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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 02-11-2014, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mrkelso View Post
Well that sucks, Where the heck am i going to go pick up my little project parts now?
Try Pasternak Connectors, a huge on line vendor of electronic parts.

Cables, Coaxial Cable, Cable Connectors, Adapters, Attenuators, Microwave Parts
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by zz0468 View Post
It's worse than that. They not only don't know their name, they don't know the meaning of the name, or it's history.
That's the irony of this entire thing. Going back to the Allied/Tandy days, they had the Dictionary of Electronics where they very elaborately defined "Radio Shack." One could say they wrote the book (well, Rudolf Graf actually did).
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by wd8prs View Post
Maybe they should go back to selling radio equipment instead of nothing but cell phones.
What are cell phones? Radios.

What do you do with cell phones? Talk to people...just like radio.

This is the 21st Century. If all Radio Shack sold were radios and radio parts, they would have gone out of business long before now.

A couple of points:

1. This "news" that RadioShack plans to close 500 stores has not been confirmed by RadioShack. We are talking about a Wall Street Journal reporter's article that was based on information from unnamed "people familiar with the matter". Until RadioShack announces which stores are actually closing, this is "rumor or speculation" as a RadioShack spokesperson told USA Today.

2. 500 out of 4,300 stores is about 1 in 9. There are roughly 12 RadioShack stores in the immediate Indianapolis area. I think losing one or two of those stores would happen without much notice.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 02-11-2014, 1:04 PM
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They need to just close all their stores. You can't go into a store anymore and find a single person in them that has a clue about much in the store.

The top management has lost sight of how to manage the chain. They can't hire anyone with half the smarts of what you can find in a fifth grader these days.

The sales force in the stores will say anything they need to to get you to buy just about anything in the store. Then if it doesn't work, they won't take it back. Most of the scanners they sell are basic and the sales force lacks the intelligence to even start try to explain it's operation to a customer.

Now you wonder just why their sales are dropping off. Maybe they should hire some grade school kids to make the sales these days. They would be cheaper and at least know what was what. Only problem would be the child labor laws.
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Old 02-11-2014, 2:08 PM
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RS is not a scanner/ham/electronic parts store like it was 30 years ago. So what. Times have changed and the needs of the business are different now. So what that the staff is clueless to the terms inductive reactance and parabolic reflectors. Move on and look for your radios and parts elsewhere. Its not like there aren't numerous other sources out there.
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Old 02-11-2014, 4:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ladn View Post
More than ever, the farcical mottos:

"You've got questions. We've got cell phones," and "You've got questions. We haven't a clue," apply.

I, too used to be a regular customer for small parts like connectors and resistors. I didn't expect the employees to understand the parts, just tell me the location.
Last time I was in, I had a printout from the website with the picture and SKU. After finding the location in their computer, it took three of their staff 15 minutes to locate it.
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Old 02-11-2014, 4:51 PM
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I recall seeing the same people working in my local RS for a long time, even the manager. They seemed to stick around.

That was about 5-8 years ago.

Since then it's been a revolving door.

In the last year I can't tell you how many different people have changed hands at the local RS. And, lately, it has gotten even worse. In the past 3 months I have seen many new faces behind the counter. They don't even last a few weeks now.

Stick a fork in it, it's done.
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Old 02-11-2014, 5:14 PM
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Several years ago after I retired, I worked part time at our local shack for something to do. It was fun actually. While I knew about scanners, alert radios, and all that other good stuff, the average person working there did not have a clue.

Neither did the customers coming in to buy a scanner. RS was, to my dismay, still selling $99.00 scanners that were great for monitoring taxis and the local drive thru windows. Many times a guy would come in with his $100.00 in hand, all excited about listening to the police and fire channels.

We had some even more expensive. But I just could not sell one in all good faith; when I explained that he will need to shell out about $500.00 for a PRO 106, I always lost a sale. Thats okay; I could not rip off a person like that. Actually, most customers, after they found out what all was involved, didn't want one. They just wanted to buy a scanner, go home, and turn it on.

Most other employees knew nothing about a scanner. They never had one, didn't want one, and didn't care what they did; but the younger guys could sell phones in a heartbeat. People would come in to buy a battery, and walked out with a new phone and 2 year contract.

