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Radio Shack going out of business

Mike Chambers

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Sep 2, 2006
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I have fond memories of going into Radio Shack in the 80's and 90's when I was a kid, I'll kind of miss them. All these places that I have good memories of are closing/closed... Blockbuster, Radio Shack, CompUSA, Circuit City... :(

The internet killed them. Damn you, internet.

On the plus side, my friend bought a Beagleboard Black at RS on clearance for like $24.
 

njroadfan

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The store closest to me that is closing isn't participating in the clearance sale sadly. They plan on shipping the stock to another store.
 

vwestlife

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central NJ
LOL! That is hilarious.

Ironically, the Tandy VIS was a gaming console based on an x86 PC platform and ran an embedded version of Windows... decades before the XBOX.

Speaking of which, I have a whole stack of VIS games that I found mixed in with the music CDs at the thrift store, if anyone wants them.
 

geoffm3

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Huntsville, AL
Ironically, the Tandy VIS was a gaming console based on an x86 PC platform and ran an embedded version of Windows... decades before the XBOX.

Speaking of which, I have a whole stack of VIS games that I found mixed in with the music CDs at the thrift store, if anyone wants them.

Yeah, I was just thinking about that too... The X-Box is probably the closest cousin of the VIS of any of the modern consoles.

Those VIS discs are probably worth more to someone than the actual machine!
 

saundby

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The Villages, FL, USA
One near us has gone out of business, and one more is slated to at the end of the month (which my daughter works at.) The first store that closed sent most of their stock to the store that closes at the end of the month, and that store is shuttling its stock to two other stores that will be staying open.

The first store that closed was the one on Persimmon Terrace in Auburn, CA, the other that will be closing is the one on Bell Road in Auburn, CA. Both stores in Grass Valley, CA will be staying open.

I think that if RS had kept doing what they were doing well when they made money, namely picking solid products on the market to put their own label on, they could still be doing well. Reducing their commitment to hobbyists and hams hasn't done them any good, either. I can't imagine how much money they would have made just locally with a few decent 10m and VHF/UHF FM rigs and maybe relabelled Baofengs or Wouxons, not to mention extras for them. I got a nice little shortwave with SSB on it when they were blowing those out, now you can't get a normal radio receiver at RS any more. Whose bright idea was it to run a store called "Radio Shack" that doesn't carry radios? (Aside from a couple of scanners.) :D

I think the core of the problem lies in centralizing ordering and in control of what the stores can carry. Local managers have no real control over what they carry, yet they're the ones who know the local customers and are in a position to have the best knowledge of the local competition. The bean-counter's dream of central control may save money, but it's not a route to making money.
 

vwestlife

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Radio Shack has definitely made some pretty stupid product line decisions. In the late '90s, they dropped their car audio department, just in time for aftermarket car audio to really take off. Then they started selling home theater systems -- in stores way too small to set them up properly! Then they carried a full line of pro audio equipment for DJs (mixers, amps, XLR cables, PA speakers, etc.) -- and it all disappeared just when it was starting to get a good reputation in the industry. And at work I use a Radio Shack table radio that is a damn good clone of a Kloss Tivoli radio -- which I bought off the shelf for $21 as a "Manager's Special" because they were discontinuing it just when it was starting to get favorable reviews!
 

CalculatorLab

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USA
I still like radioshack and luckily our local store is not closing AFAIK, but I will see when I go there tomorrow for some connectors. But radioshack has everything I've ever needed before when I needed it in a pinch. Like when I got a PC with only dual DVI-D for the graphics card, I got a DVI cable at Radioshack. And I am still using it now. And when I got my Sears pong game, and I needed a Phono to RF adapter, they were the only store that had it! And I ain't waiting 5 days for a connector in the mail when its at radioshack! I also got a stereo there, and they have a whole tool-cabinet full of bulbs, fuses, connectors, but now it's not as big of a selection. Their A/V stuff is sometimes really old too, I saw a Composite video switchbox there. Now everything is with HDMI or component. Some people say the RS employees are inexperienced or what have you, but at our local store, the guy who's been working there for a few years, is pretty cool and knows a lot about the merchandise in the store. I don't really feel like shopping off of amazon anymore. If I can find it at radioshack, then I'll go there!
 

lee4hmz

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I remember ComputerLand, though since we never had the money for a new computer when I was little, I rarely had any reason to go to one.
 

Chuck(G)

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Folks here should remember Computerland, whose CEO was Bill Millard, one of the founders of IMS Associates Inc. (IMSAI). Millard and his daughter (I forget her name) pretty much ran the Computerland empire. Around 1981-82 got involved in est, which led to some peculiar publicity. Millard got out in 1985, probably at the peak of things The resulting company got passed around the Wall Street acquisition people; between the attack of the clones and the increasing dilution in stock value, the whole shebang pretty much went toes-up in 2000.
 

lee4hmz

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ComputerLand always struck me as somewhat VAR-ish, the sort of place that moved a lot of IBM PS/2s and Compaq Deskpros. Then again, I'd never actually been to a store (I'd just seen commercials and been past the one in Charlottesville a few times), and any computer store more "serious" than Sears would have looked pretty intimidating to me then. This would have been roughly 1987-1992, by the way, more specifically about 1990.
 

Agent Orange

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SE MI
Then there was Compuadd. They had a store in my area and seemed that they were always busy. The only thing I ever purchased from them was a 16-bit ISA FD/HD controller for $99.99. Actually, not a bad price for its day. Drove by one day and the lights were out; they didn't last very long
 

vwestlife

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Then there was Compuadd. They had a store in my area and seemed that they were always busy. The only thing I ever purchased from them was a 16-bit ISA FD/HD controller for $99.99. Actually, not a bad price for its day. Drove by one day and the lights were out; they didn't last very long

CompuAdd was in business from 1982 to 1993. In the late '80s and early '90s they had a solid lineup of well-made PCs with nice-looking custom-designed cases. Around 1990-1991, they had an unusually brand range, offering everything from a floppy-only NEC V20 XT to a fully loaded 486DX tower system. For a while, they were even outselling Dell, and had over 200 retail stores. They sold a lot of POS terminals to Sears, and I remember those being in use well into the late '90s. CompuAdd filed for bankruptcy in 1993 and closed their retail stores, although their mail-order business stayed in operation for a few more years.

(get ready for synth drums overload!)
 

Unknown_K

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Looks like my local decades old RS is closing in a few days (was one of the stores not supposed to close when the bankruptcy was announced). Even at up to 80% off I didn't notice anything I wanted to buy.
 

Moondog

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Jun 12, 2015
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Michigan
Back in the 80's and 90's I bought my share of electronic components from RS, however the local stores near me didn't stock PC-related items until around 1999-2000. Before then I recall walking into a store, looking a 3.5" floppy drive, and the only "computer" items they had in stock were null modem cables and an external 5.25 floppy drive I'm guessing was for one of the Tandy PC's.

The raw component computer hobbyist stuff was one time plentiful in the stores slowly lost space until it could be contained on two racks and a couple of shelf modules.
 
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