only keeding.

It is interesting, though, that the old vacuum tube powered amps are still a favorite with guitarists. I can totally grok it though since, even to a non-expert like myself, the sound was much better back in the day.

Now I know why. Thank you, kysrsoze!

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Response to ChisolmTrailDem (Reply #28)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 04:00 PM

43. Tubes are also preferred by many discerning

 

high-end audio enthusiasts, including yr hmbl correspondent. TUBES RULE!!

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #43)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 05:18 PM

54. Maybe it is age, but I sold my tube stuff, B&W speakers, etc. I swear I am hearing

 

stuff I never heard before in my favorite music on my smartphone and with decent computer monitors. Never thought I'd give all that up, but I like the detail of 60s music I get for cheap nowadays.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #54)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 05:56 PM

57. Then you must have had some really messed up tube stuff

or you're just pulling our leg. I have some $500.00 speakers on my computer driven with $600.00 outboard integrated amp. Playing regular CDs or Apple lossless stuff I put on iTunes, the sound from my iPhone or laptop is not remotely close in sound quality to my big rig in the next room. The computer system is better than it was when I had some nice Klipsch powered computer speakers, but in no way is it even close to "high end".

Maybe your tubes had about 3,000 hours on them and were worn out, or maybe the bias was way off. Maybe its because your are now listening nearfield and room problems/speaker set-up no longer comes into play.

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Response to Elwood P Dowd (Reply #57)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 06:19 PM

59. Nearfield is exactly it, and I like it much better. Taste, needs change.

 

I had some really good NOS tubes and nice equipment.

Even though the big hifi stuff is gone, I still keep my VOX guitar amp just in case I pull out an electric guitar. Usually play acoustic instruments nowadays.

I know it goes against everything Hifi enthusiasts believe (as I did previously), but my HTC phone really brings out the detail, nearfield or not. Wouldn't try to fill a room with it. Although, I have a friend with this little Bose amp/speaker (of all things) that changed my view on that too.

I also think my hearing picks up less higher frequencies nowadays.

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Response to Elwood P Dowd (Reply #57)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 11:34 PM

60. Eeyup. Old, worn out tubes

 

Can sound pretty dismal. I'm partial to VTL myself.

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Response to kysrsoze (Reply #23)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 12:04 PM

32. Actaully for tubes it's not just 2nd order harmonics, but.....

EVEN order harmonics that makes those tube amps sound more pleasing to the ear most especially when driven into clipping....as most guitarist do......lol. 2nd order harmonics just have the highest amplitude compared to 4th, 6th, 8th etc. Solid state amps on the other hand generate very high odd order harmonics...the 3rd order again being the highest. For some reason our hearing responds much more appreciatively to those even order harmonics.....psycho acoutics!

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Response to Rocket_Scientist65 (Reply #32)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 02:17 PM

37. You Sure About That?

The 2nd harmonic is a 5th, so that makes sense, but the fourth harmonic is a 6th. For odd ordered, the 1st and 3rd are 1 and 2 8ve above and the 5th is a minor third.

It would seem the introduction of an overtone that is a 6th of the tonic would be more harsh.

All that being said, there is no doubt tube amps have a different and warmer tone. I've got a Mesa Boogie with tubes and a solid state Marshall (wanted something a little lighter to take out of the house). The Marshall sounds REALLY good for a SS amp, but not close to as nice sounding as the Boogie.
GAC

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #37)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 05:34 PM

55. A good page to calculate harmonics

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-harmonics.htm

I haven't put a lot of thought into harmonics since my analog synth days so i will just present the page and not try to think about all that stuff again.

Someone needs to come up with a synth smilie.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:03 AM

21. They have been in a state of turmoil since the TRS-80s became obsolete.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:13 AM

24. Wait a minute...what are you trying to say?

Obsolete? Don't tell me you're running that newfangled DOS something or other?

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Response to IDemo (Reply #24)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:30 AM

27. TRS-80 was the first transformer.

You could use it to compute Monday through Friday and over the weekend they worked swell as a boat anchor.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #24)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 11:13 AM

29. TRS DOS on my Zilog Z80 forever!

(Well, not really. I went to CPM on my Osborne.)

