back to article RadioShack lists 1,800 stores facing the axe across America

Bankrupt headphones and USB memory stick chain RadioShack has posted the complete list of 1,784 shops it hopes to close across America. The gadget flogger said these stores [PDF] are potentially set for closure. The threatened shops include high-profile spots in Market Street in San Francisco, New York City's Flatiron district …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Radioshack survived until now ?

    Looks like the ceo figured it out

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well. There goes my 'Battery of the Month Club' card

      Very sad.

  2. herman Silver badge

    Sparkfun

    The Shack was done in by stupid management and eventually made obsolete by Sparkfun Electronics.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Sparkfun

      Actually, Amazon is obsoleting them all. It will obsolete Conrad and Maplin too.

      It now has listings for nearly any electronic component under the sun for ~10% of the prices which Shack and Maplin used to charge so why bother going to a specialized store.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Sparkfun

        There are still markets out there for tinkerers. Tindie (suspiciously like Tandy) have proved that.

        The maker movement is a growing market, and Radio Shack could have repositioned to get involved.

        My local record shop had a side line in components and hobby electronics because they did TV repairs. I used to plan all kinds of projects with the Radio Shack components in the Tandy catalogue that the record shop sold. Then I found a Maplin catalogue in the newsagents, and Maplin catalogues were fun in those days.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sparkfun

        Sometimes you're one component away from completing a project and if it is Saturday then you can't wait until Monday or Tuesday to try it out.

        1. Ian K

          Re: Sparkfun

          But are there enough people frequently short of one component to keep a bricks-and-mortar retailer going? Much less an entire retail chain.

  3. Christian Berger Silver badge

    It's perhaps an image of the demise of technology in the US

    There used to be a time when normal people in the US built their own home stereo sets, when they bought computers in order to learn how to program. A time when technology was not seen as a way to sling adds towards you, but to enable you to do new things.

    This was also the time when the US still were competitive in the world of technology. A computer made or designed in the US was state of the art. The fastest computers were made there. Today all that comes out of the US seem to be mobile phones, no different to what's being designed in China.

    The US seems to have decided to go from a country of creative creators to a country of stupid consumers. In that scenario they don't need RadioShack.

    1. Stuart 22

      Re: It's perhaps an image of the demise of technology in the US

      And the name makes me think of Rack Shack - when server farms were fun. It was my way in to having my first dedicated server as Radio Shack into my first TRS-80 PC. Both made IT accessible, cheap (for its time) and part of a movement. Both an important part of my IT development and business building.

      RIP

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "A time when technology was not seen as a way to sling adds towards you"

      Dead on! A time when desiring to wring billions out of Ads would have been seen as impure and boring... Roll on Hover cars....? Those days are over! Every smart ass now just wants to figure out how to sling more Ads at us and track us to death!

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: "A time when technology was not seen as a way to sling adds towards you"

        "Every smart ass now just wants to figure out how to sling more Ads at us and track us to death!"

        I'm not sure if they _want_ to do that, but people need money to survive. Particularly in the US getting money means either joining the "ad slingers" or the "bullet slingers". The US economy, like so many others, has learned that innovation and good design leading to better profits is less profitable than just doing what everybody else is doing.

    3. herman Silver badge

      Re: It's perhaps an image of the demise of technology in the US

      Funny that building a tube amp is still just as much fun today as it was 50 years ago. The only difference is the Bluetooth module now needed at the front end http://www.aeronetworks.ca/2015/02/cool-amplifier.html

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's perhaps an image of the demise of technology in the US

      "...sling adds towards you..."

      adds = summation

      ads = abbreviation for advertisement

      Thank you.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: It's perhaps an image of the demise of technology in the US

        "adds = summation; ads = abbreviation for advertisement"

        Thanks.(Not a native speaker... no that's not an excuse, it's an explanation)

  4. Mr C

    Saddened

    Being a dad who visited these stores back when they were hip and trendy i'm saddened to see them go.

    Up to this day i like taking my son visit these types of hardware shops and drooling over various gadgets and silly things that may or may not be useful. My son has a million questions, dare i say he learns more in that shop just by looking at stuff which piques his interest than he does from the tablet he spends so much time on.

    RiP Shack

    PS thoroughly enjoyed the video :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back in the day

    We would go fetch a new horse shoe direct from the blacksmith.

    On the way back we'd pick up a new piece of chalk for our slate board.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Back in the day

      Our farrier carries everything he needs in a little van, and he comes out to all the yards, nobody has to visit them to get horse shoes these days. They are very busy people, highly skilled and qualified and it's a lucrative profession.

      1. Thecowking

        Re: Back in the day

        Blacksmithing in general is very fun and satisfying too.

