RadioShack set to close 500 stores nationwide

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W9BU

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Small tickets, very time intensive.
True, but they could make it easier on themselves.

Back when RS still printed a catalog, I'd walk in the store and ask to see one. I'd find what I was looking for in the catalog and then ask the clerk where it was. I tried to be as self-service as I could.

Nowadays, they could have a kiosk in the store where you could look up the parts you need in their database. The result of that search listing would give you the aisle, rack, and shelf where you could find the part. They could even have self-service check-out like the grocery stores and big box stores. Completely self-service.

Like I said, it was a slow time. There were no other customers in the store while I was there.

P.S. I completed my project this afternoon thanks to finding those parts at RS. If I had mail ordered the parts, from anybody, it'd be probably the end of the week before I'd be done.
 

jeatock

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I'm a career Geek, but also a capitalist with retail experience.

A single 2N3904 NPN transistor at $1.49 retail in a mall setting turns over what, ten times a year? Each turn might make RS corporate 40 cents. That's $4.00 a year.

Let's be nice and make it a hundred turns and $40.00 a year. All of my local RS stores are located in malls surrounded by stores selling $150 designer jeans. Hello Kitty hot pink earbuds at one turn a month make $120 a year and take the same display space as a boring 2N3904 thingamabob. There is an $80 difference and you are bleeding cash - which would your bean-counter (wearing designer jeans) advise you put on your shelf?

While I am in the RS store for my 2N3904, old men in my demographic are not likely to impulse buy Hello Kitty hot pink earbuds, a new cell phone or remote control monster truck.

I can buy one 2N3904 on-line from RS right now for $8.48 (including shipping). Shipping is free if I order another $23 and get those hot pink earbuds! Shipping is 3-5 days (if they have one on stock.)

Never mind that Mouser's website says they have 65,000 2N3904's on hand at $0.056 per hundred, or that I can have 2 of them in three days for the same money as RS.

And with my luck a down-time emergency will appear either 10 minutes after RS has closed for the night or 30 minutes after you bought all five 2N3904's on their shelf, and I'm going to have to salvage one from my assortment of dead boards anyway.

RS can't afford to go broke for my convenience. Once again, I wish them well but am not weeping over their change.
 
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iamhere300

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I can buy one 2N3904 on-line from RS right now for $8.48 (including shipping). Shipping is free if I order another $23 and get those hot pink earbuds! Shipping is 3-5 days (if they have one on stock.)

.
Or get 50 of them, total of $4.59 through Amazon.... (I love Amazon)
 

iamhere300

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I don't need to look in a mirror. I know what I am. But this nerd has a 6 figure income, and a bunch of it gets spent on electronic parts. I know a lot of other nerds with 6 figure incomes. It may be a niche market, but there IS a market.

I'm lucky enough to live in an area where there are lots of electronic parts stores. There are 3 really good ones within a 20 mile radius, and a few more that would knock your socks off within an hours drive. And you know what's neat about them? When I go there, they always seem to be busy.
You are lucky. In the majority of the rest of the country, parts stores are rare. Missouri has 1. The rest have closed in the past 10 years. Arkansas none. IL, possibly 1. Kansas none. Iowa none. Oklahoma maybe 1. Kentucky? I would bet none.

And I agree, it IS a market - but a Niche market. Nowhere near big enough to support anywhere near the number of stores RS has. Most Niche markets are supported on the Internet now, with some brick and mortar stores, and show following - exactly what the electronic parts market is now.

With the appliance mentality of more and more people, I don't think we are going to be getting more Brick and Mortar stores. IMHO, YMMV, etc
 

902

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With their announced ship before you buy program, they will see your need coming, and have them already in your parts bin!
See now, that's where all this inferential statistical NSA stuff comes in handy. People are predictable down to the second. Using a fractal algorithm, their system can predict (based on the things you do and the things you don't do) exactly what you need. If it doesn't predict it, you certainly don't need it. I think that's how it's supposed to work, isn't it?
 

