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Will Radio Shack Survive 2014?




 
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Tom WA3KLR
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« on: December 29, 2013, 08:58:02 AM »

Here is a financial article that picks 5 companies that may not survive 2014.  One of them is Radio Shack :

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/five-companies-may-not-survive-094500643.html

I just happened to go in my local Radio Shack store a couple days ago after not being there for a very long time.  I had discovered that my freeze-mist can is practically empty so I figured that I would stop in there for kicks first.  They don't carry freeze-mist.  The guy showed me De-Ox-it and thermal compound, their closest products relating to thermal and chiller spray.  I asked if they had the De-Ox-it oil that you are supposed to use after using De-Ox-it. He said no.

So I have a freeze-mist product in my Amazon cart.  This is how I buy most of my miscellaneous items now.
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 11:01:37 AM »

Stock news item for the last several years, used to fill space at New Years.  Smiley

My Radio Shack is doing great.  Store was busy the week before Xmas, when I stopped there.  

I noted they are carrying a PCB layout kit with dry transfers again after several years absence from the RS stock.   The parts bins are well stocked; they had new Arduino components for 'Makers', and a new "Engineers' Mini Notebook" series by Forrest Mims III.

RS got a new CEO last January.  They shed their old manufacturing facility in China last year and are now procuring parts and products on a competitive basis.  As of two weeks ago the stock price was higher than Jan 2013.

I haven't seen any morse keys there but I still have my first one I got there in 1975.  I spliced it into the speaker line of my Halli S-38D and could practice my code by tuning in a nice carrier heterodyne.  Smiley

Good luck to RS!

p.s. In my little Kansas prairie town, my neighbor owned 'THE' TV-Stereo-2-Way Radio (and microwave ovens and VCR;s when they appeared) shop.  His Radio Shack franchise consisted of a six foot wide peg board with everything hanging on hooks.  I got all the used Admiral color TV's I wanted free, and disassembled them for parts in the cold garage with a Weller soldering gun.   Variable caps, enamel wire and crystal diodes came by mail from that giant, Burstein-Applebee in exciting Kansas City.
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kd1nw
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 03:57:38 PM »

i just needed a cheap section of rg-58, so i figured id stop into rs and grab some. they had no idea what rg-58 was, i explained it was coax. so he ran over to the coax section and said we have rg-6. i said thanks and left... seriously? not a single old dusty box of rg-58 left in any rs store? oh well
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 04:33:24 PM »

i just needed a cheap section of rg-58, so i figured id stop into rs and grab some. they had no idea what rg-58 was, i explained it was coax. so he ran over to the coax section and said we have rg-6. i said thanks and left... seriously? not a single old dusty box of rg-58 left in any rs store? oh well

You probably should have asked for some CB antenna cable which is RG58A/U.
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 04:43:18 PM »

RS discontinued bulk RG-58/Mini-8 coax about six years ago.  I bought the last box at my store.  

About two years ago, they started carrying terminated lengths in the online catalog/website.   My store has some.  One ham in Texas tells me that his store never stopped carrying bulk cable, although it was not RS brand.

Your local store manager determines much of what will be stocked or not stocked.  If you don't see it, ask for it.  They will gladly check nearby stores for transfer of stock or order from the warehouse.  That's how I go my last bottle of Ferric Chloride.

Don't blame the entire RS empire if you store is poorly stocked (or not supported by local customers)!

I've seen far too many hams complain about RS stocks and then in the next breath tell how they refuse to by a connector because they can get it from a ham vendor or distrubutor cheaper, or at the next hamfest (in 4 months).  If people don't buy local, there won't be any local stock, or store.
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kd1nw
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2013, 05:09:33 PM »

thanks for the advice guys.. i guess its more disappointment than a complaint. plus i guess it shows how often i go into a rs if it hasnt been carried in at least 6 years. i did check 3 rs stores here in ri and none of then carry it. i figured it was an online order only item now as when i asked for it they didn't know what it was and didnt offer to order it for me once i told them what it was. 73 kd1nw
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KA0HCP
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2013, 05:15:24 PM »

I'm not throwing any stones!

It's a sign of the times.  People don't buy coax or components (at least locally) like they did back in the 'good 'ole days'.   The internet is a big factor.

Just looking at how markets change, yesterday I saw that I can buy LMR-400 equivalents cheaper than the absolute price I was paying back in 1993 for Mini-8 from Radio Works.
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2013, 05:48:20 PM »

good point about the internet.. i guess its better for retailers to stock a warehouse or two with tons of components instead of trying to keep all the retail stores stocked with the various things..
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2013, 05:54:27 PM »

..been gone from canada about 10 yrs...
..sk..
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2013, 06:06:38 PM »

Everybody in the store I went to last Saturday was either buying or complaining about a smartphone. They are making money on phones. How can they expect people to drive there and pay 20 dollars for a car plug adapter that is 2 bucks online or 25 bucks for the 5 dollar HDMI cable on line?