It will be a shame if they give up their parts business. Maybe it did not make them much money, but they were always the place to go.

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  #69 (permalink)  
Old 02-11-2014, 6:36 PM
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Don't forget - cell phones are mobile radios too. So Radio Shack still sells a good number of radio communication devices, they're just not the kind people on RadioReference.com are mostly interested in.
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Old 02-11-2014, 7:03 PM
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The Radioshack here in Bainbridge island Washington closed a few years ago. No one there knew anything about scanner radios . And only the owner seemed to know anything about anything.
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Old 02-12-2014, 1:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth_vader View Post
Correct. Like it or not, the so-called "maker 'movement'", is not a "movement" at all but merely a marketing/subculture fad gradually nearing its expiry date.
Marketing by who? Many "maker projects" are based on discarded materials recovered from the trash.

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Originally Posted by Darth_vader View Post
Fairly liberal estimate, but I'd give the fad about another 1-1 1/2 years before it completely dies out.
You're one of the most pessimistic downers I've ever seen on the internet. How could it be so close to death when they are still expanding venues for maker fairs, and the existing venues continue to report increasing audience size? You seem to HOPE that it's dying. I seem to hope that you're wrong.
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Old 02-12-2014, 6:46 AM
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Marketing by who? Many "maker projects" are based on discarded materials recovered from the trash.
Many of those are design improvements to items that have to be bought repetitively because of the poor quality of overseas materials and workmanship that go into them in the first place. As long as we have off-shoring, we have an industry niche making buy-once-last-a-while goods.
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Old 02-12-2014, 9:10 AM
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It's a shame because I grew up on this store. Challenge is now that all they carry is Ipad/Iphone accessories. I was in there the other day looking for a solution to a problem we were having at the house and I needed a few fuses and a power adapter. Guy thought I was nuts looking for fuses
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Old 02-12-2014, 9:11 AM
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As long as we have places like eBay and Amazon those places will exist. Honestly, there is a SIGNIFICANT decline in people who take the time to fix stuff when it breaks. We now live in a culture of throw it away and buy another. Its amazing the amount of waste that happens. I cant tell you how many people Ive seen throw away a perfectly good pair of headphones because the 1/8" audio jack has a short in it, instead of soldering a new jack they toss them and buy a new pair.

If we can reteach kids how to tinker and build we would rely less on those goods so much from overseas. The fact of the matter still exists, they have and always will teach their generations of young people waste not want not. Dont be so negative about the maker movement, its cool to see young people build new and exciting things instead of the same redundant science projects involving lemons, potatoes, lightbulbs, etc..
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Old 02-12-2014, 9:19 AM
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The "maker movement" is an off-topic diversion from this thread,

Which is about the inevitable demise of RS.
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Old 02-12-2014, 9:36 AM
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I've worked as a part-time sales associate for RadioShack for many years. I was a customer long before I was an employee, and in those days, that's how many began their career with RS. Sadly, that's no longer true. With today's crop of employees, their depth of their knowledge of consumer electronics is very shallow. My co-workers wouldn't know how to sell a "police" scanner any more than they'd know how to sell a medical scanner. Today, cellphones are their specialty, and that's what the company wants. Anywhere between 30 to 50 percent of the company's sales volume comes from wireless. Unfortunately, that wave has crested! RS knows this, but refuses to believe it. With that reality, together with the expected horrendous 2013 fourth quarter results, closing 500 stores seems to be only a beginning. Expecting RS to remain relevant and current is just a fantasy. Maintaining, and periodically updating, 4500 stores is virtually impossible today. Most stores will not even be renovated to the extent seen in the Super Bowl commercial. In fact, the last major update several years ago turned into a fractured mess, where some stores got it, and some still haven't. So, while I always hold out hope for this company, realistically, they don't have much chance.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by n1ic View Post
It's a shame because I grew up on this store. Challenge is now that all they carry is Ipad/Iphone accessories. I was in there the other day looking for a solution to a problem we were having at the house and I needed a few fuses and a power adapter. Guy thought I was nuts looking for fuses
Me, too. There was not an aspect of this hobby that they didn't have some direct or indirect influence in. My childhood friend and I saved up and bought one of the shortwave radio kits to build and take to school. With a spool of wire unwound around the classroom, we tuned in the BBC, Radio Nederlands, and a bunch of other stations. So many learning opportunities there. He ultimately went on to become a "double-E." (electrical engineer)

