Ailing electronics retailer RadioShack is teetering ever closer to insolvency, reports claim, with a potential bankruptcy filing to come as soon as next month. Although RadioShack has not said that it plans to file for bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reports that Salus Capital Partners has already offered it $500m in …
Friday 16th January 2015 02:55 GMT Ketlan
Friday 16th January 2015 10:54 GMT TRT
Friday 16th January 2015 14:40 GMT launcap
> 1985-1988, when the company was actually doing OK
Didn't stop their built products being crap - we bought 3 things
1. mains-bourne intercoms (kept dying - store manager protested that they were not meant to be on all the time, thus kind of missing the point of intercoms). Eventually got our money back.
2. Ghetto-blaster - first the main board went (replaced). Then it went again (replaced). Then the tape decks stopped working (motor replaced). Then the radio tuning stopped working (the bit-of-string tuning had disintegrated). By that point we'd go so sick of it that we then binned it.
3. A Sony-Walkman clone (tape obviously) - numerous problems with it eating tapes, motor incredibly variable in speed despite fresh batteries. Replaced twice, same problems with repacements. Binned
After that I decided that they would never get any monet from me again..
Friday 16th January 2015 03:10 GMT Mark 85
As a former customer...
all I can say is bye-bye. I used to use them for components for various projects but as they went into the big items, TV, electronic toys, phones, etc., they're components became basically small box stuff for cable tv, etc. which Wally World and every other discount store sold cheaper. They forgot their roots.
I used to buy their stuff as I'm a bit impatient and didn't want to wait a few days for UPS...
Friday 16th January 2015 03:32 GMT RAMChYLD
Friday 16th January 2015 09:16 GMT J.G.Harston
Friday 16th January 2015 09:19 GMT Anonymous Coward
" I remember their (Tandy's) pricing strategy in the 80s"
For UK readers, this 1980s experience is still available, by going to Maplin. But be quick, because they'll be gone soon, for the same reasons. Just like Radio Shack's boss, I can't understand why they're still in business, and I'd guess their management don't know either.
Friday 16th January 2015 13:16 GMT Spoonsinger
Re:- by going to Maplin.
Everytime I go to my local Maplin I get accosted by spotty teen floor staff at the entrance asking whether 'they can help?'. It's probably the most annoying shopping experience I've endured trying to actually get into a shop while wanting to purchase the thing I need immediately. Knowing their mark up is based on the emergency factor anyway, they should preclude having to run that annoying gauntlet to get the bits people need.
Monday 18th April 2016 20:59 GMT JimWin
Bardwells - now there's a trip down memory lane
As a yoof in the 60's, I lived in Sheffield and Bardwells was the Mecca for all things electronic. It got me hooked on electronics and hi-fi and led me along a path that led to engineering qualifications and a rewarding work life. RadioShack came along a bit later but it sucked even in the early days so I'm not at all surprised about their demise.
Friday 16th January 2015 09:28 GMT Troy Peterson
I miss the Radio shack of hte 80's and early 90s... Our first computer was a Tandy 1000... Quite a good computer actually... if only software supported the Tandy Graphics Adapter and Tandy 3-voice sound... 99% of the time it fell back on EGA and PC-speaker... but still a good machine.
In the town I lived in (less than 2000 people) the local Radio Shack was the only place within a 6 hour drive where you could buy any computer stuff... or any electronic components. Sure they were outrageously over-priced... but at least you could buy components. When I was a young nerd-ling (around 10ish) and into electronics it was like a candy store. I begged my parrents to buy me oen of the 50-in-1 electronics kits... and eventually had quite a few of those over the years.... but by 1995 or so RadioShack just took a sharp turn downhill... I can't believe they are still in business too....
Now I live in the UK and Maplin here is great. Everytime I go into Maplin it's like a little bit of nostalgia for what Radio Shack used to be like... but as someone else said, I don't think they'll be around forever either...
Friday 16th January 2015 10:58 GMT TRT
Ah, those were the days...
I used to work at Tandy (Radio Shack) in Salford, that's a city right next to Manchester. One day I was seconded to the Bolton store a few miles away to cover during an outbreak of 'flu.
At this point I have to explain the Bolton accent for those who haven't heard it. The best example I can think of, that people may have heard, is that of Brian Glover, who does the voice over for Tetley Tea, and was the prison govenor in Alien3.
Anyway, this red-cheeked, weather-beaten, man wearing a flat-cap and Wellington boots came into Tandy and said to me,
"'Scuse me son, but does tha' sell turps?"
"I'm sorry sir, you could try FADS the DIY shop around the corner."
To which he replied,
"No lad. I heard how tha' sells turps in 'ere."
"Well, we do have a range of cleaning products for hi-fi's, records and the like."
Getting quite agitated now the man replied,
"No, lad, no. Turps; for me turp recorder."
Friday 16th January 2015 11:10 GMT TRT
Re: Ah, those were the days...
And then there was the young Irish lady I helped choose a telephone for.
Standing at the pay-desk, new telephone in hand, the young lady said to me, in a beautiful Irish lilt,
"T'ank you ever so fer all yer help now. Oh, while 'am here, tell me now, do you have a box for tips?"