Without flat screens, I think Best Buy would be in the same boat. Circuit City is gone and Staples is about gone too.
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K1JJ
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2013, 06:16:50 PM »

From a peak of about 80 in 1999 to a present price of about 2.60 per share.

T


* Radio Shark.png (7.49 KB, 330x96 - viewed 307 times.)
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2013, 07:54:15 PM »

An RS opened up in my town a few years ago. The folded up about 6 months ago. They carried very little in way of parts and cable and what was typical many years ago. When the business model changed way back when my visits were few and far between. I could probably count on one hand my visits in the last 10 years.  I won't even buy from them on the net.  They're not worth the trouble.
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Bob
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2013, 09:08:09 PM »

An RS opened up in my town a few years ago. The folded up about 6 months ago.

Bob,

Maybe you do, but probably not a lot of local CT hams know about this fine business electronic parts store in Newington near McDonalds. The name, "Cables and Connectors" is deceiving.  They have rows and rows of inexpensive small parts, kits, closeouts, etc., and at good prices.  I try to go there instead of Radio Shark even though its a longer drive.

You won't find any big mawl parts though... Grin

Look at the listing of parts of the left side.  Check them out if you haven't already:

http://cablesandconnectors.com/index.html

(Check out "Electronic Components")


T
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2013, 10:04:48 AM »

Tom,
Thanks. Bookmarked! 

Nice selection of metal encased power resistors and multipaks and a whole bunch of other stuff.

For all the times I go to or through Newington passed the McD's I never knew this establishment existed.  I think I've been to their website on a few occasions but never realized they're CT based.  I'm headed to Newington today as luck would have it.

I wonder how long they've been around.

bw
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Bob
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2013, 10:27:57 AM »

Those of us who live close to "Bean-town" have YOU-DO-IT ELECTRONICS in Needham, just off 128/I-95.
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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2013, 05:07:08 PM »

I loved that place but U DO IT would charge 50 dollars for the 5 dollar part. That place always catered to the MIT engineering student.
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2013, 06:40:08 PM »

I used to hit the RS store in the Fredricksburg VA mall just to kill time while XYL was shopping.  One day I scored a 10 meter RS rig for $42 dollars.....NIB on closeout.  Another day, the store mgr grabbed me and said, "I noticed that you buy this coax from time to time...would you be interested in the entire roll?"  I said sure and he let me out of there with almost an entire spool of their bulk RG-8/U for about 50 cents--he just wanted to get rid of it--they hadn't sold much to anyone else.  So here I go lugging this huge spool of the stuff heading towards Macy's to find XYL and get car keys <hihi>.  Still have it.  Unfortunately the store closed a few years ago. 

As for local electronics emporiums, I've been luckier out here in So CA.  Have Orvac's right in here in Fullerton--no old buzzard parts but plenty of components, NTE, Philmore, etc.

Also have Torrance Electronics and Signal Electronics over closer to LA--both good places but also a dying breed. 

Orvacs seem to cater to alarm installers and the pro audio/video guys in addition to hobby crowd.  Lots of em in there so I'm hoping it stays in place. 

Sourced most of my parts for my "PW Mini-Maul" (5763 modulated by 6AQ5W's) over there--less old buzzard components from junkbox........mod tranney, tubes, variable caps, xtal,.........Great place to spend a saturday morning browsing!

73's
Geo W8VG
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2013, 10:54:28 PM »

Quote
Those of us who live close to "Bean-town" have YOU-DO-IT ELECTRONICS in

So that's the real name? Most people I hear in conversation about that place refer to it as YOU BLEW IT
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2013, 10:26:28 PM »

Local guy had two RS franchise stores for years, one up the mountain and one nearby in the valley. He just closed the nearby store, and now has one. Don't know if this is related to their slump.
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Burt
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« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2014, 07:44:48 AM »

i just needed a cheap section of rg-58, so i figured id stop into rs and grab some. they had no idea what rg-58 was, i explained it was coax. so he ran over to the coax section and said we have rg-6. i said thanks and left... seriously? not a single old dusty box of rg-58 left in any rs store? oh well
Qualifications to work at Radio Shack=body temperature 98.6
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flintstone mop
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2014, 08:48:22 AM »

i just needed a cheap section of rg-58, so i figured id stop into rs and grab some. they had no idea what rg-58 was, i explained it was coax. so he ran over to the coax section and said we have rg-6. i said thanks and left... seriously? not a single old dusty box of rg-58 left in any rs store? oh well
Qualifications to work at Radio Shack=body temperature 98.6

