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Will Radio Shack Survive 2014?




 
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« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2014, 05:35:29 PM »

At my local RS store I once asked if they had any diodes? He went in the back room and fetched a big box of all the stuff no longer for sale on the shelf's. I found what I needed. I should have made him an offer on the whole box! Don't be afraid to ask about what is in the back room is the lesson I learned about RS.
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« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2014, 05:40:36 PM »

The RS in New London CT was my hang out when I was a kid back in the 70's. I don't know if he was a manager or a sales person but his name was Red. He was a hippy. This guy was the nicest guy and bent over backwards for me and my brothers when ever we stopped by. He was somewhat knowledgeable and my Mom liked him because she didn't consider him a creep and was just very personable. I don't know how much stuff I bought from him but he was always helpful and curious with my projects. I'd stop in with my Popular Electronics magazine articles to collect parts and pay for them with my allowance. He'd help anyway he could to see me through.  Then one day he was no longer there. My visits then became few and far between.  Another electronics store opened up in the area and I frequented them and they're still in business to this day but they were next to a hardware store that was a fixture in New London. I never forgot about Red. Many years later I had to fix something at my parents house and went to a local hardware store. This store was like an old RS. It had everything. Guess who was working behind the counter, Red. I did not recognize him at first as he put on a lot of weight and cut his long red hair but he recognized me when I stopped in. He asked about my Mom and brothers then it clicked. I don't know what happened to him but won't forget him on how he treated me.  The hardware store went out of business and of course the New London RS changed and I move away but that place has good memories.
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2014, 07:50:30 PM »

A wonderful story Bob.

Thanks.
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73 de Tom WA3KLR  AMI # 77   Amplitude Modulation - a force Now and for the Future!
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2014, 08:43:57 PM »

Looks like it's not just the typical new year chatter after all.

Sharks are circling; option puts and short sellers are very active.

http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post--is-this-the-end-for-radioshack
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« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2014, 12:06:44 PM »

On Saturday I helped a ham repair a Hallicrafters HA-1 "TO" keyer, the power transformer had shorted AC to ground. We used a N.O.S. 15 VA 1:1 isolation transformer (small Stancor) for plate voltage. For filament, though, there wasn't much room left on that chassis. RS has had a line of 12.6 VAC CT transformers for years, 300 mA, 1.2 Amp, 3 Amp. The TO keyer has 4 x 12AU7 in it, so need about 600 mA at 12.6 VAC. A call to the nearby Shack proved success, they had them all IN STOCK. Steve and I bought all they had, as the items were on the bottom hangers in what used to be the parts row and were dusty. The keyer was fixed. Later that day I was across Santa Fe and happened upon Radio Shack # 2, went and found the same few dusty transformers on the bottom hangers. I bought a couple more, and asked the manager if that was the end of the small parts. Surprisingly, she answered no and said they had run low on inventory over the holiday and were expecting a shipment this week. In my mind, however, I think she didn't know what a transformer was, as those were not hot items that sold out over holiday, but dusty remnants of the better days of the Shack as a source for electronic parts. I believe she was thinking of small parts with things like smart phone covers and screen protectors, bluetooth speakers and such. Keep your eyes open for some good sales in coming months, if they indeed go worse into the red.
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Tom WA3KLR
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2014, 07:59:27 PM »

I heard on the radio on the way home tonight that Radio Shack will close up to 1100 stores.  They lost $191 million in the last quarter of 2013.

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_25271292/radio-shack-close-more-than-1-000-stores
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73 de Tom WA3KLR  AMI # 77   Amplitude Modulation - a force Now and for the Future!
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2014, 09:27:10 PM »

IIRC RS ran a superbowl commercial this year...then the next day closed a bunch of stores.  That made some headlines. Yup...they are not long for this business world.

Stopped in at U-Blew-It Electronics a few weeks back...was disappointed in their stock.  They did not have an RG8X connector. 
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« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2014, 10:43:47 PM »

The report also said: "CEO Joseph Magnacca said the closings would leave the company with more than 4,000 U.S. stores. That's still far more than Best Buy, which has roughly 1,400 U.S. locations, and makes RadioShack stores nearly as common as Wal-Mart. "

You get rid of stores that are just not profitable and are just there creating more overhead expense to the Company. Very wise thing to do if you want to succeed.
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« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2014, 09:25:05 AM »

I stopped in at the RS around the corner not long ago and was pleasantly surprised that the guy actually knew a great deal.
The stock of discrete parts was good and I easily found what I needed.

Sometimes ya just never know what you're gonna find!
 
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« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2014, 09:34:10 AM »

For RS to survive they are going to have to pick a clear strategy and stick with it.  It is very late in the game already but they can be guaranteed of failure if the zigging and zagging of the recent years continues.

At the time of their failure, W.T. Grant held the record for the largest retail bankruptcy.  They also adopted 7 significantly different retail strategies in their final 5 years confusing potential customers and employees alike.  Providing credit to anyone who could fog a mirror wasn't one of their better ideas and Mitsubishi motors provided empirical evidence that this was still a bad idea several decades later Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2014, 03:38:35 PM »

Went in yesterday and they're not carrying ATC/ATO fuses anymore......one less reason to go inside.
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« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2014, 04:20:28 PM »

Yup, I asked the clerk at my closest RS what the future looked like for his store. He said that they received a directive from the regional headquarters to start shipping all their unsold inventory of cellular products back to the distribution center. I guess they will try to sell whatever is left and then close it up.

Back in the 70's I walked into the West Hartford RS to pick up one of the assortment packs of disc ceramic capacitors with low values that would yield a few 100 pf caps. The manager behind the counter asked me what I was looking for and I said I needed a couple of 100 picofarad capacitors. He yelled across the store to a couple of clerks roaming the aisles and asked them if they could see any picofarads back there. That cracked me up but to his credit he eventually tracked down what I was looking for.

