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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2014, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7mag View Post
RS...
First job....
Hated wearing a tie..
Loved the real products back then.
Minimus 7's were the hot ticket.
TRS-80 Model 100 was cool when it came out too...

I still remember the store number.
#3502 in Mission Hills, Ca...
Mach 2/3's were cool....our store won a contest once and an employee bought 2 pairs for 60% off.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2014, 10:41 AM
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At one time I had 4 Mach Two speakers. When I finally got rid of them, it made room for a couch and 2 guest chairs.

FWIW, I believe the current CEO actually does have a good recovery plan. It is questionable, though, whether they have the cash and time to see it through (even he said close to the same thing during the 1st Q analyst call). After working for them for 20+ years, I'd hate to see them go away.
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Old 06-25-2014, 2:40 PM
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Good gosh folks. Lets remember a few basic tenets, most importantly what a chapter 11 bankruptcy is. It is a reorganization plan. A chapter 11 would be a GREAT thing for RS and their future profitibility, allowing them to shed old locations where they are locked into a lease, dropping bad financial obligations, and while not a fresh start, a start back at starting weight.

Remember also - parts, pieces, etc, are NOT what the average consumer wants. Parts stores have all but disappeared. RS has to rebrand their stores, and yes, cellphones will still be part of that. Scanners? Two way radios? Not so much. We are a niche market, even though you might have paid a few hundred bucks for a scanner online last year, that is a pretty small market.

So, for all you rocket scientists out there that are so smart to sound the death knell, just what is it that YOU would do to turn them around? What would be YOUR product mix? Service mix?

And yes, online will be a big part of their recovery, they just have to hit that very hard.

The days of their old market plan, and that of almost every retailer out there are gone. Everyone is having to adapt. It is by no means just RS.

Last edited by iamhere300; 06-25-2014 at 2:48 PM..
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Old 06-25-2014, 2:45 PM
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They could file Chapter 11 if their long-term revenues will be higher than the liquidation value of the assets. That might be a tough one without significant revenue improvement.
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Old 06-25-2014, 3:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamhere300 View Post
So, for all you rocket scientists out there that are so smart to sound the death knell, just what is it that YOU would do to turn them around? What would be YOUR product mix? Service mix?
I'm glad you asked this - as an aspiring CEO myself someday, this is a fun "what if" game.

If I were RS's CEO I'd focus on 3 major areas for the core business:

Accessories: Whether it's a cable, connector, battery, antenna, charger, remote control or carrying case we would stock it in every store. I'd lose the cheesy "RS branded" crap too and go with name brands that people recognize, such as Monster audio/video cables or Belkin adapters, etc. We'd also carry name brand scanners (no more stripped down ala-carte models that make no sense), two-way radios, cell phones, computers, tablets, etc. Most of that however would be an online purchase item - doesn't make sense to waste shelf space on items that 99% of the world buys elsewhere unless it's a convenience buy. "Sure, I could go to WalMart and get this same item for a little bit less, but then I have to hassle with driving, parking, dealing with the infamous and just overall creepy/weird People of Walmart who shop (and work) there, and of course they may or may not have the item in stock. I'm already here. I'll buy it now." That holds true for blank DVD's and printer ink, but not so much high end stereos, TV's and scanners. By placing such items online only, we'd be able to compete more evenly with companies like Amazon and Best Buy.

Service: The other side of the coin that is the core business. I've got a tablet right now that needs a new screen. I'd have a guy in each store who could perform that repair, right then and there while I putter around the mall. The same guy (or you could have two in a busier store) could also look at and diagnose computer problems for a small fee, providing you with a report of what's wrong, what the recommended fix(es) is/are, and of course, a list of all the products in the very store you're standing in that could help you solve your computer problem.

Consumables: Printer ink, toner, paper, blank DVD's, batteries, we'd have them all right there in the store, clearly marked and easy to find. Pricing wouldn't be the cheapest out there, but I think RS would win by selling the convenience of already being in the store. I'd also have a kiosk in each store that can help you pick the right cartridge for your printer or the right battery for your cell phone - another convenience. It could even give you a coupon towards a future purchase.

Other things:
I'd lose the "assault you at the door" salesdroid behavior. That's a turn off and keeps people from wandering in to look.
Radio Control toys should be prominently displayed up front and visible to passersby. Take advantage of kid's natural tendency to want to see the cool dune buggy or helicopter, and their parents will follow.
Create a loyalty program. Each purchase earns you points towards stuff you might actually want to use, such as free batteries or printer ink or save them up to redeem for high end electronics in the online store - something to keep you coming back and thinking RadioShack instead of Best Buy or Walmart when you need some batteries or an HDMI cable.

This isn't really all that hard - took me a few minutes to think of this stuff off the top of my head. I think RS is doing some of the above already under the new CEO, but clearly the public didn't react the way they expected. I think some marketing work could be done to address that as well - Lose the washed up actors and sports celebrity pitch-men and show the real human faces who will be out of a job if the company fails. Last but certainly not least, solicit ideas from the 27000+ people who work for that company. Too many big company CEO's seem to think they alone know best, so they run their companies in ways that result in layoffs and bankruptcy whenever they are wrong. I bet someone who actually works in a RS store could take what I've written above and make it 10 times better. The new CEO should have done this from day one, IMHO. How much better would company morale be at RS (or any company) where the CEO says point blank to his frontline employees:"Tell me what you think we should do to turn things around" and whoever comes up with the best idea, promote them to a position that empowers them to make it happen. Pretty simple.