Sometimes that works for the store, Burt. If someone wants some technical advice the employee would recommend something and if it didn't work out no hard feelings. Then they would try to convince the frustrated customer to buy a Sprint cell phone.
When I worked there I could never hit the sales needed to get commission. I was not a BS artist to push cell phones. That product line had the greatest value to get to commission. There were 3 employees that made huge commissions, but were gambling that the cell phones they sold would stay in the customer's hands. Many many returns on Sprint cellphones..
I enjoyed the employee discounts on goodies. I bought a HI-Resolution RCA 32inch CRT TV with DirecTV receiver that could decode OTA HD TV (the very beginning of HDTV). It did not have the 16:9 aspect ratio tube. The picture was not what we are seeing these days with flat screen TV's.
Their audio equipment and speakers really was very good quality for the price.
Lately, the last five years, the prices of TV's and audio equipment I see in RS is very high priced.
We have two in our small city and they have bailed me out with small parts and project boxes and wire.
Their batteries are no longer what they were 5 yrs ago. RS batteries were tested by several consumer groups and found to be of very good quality and the freshest battery available.
Fred
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2014, 03:16:40 PM »

Over the holidays I stopped into a local RS store in Lancaster PA.  I had picked up one of their small 120 VAC panel meters a few years ago and figured another one with its small form factor would fit a current project.    As I walked in I was greeted by the peppy sales girl who seemed eager to assist a new potential cell phone customer.    I told her I was looking for a 120 volt AC panel meter.   Without hesitation she said “Please wait while I get the store manger”.

No problem.   I probably knew the location of pieces and parts equal to or better than she did so I ambled over to said location and started looking around, wondering if the manager was calling Homeland Security or the FBI because I wanted an electronical part and braced myself for the arrival of the local SWAT Team.   But, as it turns out, my fears were unfounded.

The manager quickly appeared and seemed eager to assist a new customer.    Again I said I was looking for a 120 volt AC panel meter.  He went deep into thought and after a few seconds said “Is that like a multi-meter?”    Well, at least he was in the ball park.  I said kinde of, but it’s a small meter that people would mount on project boxes to measure 120V line voltage.

Again, he went deep into thought and finally replied that he didn’t think they carried any of those as “We’ve recently reformatted our store” and patted the pile of big LCD TVs he was resting his arm on.  Well fair enough I thought, at least he’s being honest.   So, I just said thank you and said I’d look around.

It was soon apparent they didn’t have that for which I quested, so I was leaving the store and the manager stopped me and asked if I’d found what I was looking for.  I said no, but it was perhaps because they no longer stocked the item.  He replied

“I’m sorry to hear that; I would have liked to see what one looked like”.

I just smiled and left the store; looking hither and yonder for the Men in Black with zapo ray guns.  Seeing none, I ambled over to my trusty Jeep and drove off into the sunset…..
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73 Mark K3MSB
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2014, 04:01:21 PM »

Big changes through the years. I guess I was one of those 98.6 guys Burt was referring to, but back in the day - mid 70's before the whole "you want a cell phone with that?" craze. The one I worked in was an independent franchise store and I worked there for a few months during the holiday season and beyond. Back then, we were actually able to give folks good advice about electronics parts, scanners, tubes(!) and stuff, and about TV antennas and cable. Most of that fell to me with my ham radio background. I also had a small repair spot setup in the back. Often we'd get in some device that wouldn't function. Before we'd ship it back, I'd take a quick look and found that maybe 70% of them could be fixed with a touch of solder or replacing a crystal or something simple that got broke in shipping or wasn't done right at the factory. The boss liked that.  Grin

Was an interesting experience and always left me with a soft spot for RS. But they certainly are a shadow of their former selves, and it's always a giggle to see what happens when you ask the eager beaver salesdroid for a part or anything that isn't a phone or TV. I used to find myself offering advice when I'd hear one of the salesfolks misleading a poor customer down a dark alley away from the solution when they didn't understand the question and were just flinging BS.

 Still, it's handy to be able to stop there for a run of the mill part like a switch or box. I will miss them if they go.

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73 de Kevin, WB2EMS
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2014, 04:55:05 PM »

It started to change for me back in the 80's.  I remember hearing the doorbell chime, then axing the Disco Duck behind the counter if he had any  455 kHz IF cans in stock.  (They used to have them on the wall)  He looked at me puzzled and said he never heard of it, but what was I going to use it for?    

After that adventure, I got that question often. "What am I going to use it for?"   Should I spend the next 5 minutes explaining Dick the Bruiser, Rico Suave or Fabio II to you?

Yes, there was a time when we could go to that white pegboard at the shopping mall and build a lot of good stuff.  But now it's a throw-away society and surface mount mentality.

T

(BTW, in 1973 during college, I worked at RS for 6 months)
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« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2014, 05:25:55 PM »

While standing in line, the RS store manager was helping a customer. He had some batteries in a de vise  and he said the de vise was not working. The helpfull manager offered to test the RS batteries the customer had. She got out the batterie tester, tested the batts, they measured around 1.5 volts. She sent him on his way. I mentioned that testing the batts without a load may not give an accurate reading. She told me that she had a smart tester, and the batts were good. So I guess the auto ranging dvm is now a smart device.

I feel so stupid.

klc
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