N0UDG

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Or get 50 of them, total of $4.59 through Amazon.... (I love Amazon)
I too use Amazon heavily for ALL kinds of stuff, however, it appears that an increasing number of people are complaining that they received counterfeit parts or illegal copies of items. They had NO problems returning these problem purchases but it is getting to be a problem for many retailers.

Another thing to watch out for is that some parts I have purchased from Amazon was VERY inexpensive but the shipping was ridiculous (i.e. $9.00 for a $2.00 very small & light part). I now check shipping charges on any item that is not being sold directly by Amazon.

Radio Shack I think has two kinds of stores; the stores they own and what is term "associated" stores. The associated stores I think are owned by someone other than Radio Shack but they pay a fee to Radio Shack for the Radio Shack franchise. It appears they can sell items other than the Radio Shack brand or the kinds of items Radio Shack now sells in the stores they own.

I think the 1100 Radio Shack stores that are going to be closed may be the ones they own.

Since my info is a bit dated maybe the "Associated Radio Shack Store" do not exist anymore?
 

902

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They do still exist. In my town the local ACE hardware store has a corner where they sell RS items.
When I first moved out to the Midwest in 1996, there was a RS associate store in a TV Repair shop on one of the main streets in the nearest town. That gave way for a full-sized RS store in a strip mall around 2003. Aside from that location, I would have to drive maybe 25 miles to get to the closest one.
 

KR7CQ

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What made Radio Shack great was, well, radios. Once the general public stopped caring about such things (after cell phones replaced many people's need for a ham / cb radio, after many agencies went digital making police scanners too expensive and complicated), they were doomed. They tried to switch to being "Cell Phone Shack", but why would I go there when my carrier has a dozen of their own stores all over my city? Why involve a middle man in the equation? I never understood that, really.

The death knell for RS was when Frys electronics came to Phoenix about 15 years ago. All of the sudden you could get everything RS ever sold and more, and for less money than RS would have sold it for. I have been continuously amazed that they survived in Phoenix beyond that point. There is almost no purpose for their existence. The ONLY reason that I have gone to a RS in the last few years is that I have one a block away (pure convenience - Fry's is a few miles), but sometimes that ended up being a mistake. Recently in a rush I stopped there for electrical tape, short on time. They didn't know what it was, so I had to help them find it. There was ONE very old roll left, dog-eared and packaging yellowed. It looked well over ten years old. I bought it, and realized what a mistake that was when I got home to use it. It was old, crusty, and had very little adhesion left. Another time a friend told me that they had antenna tripods in a stack in the back, under some old things in storage (they had let him poke through the back room). I went there to get a few (there were none available locally and I needed them ASAP). When I described them I got puzzled looks, and head scratching. They searched for about ten minutes, before discovering them under a pile of trash, set to be hauled out. They were so old and the labels so faded and yellowed, I am going to say they were 15-20 years old. I happily bought two, but it struck me how much times have changed. When leaving they asked me "what does someone use one of those for"? I said to mount a rooftop antenna and I was asked "what is that"? I explained and one guy said "oh yeah, I have seen those on a few old homes in the city and wondered what they were for".

I feel like a total relic.
 

N9NRA

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Well, found out last week at work that the RS store here in this town appears to be on the closing block. As i`ve said before, this should be good for a snicker and good conversation on the run to Dayton on the train this year :D, might make the hours fly by a smidgen faster LOL. Anyway, as Darth Vader on Star Wars, Return of the Jedi said when his wingman wanted to go after a rebel fighter, "Let him go". So i say about dear ol` Radio Shack, "Let `em go". Need parts? There`s any number of places, both online and brick-and-mortar, to get `em. However the end of RS should make for some groovy chatter on the train to Ohio for Dayton :). N9NRA
 

W9BU

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The ONLY reason that I have gone to a RS in the last few years is that I have one a block away (pure convenience - Fry's is a few miles)...
Everybody's situation will be different.

