Author Topic: Radio Shack to go under  (Read 103275 times)

bcalla

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2013, 08:12:03 AM »
and the staff had no idea what I was talking about.
Last weekend I was Christmas shopping with my wife and when we walked past a RS I realized that I needed an extension cable for my headphones so I could practice when she is asleep.  The RS employee took me to the wall with all of their cell phone and music player accessories and handed me a white extension cable (a non-RS brand) for $22.95.  When I challenged him, he told me this is all they have.  So I went to the back of the store where they still have an aisle of DIY parts, connectors, soldering and hobby tools, etc. and found a RS branded black cable for $6.99.  I actually believe that the employee had no idea what was in the DIY aisle.
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mikeford

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Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2013, 08:54:59 AM »
Worked for them in my school days. Mgr. hired me because I knew what the hell a 555 timer did! We were in a major university town, and come April, ALL the kids from the engineering school would be clammerin' for parts! I did enjoy that employee discount! They did have a direct corp. parts supply for schools in Texas. I used to get Purchase Orders for the University. Hell, i had to get corporate to send me a stack of paper catalogs to hand out.
  After I graduated and moved, the local store was going out of business. I was buying EVERY component. A HUGE black bag. after trying for a few minuets of trying to ring it all up,(and trying to figure out the discount via a calculator,pencil and pad, I might ad) The kid said.."look, NOBODY wants any of this. just gimmie $20 bucks and we will call it a done deal!" I'm STILL using those parts to this day!( it was about 6 years ago,)

Jopn

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2013, 11:15:39 AM »
Our local Active Electronics has been fading out components over the past year, and replacing them with more tools and niche products.  In particular, they have started carrying Arduinos, Beagle boards, Raspberry Pi, and a wall of Sparkfun and similar modules for the MAKE crowd.  They also seem to have upped their selection of tools and instruments.   I guess they figured that, for the store footprint that this inventory takes up, the profit margin is much bigger than on resistors, caps and chips.  They still have a decent selection of heat shrink tubing....but then who orders that sort of stuff on-line, right?  Same thing with chemicals that often cannot be shipped.

The investorplace article suggests that one of RS's less wise moves was to emphasize the same sorts of consumer electronics that the larger box store chains also carry and can easily underprice RS on.  I'm not saying Active will grow like gangbusters, but I think their move towards higher-end digital hobbyists may be a wiser move than what RS did, in terms of keeping them viable. 

I buy what I can stomach buying from Active in order to support local, but it sucks when you go in for 10k resistors and 10uF electros and walk out only with the resistors (for something like $4 for 20) and end up desoldering your old TV set to get the electros you needed.

They also certainly aren't hurting for floorspace either.  They look like they struggle to spread out their components enough to cover the aisles.

CodeMonk

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2013, 03:39:00 PM »
and the staff had no idea what I was talking about.
Last weekend I was Christmas shopping with my wife and when we walked past a RS I realized that I needed an extension cable for my headphones so I could practice when she is asleep.  The RS employee took me to the wall with all of their cell phone and music player accessories and handed me a white extension cable (a non-RS brand) for $22.95.  When I challenged him, he told me this is all they have.  So I went to the back of the store where they still have an aisle of DIY parts, connectors, soldering and hobby tools, etc. and found a RS branded black cable for $6.99.  I actually believe that the employee had no idea what was in the DIY aisle.

I don't think half of the employees even know what the letters DIY stand fir,

cloudscapes

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2013, 04:03:37 PM »
5 resistors for $3.99 in excessively large packaging isn't a good business model. meanwhile, in the other 9.8/10ths of the store, celphones, clocks and cameras are being sold at less than a bargain than what the big stores are offering.



our local electronics surplus store is going through the same motions. every year they leave less room for parts and take more room for boringly common consumer electronics.
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PRR

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2013, 11:34:13 PM »
> one foot in the grave eventually find their other foot

I know bad business. The Shack has been bad for a long-long time. I don't know why they are still around, but I think it is foolish to predict 2015, 2020, 2525, or whatever.

