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 …
Tuesday 10th February 2015 06:42 GMT herman
Tuesday 10th February 2015 06:45 GMT Voland's right hand
Tuesday 10th February 2015 08:03 GMT werdsmith
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.
Tuesday 10th February 2015 09:01 GMT Anonymous Coward
Tuesday 10th February 2015 07:08 GMT Christian Berger
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.
Tuesday 10th February 2015 10:15 GMT 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.
Tuesday 10th February 2015 10:55 GMT 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!
Wednesday 11th February 2015 05:43 GMT Christian Berger
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.
Tuesday 10th February 2015 11:12 GMT herman
Tuesday 10th February 2015 11:56 GMT Anonymous Coward
Tuesday 10th February 2015 07:57 GMT Mr C
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.
PS thoroughly enjoyed the video :)
Tuesday 10th February 2015 09:33 GMT Anonymous Coward
Tuesday 10th February 2015 09:40 GMT 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.
Tuesday 10th February 2015 12:26 GMT Tank boy
Tuesday 10th February 2015 12:45 GMT 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.
Tuesday 10th February 2015 16:32 GMT Peter Stone
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!
Tuesday 10th February 2015 18:17 GMT Florida1920
Tuesday 10th February 2015 19:17 GMT earl grey
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.
Tuesday 10th February 2015 21:10 GMT 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.
Wednesday 11th February 2015 14:05 GMT Mpeler
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....