        I recommend it as a hobby for children of all ages. I am still looking for a house with an outbuilding remote enough that I can sling a forge and anvil in there without upsetting SWMBO.

  6. Erik4872

    Too bad but not surprising

    The last time I was in a Radio Shack was about 5 years ago, and I had an actual nerd errand in mind -- building a custom serial cable. If I hadn't known exactly what I wanted, I doubt I would have gotten any help. They've been a cell phone store for ages now.

    I guess the problem is that the world kind of moved on from component-based electronics and things are pretty much throw-away now. It's not possible to do board-level repairs on most electronics now. The "maker" crowd who would buy stuff like Arduinos, 3D printers and other stuff Radio Shack could sell is savvy enough to buy them online. Amateur radio is pretty much dead to new entrants, and things like home audio aren't as exciting as they were.

    I'm pushing 40 now, so I'm old enough to remember when Radio Shack was _the_ place for card carrying nerds. Because of that I'll miss them, but they're just not relevant in 2015 unless gadget repair somehow magically gains traction again.

  7. Ketlan
    Devil

    Pffftt...

    'RadioShack lists 1,800 stores facing the axe across America'

    Don't care.

  8. Tank boy
    Happy

    Wheeeeeee!!!

    They're closing a store near me, I'll be attending the fire sale. Sorry about your jobs and all, but I really want to get another HDMI cable on the cheap. Might even do a little impulse shopping while I'm at it. Thank you Radio Shack.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Wheeeeeee!!!

      Tb: "...get another HDMI cable on the cheap."

      It'll probably be $79.95 and 75% off, thus $20.

      The ones on eBay are $4, shipped, fit better, more flexible, easier to live with, and work just as well.

  9. Joe Drunk

    Surprised they lasted this long

    Horrible business model. Convert from selling components and do-it-yourself electronics to cell phone and overpriced cable/battery store. I get that you can't beat online prices but when other brick and mortar chains outprice you consistently you're just counting the days to chapter 11.

    It really has been a waste of retail space in the past decade.

  10. Peter Stone
    Happy

    Ahhh Tandy

    Thing that got me with radio shack in the UK, was the pricing. A 741 op-amp was priced at 59p (one 32nd of my weekly wage at the time. However, because I read Popular Electronics, I knew that the Radio Shack US price was 59c.

    With the exception of the TRS80 Model 1, this wasn't a problem (UK price £807, US price $807), as locally I had Waltons, Fenwicks & Lings for loads of interesting parts. Plus there was always Tottenham Court Road at the end of a train journey along with the catalogs for Henrys & Proops Brothers!

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Ahhh Tandy

      £807 in 1980 is equivalent to £3K now.

      Makes some Macs look cheap.

  11. Florida1920 Silver badge

    Times Square

    This is serious. The Times Square NY store is listed. You'd think they'd want to keep waving the flag there. Amazingly, I can't find my local store on the list. It's in a good retail location but rarely do I see customers inside as I walk past.

  12. earl grey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    haven't been there in years

    And last time i was, they didn't have whatever it was i was looking for at the time and gave up on them. Used to go there more frequently BC (Before Children); Now it's a trip to the area Habitat Restores to see what miscellaneous hardware may have shown up there that catches my eye.

  13. Captain DaFt

    Built my first robot from Radio Shack parts

    All analog; breadboard box, motors, transistors, capacitors, photocells, and resistors. All from Radio Shack.

    True to ROTM, a miss wired capacitor caused it to repeatedly ram obstacles instead of backing up and turning.

    I left it like that, it was fun to watch that little plastic box actually manage to scoot a kitchen chair across the floor.

    Goodbye, and thanks for the memories.

  14. Mpeler
    Unhappy

    From Radio Shack to Radio Shut

    RIP. Sad, we hardly knew ye.

    Truth is, it's been a long road downhill, probably since the 1970s. Some good news, however, is that Allied Radio lives on (remember Allied Radio Shack catalogs?) as a separate company. Have a look at http://www.alliedcatalogs.com/ . I used to read their catalogs all the time - dreamware, as it were.

    With the demise of electronics manufacturing in the US, and the disappearance of electronics hobbyists, there probably wasn't any base for "the shack" to draw on. Just look at the "kits" that kids use now to "learn" electronics. Rather than discrete parts (like the phillips EE kits of old - anyone remember the EE8? EE20?), kids get to place little cubes with electronic components next to each other, hopefully in the right order. I suppose that's safer (somehow...), but it's no closer to "hands-on" than throwing a pizza in the microwave is to being a chef or cook....

  15. DToma

    Our local Radio Shack closed a long time ago. Maybe 10 years. There are times when I do miss being able to run down there to get something that none of the other stores in town carry.

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