Flattered, I replied,
"Thank you, but I'm afraid we arn't allowed to accept gratuities."
Laughing gently she said,
"No, no, I meant a case for putting all me music tips into fer when I go back te Ireland."
Friday 16th January 2015 11:37 GMT Joe Harrison
I once had an urgent call to fix a printer in Scunthorpe because they couldn't do the paired vices. WTF? They repeated it several times but I was too polite to tell them I had no idea what they were talking about. Eventually "You know, the paired vice slip you get in your wage packet..."
Friday 16th January 2015 12:09 GMT bob, mon!
Friday 16th January 2015 13:04 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: me stoopid murrican
Turps = Turpentine - for cleaning paint brushes etc
Music Tips = Music tapes... cassette tapes... normally C60, C90 - but don't risk C120 :) Very handy for "backups" of ZX Spectrum (or C64 for you "murrican's") games.
"paired vice slip" - no idea, but I'll kick myself when someone explains :)
Friday 16th January 2015 13:04 GMT paulf
Re: me stoopid murrican
"turps" and "Music tips" = tapes i.e. Compact Cassettes
"Paired vice slip" = Pay Advice Slip - A printed piece of paper that explains why you got what you did in your pay packet (A small brown envelope with currency in it, back when employees had the right to be paid in cash, and before the days of direct bank transfer)
Friday 16th January 2015 13:48 GMT Anonymous Coward
They helped introduce me to computers through their Model 1 and the (at the time, in comparison to other systems) excellent extended basic. It was great having a shop round the corner where I could buy bits and pieces for my Model 1 and CoCo systems - no internet meant the alternative was buying a computer magazine and posting a cheque off somewhere, and even Tandy's prices seemed reasonable in comparison to sending a money order overseas.
However, the decline set in over here I think because the Coco had such a dismal display capability and was so expensive, so Tandy lost out to Acorn for the BBC computer, and concentrated on not-quite IBM compatables.
It may have been the lag between the US market and the UK's, but Tandy seemed to lose faith in their computer products very quickly, so stuff was hardly on the shelf before it was discontinued and sold off. Good for me but not for their bottom line.
Still, 1982 and I had my own desktop publishing system all sourced from Tandy.
The local store has long gone of course, and stopped carrying computer stuff even longer ago, but I still fondly remember poking through their bargain box and pulling out a model 1 dancing demon programme for a fiver...
Friday 16th January 2015 13:50 GMT Carl Pearson
Down the Tubes
I knew the 'Shack was destined for failure when they started taking tube testers out of the stores.
These days they look like a section of the discount aisle at Best Buy. Barely anything worth purchasing.
However, they *do* have one potentially valuable commodity: a *lot* of retail space.
Seems like all the Maker folk out there could use a friendly place to gather, shop, exchange and designs, whatnot.
Perhaps ARM and Raspberry should get together?
Friday 16th January 2015 17:39 GMT swschrad
ah, retail space.
look around the mall. it ain't valuable any more. over here in the 50 states, most malls are half leased, something to do with building 5 times more stores than people use.
I agree, if RS had gone Maker last year, they'd be growing. there are at least 5 3D printers under the $1000 mark, for instance. 3 bucks for a roll of filament, which the machines eat like popcorn. Raspberry PI headquarters and take that phone space, put in a round table and a big power supply, and hold Saturday afternoon "make it do something" classes. get the parts back on the pegboard.
nah. down at Tandy Tower, all the suits want slick phone apps. so that's what everybody wants, new phone every 5 months and push cute apps.
gurgle, and the drain is clogged again with another power tie.
Friday 16th January 2015 17:30 GMT swschrad
actually, RS did NOT shut down 1000 stores
lenders wouldn't let them. for sure they've closed about 300. I saw a report early this week that said about 700. but I rather doubt they had the cash to do that, and again, lenders don't want them to waste cash on silly things like mall rental buyouts and legal staff separation payments. they'd rather The Shack buys more robot toys and push them to... uh... I don't see anybody coming in...
Friday 16th January 2015 18:36 GMT CJ_in_AZ
Hmmm... guess I'll be the first to mention remembering the "free battery a month" card at RS from the 1960s (and "computer" meant something that would take more space than my parents' apartment).
In Y2K, I went to Australia, and encountered Dick Smith's Electronics Stores -- IM[NS]HO what Radio Shack really SHOULD have been.
Using American jargon, Radio Shack is to electronics what 7-11 ["convenience store"] is to groceries -- great when you need something in a hurry on Sunday afternoon, but you really don't want to do your weekly shopping there. (We Yanks aren't into going to the market every day -- Tesco found that out the hard way when their "Fresh and Easy" stores flopped here.)
Friday 16th January 2015 18:49 GMT Tubz
Friday 16th January 2015 19:30 GMT sisk
Saturday 17th January 2015 07:03 GMT polly618
Radio Shack hasn't a hope when Fry's Electronics Super Store can deliver everything that anyone could want from RS and more. They started as a Food Super Market with a minimal corner displaying a few early electronic components and are now an Electronics Supermarket with a minimal corner for food. Maplin should try and emulate them and really succed