Rob W1AEX
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« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2014, 04:50:10 PM »

The RS near me stocks resistors, capacitors, LEDs, IC chips, audio & RF connectors, switches and other parts for the hobbyist -very convenient when I need something quickly AND they have the correct component value.  About 10 years ago RS seemed to shift its focus to selling cell phones & plans. I'm guessing that competing effectively with the big players in that business isn't easy.
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« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2014, 05:36:33 PM »

Competing with Verizon and the cellular big guns is like RS marketing their TRS-80 computers in the late 70's and 80's - the big guns eventually took them out.

Just cuz someone is first to the marketplace doesn't mean they will be first in the future.  Look at AOL, Yahoo, Xerox, Marconi, Studebaker.  

But sometimes it does work - look at Bill Gates.   He was first -  and recently the richest man in the whirl. And the more recent Facebook, very late in the game but still made $billions.      

Oh, where did I go wrong?   :-)

T
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« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2014, 05:42:37 PM »

I see that RS is running a new campaign called "DIT" (instead of "DIY")  Anyway it stands for Do it Together.  I guess they are trying to stir up the Do it Yourself and electronics hobbyist business.  I wish they would get the point that their business suffered greatly when they dropped their extensive racks of blister packs of goodies and surplus parts that we all used to really count on for projects.  Now most of the available parts are contained in a couple of cabinets with drawers.  Most of the drawer contents are over-priced and insufficient to meet any but the most basic needs.  Ham Radio is only one of many electronics-oriented hobbies that require parts and supplies to pursue.  Seems like all the audio/video guys, computer nerds, and "Makers" would represent enough of a market to justify carrying parts. Huh

73,  Jack, W9GT
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« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2014, 08:53:23 PM »


 The manager behind the counter asked me what I was looking for and I said I needed a couple of 100 picofarad capacitors. He yelled across the store to a couple of clerks roaming the aisles and asked them if they could see any picofarads back there. T

Rob W1AEX

Good old fashion retail salesman inside joke humor. We use to do all the time with customers at Lafayette.
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« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2014, 09:47:36 AM »


 The manager behind the counter asked me what I was looking for and I said I needed a couple of 100 picofarad capacitors. He yelled across the store to a couple of clerks roaming the aisles and asked them if they could see any picofarads back there. T

Rob W1AEX

Good old fashion retail salesman inside joke humor. We use to do all the time with customers at Lafayette.

It appears to be working just as well at Radio Shack as it did at Lafayette.
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« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2014, 10:08:28 AM »


Oh, where did I go wrong?   :-)


Instead of concentrating on making billions, you were having fun on AM hanging with us :-)

So, ultimately, aren't you glad you focused on what you enjoy instead? 
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« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2014, 10:21:23 AM »


It appears to be working just as well at Radio Shack as it did at Lafayette.


I worked for both Lafayette and Radio Shack.  The one that treated its employees and customers best was Lafayette.  I never had a bad word for Lafayette when I left.  I can't say the same for RS.  The best is not always the survivor in the business world.

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« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2014, 12:30:16 PM »

All I want from Radio Shack is that good cigar scent which came along with the Archer Space Patrol base station I got for Christmas in 1971.

Better than new car smell.
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« Reply #45 on: March 06, 2014, 02:22:22 PM »

Was that the big box (with little in it) tunable RX and the cw jey on the front?

That was my first rig ever.



All I want from Radio Shack is that good cigar scent which came along with the Archer Space Patrol base station I got for Christmas in 1971.

Better than new car smell.
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« Reply #46 on: March 06, 2014, 03:01:43 PM »

Was that the big box (with little in it) tunable RX and the cw jey on the front?

That was my first rig ever.



All I want from Radio Shack is that good cigar scent which came along with the Archer Space Patrol base station I got for Christmas in 1971.

Better than new car smell.

Yes. I still have one and should put it on ten Cheesy
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« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2014, 12:07:46 PM »

Had to laugh recently, or maybe I just shook my head in disbelief. Getting old, can't remember which. Where wuz I....

Oh yes, I was building up a quick and dirty battery tray for testing an old 1 tube Regen. Since I'm out in the sticks and wasn't in a hurry, I shopped online and ended up on epay.

Purchased a little cheapy plastic D cell holder from Rat Shack of all places, the kind with the wires crimped instead of solder. A whopping $1.49 plus .10 NC tax. Amazingly, shipping was FREE.

Not only that, they shipped it FedWrex ground to the PO who delivered it to me. In a box that could've fit 20 or more of them.

$1.49!!  Gas to and from the nearest store would've cost me several times the purchase price. Would've been happy to spend a couple bucks for shipping.

With that kind of business plan, it'd be no surprise if they went belly-up. I mean, sure - some Chinese prisoner probably built the thing and Rat Shack probably paid a nickel for it, but still... after the shipping, where's the profit? Are they hoping that overwhelming sales will offset it?
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« Reply #48 on: March 07, 2014, 03:30:17 PM »

Todd,

I did the same over Christmas since buying some phenolic perf board via the RS ebay store was cheaper and far more convenient than driving in to Bloomington to pick it up at the store.  I notice sometime in the last few months they closed the store in Bloomington/Normal that was most convenient to me.  I think if I had shopped there a few more times I could have started becoming fairly fluent in Spanish Smiley
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« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2014, 09:45:29 AM »

Aren't most of the stores local franchises?  They probably have a number of "company stores", but I wonder what determines which ones they will close? We have several stores in the Fort Wayne area, but they will probably close the one that is closest and most convenient for me, since Murphy usually prevails.

73,  Jack, W9GT
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