In my case, RadioShack is 3.6 miles from my house with little to no traffic headaches. Fry's is 31 miles away and I'd have to drive through some of the heaviest freeway traffic in the state. My other option is a local electronics parts store in a rundown part of town that's only open 8-5 M-F. As others have stated, if you think ahead, you can mail order whatever you want. If you need something in a hurry, RadioShack used to be, and sometimes still is, very convenient.

Recently in a rush I stopped there for electrical tape...
FYI, you can buy Scotch 33 all day long at Lowes or Home Depot. And, the stock will be a lot fresher than RadioShack.


The Maker movement has been mentioned a few times in this thread. According to a story on NPR's All Things Considered last night, there's a renewed focus on "tech" hardware at this year's South By Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. And that includes an educational electronics toy that lets kids build simple electronic circuits.

The NPR story is here. The manufacturer of this toy is littleBits.
 

SCPD

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RS Stores

If they are closing all those RS stores, then that means that Scanner Master will be the KING of all Scanners & can name their price for all scanners & supports & parts, BUMMER ! SM is very high in prices now. They have closed some stores already in Wyandotte Co. Ks, I do be leave that the store in Leavenworth, Ks is next, OUCH !!
 

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FYI There are NO Radio Shack stores in Canada and there hasn't been for years. :(

The problem is stockholders don't see the "Maker movement" as increasing their dividend checks. "Makers" don't buy things like cellphones and "value added services" that bring in residual income.

The fact is, to support the large numbers of locations, a store has to do more than serve a niche group of customers who don't spend thousands of bucks a year.

It's econ 101. Fry's has 34 stores in a few states. Radio Shack has 7,150 locations in the US and Canada. Do the math. That's a ton of overhead. Fry's is the equivalent to a regional chain. RS is a giant in comparison.

there is NO WAY the Fry's model would be profitable at that level that RS operates at.

If this were the case, Fry's would be expanding into all 50 states. They are not because it would not be profitable.

And at the end of the day, we are talking about a for profit corporation that has to answer to it's stockholders. No touchy feely stuff, it's all numbers. Stockholders want to see higher stock prices and bigger dividend checks.

Radio Shack sticks with what brings in the most profit: cellphones which have high residual income from the carriers they have relationships with, and high demand consumer products like bluetooth headsets, Beats headphones, tablets and Ipods.

I'm sorry but Maker fairs just don't fit in that model at the scale of the operation they have.

RS has been a consumer electronics store since the 1970s. The consumer electronics landscape has changed. No one repairs that new Chinese flat screen TV, you can't even get parts and service for name brand stuff like Samsung once the warranty is over. No one builds there own stereo system from components. They buy some cheap plastic turdbox from China with a Bluetooth connection to listen to their tablet/phone/whatever. People want cheap, instant gratification nowadays.

RS has to do what it can to be profitable and keep it's stockholders happy. Maker fairs, ham radio operators, and scanner enthusiasts are not known for big bucks.

If that were so, Best Buy would be carrying Baofengs and Wal Mart would carry Yaesu, and have a section of their stadium sized stores dedicated to Arduinos.
 

N9NRA

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If rhe rib mountain store were to close i`d not lose any sleep over it, after i had a bad experience with some scanner programming software i bought at Raido Shack i basically said "no more", i won`t even buy batteries there. Besides, i can get batteries at Sears, which is closer for one, and the folks there aren`t totally rude and dumber than a box o` rocks. So, i say "good riddance" to dear ol` cellphone/sat tv shack....er...radio shack :D. N9NRA
 

lowboy654

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I have not read any of the past post about this, but I will say that its a said day, back when I was a kid in the 60's and 70's I just loved going to that store, It was my Dad's store it was my store, just used to love that place, that place has not been there in years.
 
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