Sometimes you have to coach the kids and tell them the stuff you're looking for are in the drawers or hanging on the wall "in the back." It's always fun when I go in with part numbers and a note pad, hand it to someone (bonus points for doing this to a manager) and let them go on the Easter egg hunt for me. I used to get freaked out by the hovering some employees did during their "questions" campaign. I left a few stores because I felt creeped by the tactic. I bought only one cellular device from a Radio Shack. It was in the Midwest, and from a fellow who had maybe 25 years on me. I figured that if he could understand the contracts doubletalk, he would help me get the best deal in the store. And he did. I always looked for him when I went in. Since we moved, I have not achieved the same level of trust or confidence in anyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedel83
As long as we have places like eBay and Amazon those places will exist. Honestly, there is a SIGNIFICANT decline in people who take the time to fix stuff when it breaks. We now live in a culture of throw it away and buy another. Its amazing the amount of waste that happens. I cant tell you how many people Ive seen throw away a perfectly good pair of headphones because the 1/8" audio jack has a short in it, instead of soldering a new jack they toss them and buy a new pair.

If we can reteach kids how to tinker and build we would rely less on those goods so much from overseas. The fact of the matter still exists, they have and always will teach their generations of young people waste not want not. Dont be so negative about the maker movement, its cool to see young people build new and exciting things instead of the same redundant science projects involving lemons, potatoes, lightbulbs, etc..
I saw this turning in 1992 when I was a component-level technician working on land mobile radio equipment. At one point, it became cheaper for us to ship things off to a depot where troubleshooting was done on a bed-o-nails test fixture with a GPIB bus between instrumentation. They had it down to a pass/fail diagnostic with specific instructions on what to replace. The tipping point came where production costs were less than what it would have taken to pay me (I didn't really make that much - don't think I was grossing $30k at the time), or the guys I worked with. Some of them are still in the business, but are doing systems work rather than pulling Spectras.

Now, we're devoid of competent "radiomen." I do some youth orientation to radio communications. My schpeal starts out with, "There are two types of radiomen in the world today: gray and dead." Most kids gravitate toward computers, which is okay (my younger son is a computer prodigy), but once things move from software to hardware, things stop.

Another one of my kids has gotten deeply into building things and he crosses over between cars (changed my wife's radiator out yesterday), woodworking, making good computers out of curbside junk, and electronic projects/ham radio. I kinda wish it would have caught on with the others, but I'm happy to have my assistant (until he graduates and goes off on his own life). He's our repair guy now and I just back him up. I encourage their tinkering around. I was a self-taught technician and also apprenticed under some very competent and patient techs, but it didn't happen overnight. It took a long time and I broke more things than I fixed over the years. So, if it's broken, the worst he can do is break it more. The best he can do is let us spend 10% of the replacement cost - or less - on a repair part.

But we're not average. I have to look at my neighbor, Lorax (first thing he did when he moved in was cut down all the trees that straddled the property line - "Hey, do you like those trees?"), as your average schnook. He doesn't seem to have any interest in... anything, really. He also seems to be affluent enough to afford to bring in contractors while the boy and I are doing roofing repairs. I don't think we'd meet him by the parts drawers at the local RS.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIScanner101 View Post
The "maker movement" is an off-topic diversion from this thread,
Which is about the inevitable demise of RS.
The original topic of this thread was about a Wall Street Journal article stating that RadioShack was planning to close 500 stores. That story has not yet been substantiated by RadioShack officials.

Posters in this thread have taken this rumor that the WSJ printed and gone off on tangents about how RadioShack ain't what it used to be, how badly managed RadioShack is, how RadioShack needs to get back to old technology, and how the maker movement is gonna revive the public's interest in the old ways of doing things.

When RadioShack publishes a list of stores they are closing, then this thread will have meaning. Until then...well, not so much.
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Old 02-12-2014, 1:14 PM
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Close them all!

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Old 02-12-2014, 6:07 PM
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If radio shack went back to selling ham radios, how many people here would buy one... a Realistic ham radio that costs 20-30% more than a better radio from anywhere else?
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