> The probability of a Radio Shack comeback as a trend setting global competitor is far from a sure thing.

I would say the odds are dead-nuts zero. Too-dumb-to-die is also too dumb to lead.

> I'll see your TL072 and raise you a SAD1024!

Pass. I do think RS will be alive in 5 years, but I could be wrong, and want to keep my losses down. i.e. I have $0.39 confidence in my opinion. ($1.79 at RS, but if they die, I'll have to cover the bet at non-RS prices.)

> they were a sister Co. to Tandy Leather...

Charles Tandy had a small leather outfit, expanded, and made a million. He bought a small electronics "shack" and worked a second miracle. He died and it's been hit/miss ever since.

> from The Onion, in 2007

Thanks for knowing the cite I couldn't find. Perhaps the best investigative journalism on the topic.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 11:36:47 PM by PRR »
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armdnrdy

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2013, 03:40:31 AM »

I know bad business. The Shack has been bad for a long-long time. I don't know why they are still around, but I think it is foolish to predict 2015, 2020, 2525, or whatever.


(2007) (excerpt from the Onion)
(Radio Shack) ranks as a Fortune 500 company, with gross revenues of over $4.5 billion and fiscal quarter earnings averaging tens of millions of dollars.

(2012)
Last year, RadioShack took a $139 million loss, a drastic 7% dip in same-store sales for the fourth quarter, and company debt swelling from $670 million to $777 million in 2012, the red flags are waving.

These aren't predictions. These are hard, cold facts. This company is in a downward spiral. There losses are unsustainable. They will soon reach a point when their creditors with call in their markers.....no more cash to pay for merchandise...time to sell off their equity, pay the bills, and close the doors. This is business 101....unless your the Government.....they play by different rules.  :icon_wink:
I just designed a new fuzz circuit! It almost sounds a little different than the last fifty fuzz circuits I designed! ;)

tubegeek

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2013, 04:34:25 AM »
I wouldn't necessarily put "The Onion" and "facts" in the same sentence. The Onion is a humor site and makes up everything they write. If their stats happened to be correct, that's mere coincidence.
"The first four times, we figured it was an isolated incident." - Angry Pete

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candidate

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2013, 06:42:12 AM »
well, at any rate, the Onion gets closer to the Truth.  which may be more important than any facts

lapsteelman

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2013, 09:47:28 AM »
If they do go under, I'll miss the aluminum project box. There price on most things might be high but that's just about the cheapest metal enclosure of it's size that I've found.

There are a few other things I get there pretty regularly (perfboard, RCA jacks,). What I don't go there for is the "knowledgeable staff". I work next to a Radio Shack and on many occasion I have had to walk someone over there and show them something, because the RS employees insist they don't have it.


DougH

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2013, 10:08:11 AM »
Radio Shack has been about-to-die for 20 or 30 years.

I remember in the 1980s, talking to a manager who thought RS would implode in a year.

Nobody, least of all Radio Shack, knows why they are still around.

Exactly. To me, instead of "stable" or "profitable", I view their status as "chronic".

And I read these kinds of articles with a huge grain of salt anyway. Every year it's the same: predictions of who's going out of business next year. Many of the predictions never come true while many who were never predicted to, fall flat on their face.


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mth5044

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2013, 12:26:37 PM »
These aren't predictions. These are hard, cold facts.

Oh no, you can not quote the onion and state 'hard, cold facts'  :icon_lol:

DougH

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2013, 12:29:51 PM »
I just knew that some day someone on the internet would quote an Onion article as "cold, hard facts".

That day has come.


 :icon_mrgreen:
"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you."


armdnrdy

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2013, 12:49:30 PM »
Okay boys.........they went from a profitable company to unsustainable losses.

These are the cold hard facts.

(from Radio Shack Wiki)

In April 2012, after RadioShack had released very poor first quarter 2012 results, Moody's reduced its ratings on RadioShack to junk status.
On April 14, 2012, the stock sank to an all-time low early in the day's trading.
On July 11, 2013, the stock price sank again on rumors that the company would soon file bankruptcy.
I just designed a new fuzz circuit! It almost sounds a little different than the last fifty fuzz circuits I designed! ;)

Electron Tornado

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2013, 12:59:55 PM »
All of this kind of begs the question whether a brick and mortar "parts, kits, and gadgetry" store could survive today. Let's say there is a decent selection of all three of those categories AND a knowledgable staff.