-AZ
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2014, 3:55 PM
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I think it is a sign of the times. More brick and mortar stores will lose out to internet warehouses. Way too much overhead and Inefficiencies to compete. Just have to figure how to control shipping costs.
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Old 06-25-2014, 4:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7mag View Post
RS...
TRS-80 Model 100 was cool when it came out too...
Yes, still remember those locked to the counter for customers to play with. Amazing when they came out because they were so small and had an integrated display. What were they - $899 new when they launched? Crazy!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2014, 5:03 PM
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More brick and mortar stores will lose out to internet warehouses. Way too much overhead and Inefficiencies to compete.
Agreed. I want to buy an entry-level quadcopter for my kid and while I know what I could get it for online, I wanted to give hobby stores around here my business first.

pffft.

Same copter online from amazon 60-70 dollars was over $150.00 and one store was pushing $200.00.

My money is always much better in my pocket.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2014, 6:16 PM
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Comments on a few investing/stock trading web sites suggest that Best Buy $BBY may be a beneficiary of $RSH difficulties. I would think the crossover benefit would be shortlived as $BBY is also struggling against the likes of Amazon. I still prefer walking into a smaller local brick and mortar store, but that's me.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2014, 7:47 PM
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This is why they are going out of business...

I read somewhere around here that someone got a 996xt on clearance at RadioShack for a great price so I stopped by my local RadioShack today to see what they had. I walked in and asked the clerk if they had any scanners on sale or clearance and his reply without even looking up from what he was doing was "Did you look online?" and when I said "nope" he then looked up pointed across the store and said "whatever we have is over there" and went back to what he was doing. Such great customer service!!
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2014, 9:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quarterwave View Post
Mach 2/3's were cool....our store won a contest once and an employee bought 2 pairs for 60% off.
Wow...forgot about Mach 2's! Those were really great speakers.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 8:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZScanner View Post
I'd lose the "assault you at the door" salesdroid behavior. That's a turn off and keeps people from wandering in to look.

There is a fine line (perhaps an art form) when it comes to customer service, some people like the "shopper experience" as it makes them feel like a valued customer whereas others prefer to be left alone to peruse the items and find things themselves.

The best approach IMHO is greet the customer on entry and ask if there is anything you can help them with then leave it up to the customer to seek assistance OR to self serve.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 8:58 AM
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How many of us that worked for RS remember the old curmudgeon replying after asking if there was anything we could do to for them...., "If I wanted your help, Id ask for it".
Of course they'd then go to the battery table and get their free battery for the month.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 9:10 AM
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Quote:
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How many of us that worked for RS remember the old curmudgeon replying after asking if there was anything we could do to for them...., "If I wanted your help, Id ask for it".
Of course they'd then go to the battery table and get their free battery for the month.
What about when the POS system went in and indexed customers by the last four digits of their phone number? You would have thought you were asking people for a pair of their mom's panties when you asked for that. It was like a secret or something....you had to explain you didn't need the first 3, just the last 4, and you weren't going to call and try to sell them something. It was an uphill battle every dang day. Even nice people would bite your head off and act like you just kicked their dog and asked for their bank account #.

Oh man the memories.

We had alot of people under 0000 and 9999...and some that would walk out. I loved the old guys that would look up at you and say "CASH" and throw a 10 or 20 at you. Acted like you were a criminal or something.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 11:19 AM
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LOL I worked there for a few years in the late 90's when you actually had to ask for their name. I tell you we had more people named Johnny Cash...

My store was lower volume (strip mall) but we had a crew that actually knew their stuff. I was also pretty damn good at what I did.. I was making T4 commission (4.5%) in under a year (made the $250k club in my second year), I was in the district top 10's nearly every month (and regional top 10's a few times) for metrics, and I was raking in more in SPIFFs every week than I was in actual commissions. Back then there wasn't any of this crap where you lost your commission if you went below an hourly sales threshold.. And some of the SPIFFs were awesome.. I'm talking like $20 for selling a Directv system, $15 for a cell phone.. You got a percentage of selling the service plans and I could sell them to just about anyone. I was the king of credit applications too.. They were worth $2 apiece and I would do like 150 a week.

I (unfortunately) still have my stock shares from the employee purchase program.. I actually forgot about them for years, and I'd been hoping Best Buy would've bought RS so they'd actually be worth something again.. Guess I have some extra paper to wipe my @$$ with now.

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Old 06-26-2014, 12:10 PM
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In 1981 I worked just enough hours to get 1 share of stock in the employee purchase program. That share was issued as a physical certificate. Later, that share split, and I got a 2nd 1-share certificate. I kept one of them as a "memento"...having a 1-share certificate of anything is rare. Now, of course, you don't see actual share certificates at all...I think it is a nice relic of another age (both for RS and for the stock market).
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 12:28 PM
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RS had one of the first customer "loyalty" gimicks. Every month I got a free battery, My four crystal RS handheld scanner ate batteries, so I always took the 9 volt as my choice. I have three of their HTX amateur HTs. They are great radios even if you have to replace the memory battery every 8 to 10 years.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:36 PM
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I wrote the O/Ms for the HTX radios. Got my ticket at the same time.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:54 PM
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My memory of working at $RSH was meeting myself going to work when I was leaving work. Six and a half days a week, in 1974 or 1975. Yuck.
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Old 06-26-2014, 2:53 PM
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My daughter was signed by RS rite out of college, trained and became "manager of two stores....Then after they changed there way of paying there managers a few years later she said "GOOD-BYE".....She is now president of a local credit-union!!!!!!!!...I miss her being there as this was about 20 years ago and I would get to take home any new scanner RS received for testing for a couple of days, was very COOL.....
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