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #29)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 02:59 PM

40. I loved Z-80 machine language. So many registers! (nt)

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 11:23 AM

31. I bought a computer a few months ago from Radio Shack

I also purchased the extended warranty because I have had shitty luck with computers as of late.

So, there is a simple lone screw that has worked itself out of the bottom. I boxed it up and took it back to see if they could put the screw in it. I was told that they would have to package it up and send it back to the manufacturer. I would have my computer back in two weeks.

I was like...for a screw??

Anyway, last time I packaged up a Sony Vaio laptop that needed a minor repair, I ended up having to buy a new computer because they claimed it was water damaged when it arrived. Apparently, that had happened to several folks.

So, I packaged my computer up and carried it out of the store. The next time I need something, I will probably shop elsewhere so I don't think I will miss them much.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 01:49 PM

35. Record Stores, Video Stores

 

Back in the 80's I never thought record stores would shrivel up and die.

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Response to otohara (Reply #35)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 04:39 PM

47. records have come back a bit. target sells avrecord player

 

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 03:59 PM

42. i used to love spooking around in Radio Shack when I was a

 

teenager back in the early/mid 1970s. They had EVERYTHING from individual capacitors to big-ass hi-fi systems (at least I thought they were then), ham radios, every kind of electronic gadget under the sun,

I also miss the Allied Radio catalog. That was WAY better than the Sears Xmas catalog.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 04:03 PM

44. That's sad.

I've received helpful advice from Radio Shack often.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 04:18 PM

45. As an actual radio hobbyist of the sixties..

...... and beyond, I have to throw in my 2 cents about Radio Shack.

When I was a nerd kid, RS was like the malt shop to other kids. Chock full of cool gadgets and more importantly, parts. You could pick up a resistor, capacitor, transistor or diode for your project and if your needs were remotely in the mainstream they would have your part. And the price would be "ok".

As the decades went by electronic hobbyists like myself became scarce. Kids in later generations turned to computers as their technical hobby. RS never really made themselves particularly useful to those folks. After inventing and marketing one of the first microcomputers for the mass public, the TRS-80 (semi-affectionately known as the Trash-80) they just could not shake their "consumer junk" image and become a real force in personal computing.

So the inventory of parts they once had began to diminish. And even worse the prices went way up while the quality went way down.

So that business was not going to help them much. Their consumer electronics, with the possible exception of certain niche products like scanning receivers and CB radios, were never very good and never sold well. Their attempt to live on cellphone sales bought them a few more years but now you can get cell phones at Wal-Mart or any mall or strip mall so the competition is fierce.

I will hate to see RS go under, I still occasionally get an antenna mast or some such that is hard to buy at any other brick and mortar retailer, but I'm frankly surprised they have lasted this long. They are a relic of a day gone by I'm afraid.

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Response to sendero (Reply #45)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 01:12 PM

62. I remember buying my first 286 (?) computer at RS for $2000.

 

That was a good deal then. But by the time to upgrade came along, RS just didn't compete with computer oriented stores that were opening up.

They've gone the way of buggy whip manufacturers. Sad.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 04:55 PM

48. They're still around?

 

Surprises the hell out of me! I haven't seen one in at least 5 years.

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Response to Garthem (Reply #48)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 04:58 PM

49. there are many in los angeles

 

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Response to Garthem (Reply #48)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 04:58 PM

50. We have plenty here in NYC.

 

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 04:59 PM

51. i'm surprised they have lasted as long as they have , they should have gone out with circuit city

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 05:01 PM

52. Radio Shack wouldn't make it even if the economy was doing very well

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 03:04 PM

63. And the same bastard that help destroy Radioshack is now in charge of Market Basket

How do these soulless bastards live with themselves. What they're doing is right out of Mitt Romney's playbook.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 03:12 PM

65. R.S. messed up. How did they miss the boat on DJ culture explosion?!

 

They were there first. I guess they were too busy procuring crappy toys from China to sell during Christmas.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 03:13 PM

66. Bleh, I am now going to go buy something there this weekend.

 


I don't know what yet, but I will vote with my dollars.

I like those stores.



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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #66)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 03:17 PM

67. I bought something there just last night.

 

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #67)

Sat Aug 2, 2014, 03:19 PM

68. Good for you.

 




I will get to one sometime tomorrow. Just can't do it today, on my way out the door now.



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