I know Dayton, OH has a couple such stores. I'm not sure if one is a small chain, but the one I have been in is independent. That particular store has parts in bins so you can buy in ones and twos or handfulls, new, used, and surplus, as well as a staff whose eyes don't glaze over when you say "op amp". (The downside is that Dayton is a 3-4 hour drive for me.) The older hands here may know if some place like that was the roots of Radio Shack 

If Radio Shack's longevity is a mystery, then I really wonder how those smaller, independent places - where the ohms are strong, the microfarads are good looking, and the parts selection is above average - can keep going in a world where "nobody uses that archaic stuff". There must be some market for it, and I wonder if there is a greater potential market that Radio Shack has consistently failed to tap.
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psychedelicfish

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2013, 01:50:51 PM »
All of this kind of begs the question whether a brick and mortar "parts, kits, and gadgetry" store could survive today. Let's say there is a decent selection of all three of those categories AND a knowledgable staff.
Here in New Zealand (and in Australia) Dick Smith used to be a "parts, kits and gadgetry" store, but like Radio Shack, it moved to consumer electronics. Dick Smith, however, was far more successful at this, mostly because there weren't many other consumer electronics shops around when it made the move. Nowadays there's a few jacks and maybe an LED or two in some tiny trays at the back of some of their stores.

In New Zealand (and again, also Australia) we also have Jaycar. That's definitely a "parts, kits, and gadgetry" store. It also seems to be reasonably successful at doing this, they have a decent range and certainly a knowledgeable and friendly staff (NOT underpaid teenagers). It must be quite hard for a store like that to compete with online component shops, though. I have mostly stopped going there, and I only go there now to buy a couple of parts that I can't wait until my next online order. I did buy all the parts for a project from Jaycar once, and it came to about NZ$60, compared to what would have costed me NZ$20 online.
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derevaun

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2013, 11:57:48 PM »
I'd be a little sad if Radio Shack disappeared. At least until I could find another place to buy their 276-150 perfboard. And the 276-159.

It's easy to overstate the decrease in hobby supplies at Radio Shack. The bins are still full are my local stores, the solder selection is still there, and there's a bunch of new maker-oriented stuff. I can get all of it cheaper and often better online. But it's good to have a place to get something in a hurry to address an actual, immediate, practical problem, unrelated to more programmatic projects for which RS has long been an obviously terrible idea.

I also have not in recent memory been the only person in Radio Shack. They tend to attract customers who appreciate a smaller, quieter space.

They don't seem to cultivate any customer base consistently, though. So it's not really surprising that their business model may be failing. Too bad, IMHO. I doubt I'm going to be super into whatever shows up in the space RS vacates, whenever that happens.

tubegeek

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2013, 12:45:53 AM »
I'd be a little sad if Radio Shack disappeared. At least until I could find another place to buy their 276-150 perfboard. And the 276-159.

I agree with you 100%: I'm a pretty dedicated DIY electronics guy, and I can think of about two or three items (the same ones) that I like to buy at Radio Shack. That can't spell a bright future for them.

If they can't cash in on the Rise Of The Maker, they're in pretty big trouble. I have no idea why there isn't a giant LEGO Mindstorm display in every Radio Shack.
"The first four times, we figured it was an isolated incident." - Angry Pete

"(Chassis is not a magic garbage dump.)" - PRR

garcho

Re: Radio Shack to go under
« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2013, 03:16:03 AM »
Quote
276-150 perfboard. And the 276-159.

http://www.busboard.us/    Not the same, but better, IMO.

Quote
If they can't cash in on the Rise Of The Maker, they're in pretty big trouble. I have no idea why there isn't a giant LEGO Mindstorm display in every Radio Shack.

Because they're dumb, remember?
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