Author Topic: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....  (Read 1974 times)

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randgust

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Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« on: March 15, 2017, 10:23:06 AM »
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The news about the second wave of Radio Shacks store closings has hit locally and regionally, we're loosing all three stores leaving the only remaining outlets roughly 70 miles in any direction.

Talked to the store manager locally last night.  She's closing shop March 21st and was 'suspect' about the web system staying up as it had closed down the last time for a while.

If you do have one in your area that is closing - they are selling stock at deep, deep discounts - 40-70% off, and electrical parts are getting some of the deepest discounts.   Moulex plug sets for 50 cents, switches half off, etc.    Went out with about $75 worth of stuff for $24.   They don't seem to be particularly interested in relocating inventory to surviving stores.

Similar deep discounts on batteries, all kinds of things.   

Really sad to see them go.  Other than my defunct LHS, this one leaves the most pain.  And its even more concerning that the website may go down, although nobody knows.   All three of my sons learned electronics 'hands on' with me because of a local RS, buying their own parts and kits, and learning to solder and analyze circuits.   My middle son maintained it was a turning point in his sound production career - he was the only intern in the studio that could fix things and knew the hot from cold end of a soldering iron.  He was the one hired.

I'll be curious what alternatives are out there to RS for a similar online electrical supply shop, for the last of us that actually make stuff.

Outlook is sounding pretty grim:  https://consumerist.com/2017/03/10/here-is-the-list-of-radioshack-stores-closing-soon/
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 10:25:38 AM by randgust »

C855B

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2017, 11:03:08 AM »
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Yeah, inevitable. I availed myself of the steep price cuts at our local store, empathizing with the manager over the situation. I picked-up a couple of power supplies at 30% off for a future DCC expansion. After getting home and trying one I realized what a great deal they were, went back for the third and last one... and it was gone already.

RS has been part of my life nearly since inception, but much less so in the past decade or so since I finally told myself "no more surplus parts!", that all projects henceforth were going to be with prime materials. I had my fill of solving a problem and then having to redesign it or unable to "publish" it because the particular combination of parts was no longer available or peculiar to my store's stocking. So from my electronics-hobbyist perspective, RS didn't meet my priorities any more.

I guess I'm saying that not only had the world of personal electronics moved well beyond the original scope of RS, they had stopped being a reliable source for those versed in the arts. Adding insult, very little electronics manufacturing remains in the U.S., so as a result the supply of surplus parts dried up, too. Then there was the broad line of specialty equipment like scanners and CB, those hobbies all but dead at this point. A quadruple whammy for RS, it was just a matter of time.
...mike

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 11:10:11 AM »
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There... are still Radio Shacks?

I thought they had died years ago!

I had a similar situation locally. The local, really great, electronics store, Baynesville Electronics, just closed.
@Philip H and I were talking about it, and I was about to lament it, but then I realized that almost all of the stuff I WOULD'VE bought there for my layout instead came from Amazon. Why? Partly price, partly convenience (even though it was right around the corner), but mostly because I could find EXACTLY what I was looking for AND often in multiples or more varieties.

So yes it's sad, but then again, I can have Amazon stuff here in, best case, an hour, worst case, a day, so I'm not too torn up.

The world moves on, you either bring value or you don't.

Rich_S

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 11:10:47 AM »
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Last I heard, they were trying to keep the web site open, hoping they could become the Amazon of the Electronics world. I saw an interview somewhere with the new CEO, he wanted to get out of the computer, phone and TV business stating they could not compete with the big box stores like Best Buy. He wanted to take RadioShack back to it's roots of being an Electronics supply store. Who knows, maybe they can make a run at it by becoming an internet only store?

Of course if they don't make it, my fall back internet store has always been All Electronics http://www.allelectronics.com/

Rich S.

mmagliaro

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 11:24:16 AM »
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This is very sad news.  The one here in Oregon City survived the first wave of closures.  I have not heard if it is going to survive this one.

But I will say this.  Even with a 75% off sale on their electronic parts, their prices are outrageous, and that's the main reason I only buy a part there if it's late at night and I'm in a real pinch to finish something.  A buck or two for a pack of 2 diodes is ridiculous when I can buy 50 of them for the same price online.  And the selection of parts values and quality is far far higher.

Yes, they were great when I was a teenager and I knew very little about electronics and they were nearby.  But they were also taking advantage of people like me, selling parts they had bought in huge lots as surplus and then repackaging them into blister packs of 1 or 2 for 100 times the price.

They do sell a great battery.  Their alkalines outlast even Duracell and Energizer in my experience and they often have good sales on large bulk packs of them.

C855B

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 11:30:56 AM »
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... Of course if they don't make it, my fall back internet store has always been All Electronics http://www.allelectronics.com/

Or Jameco. But they still have "my problem" of the here-today-gone-tomorrow of surplus parts. Other than order minimums, I have no problem with Mouser or Digikey.

Not to mention plenty of electronics problem-solvers on eBay, too. Now thinking about it, eBay has become my first go-to for MRR projects. More often than not, somebody there just has it, usually for delivery in a week. I guess I've finally gotten over the "I need it NOW!" thing that RS used to be good for. :|
...mike

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Mark5

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 11:35:27 AM »
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What scale Radio Shack?  :trollface:

The local Radio Shacks were more a shadow of the Radio Shacks I remember from years ago - more about cell phones and consumer electronics.

Baynesville was more like an old school Radio Shack (but on steroids!) - I will really miss being able to eyeball things and the web just won't be able to replace this aspect.

Microcenter in Baltimore may have some of the electronics though, I was in there a few months ago and noted that they sell more than just computer equipment.

https://www.radioshack.com (still up as of this posting)

Mark

davefoxx

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 01:16:55 PM »
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There... are still Radio Shacks?

Where do you think that I got all of my slide switches for N scale turnout ground throws?   ;)

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mopacaustin

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2017, 03:32:14 PM »
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Not that I go there anymore but looks like almost all of the ones in Austin are gone after this... At least we have Fry's...

peteski

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 03:58:41 PM »
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Or Jameco. But they still have "my problem" of the here-today-gone-tomorrow of surplus parts. Other than order minimums, I have no problem with Mouser or Digikey.

Not to mention plenty of electronics problem-solvers on eBay, too. Now thinking about it, eBay has become my first go-to for MRR projects. More often than not, somebody there just has it, usually for delivery in a week. I guess I've finally gotten over the "I need it NOW!" thing that RS used to be good for. :|

Back in the '80s RS was my go-to place for all sorts of electronic gadgets and parts. They were even into early personal computers. Anybody remember the Radio Shack's CoCo?  I couldn't afford one and got my Sinclair ZX81 kit instead.   But for the last 20+ years I have been to RS maybe less than 5 times.  It became cell-phone-central. Not many electronic parts.

There are many surplus suppliers that have been around for as long as I was buying electronic surplus. Places like All Electronics, Electronic Goldmine, Jameco and many others have been around long before the Internet. I remember requesting their printed catalogs from ads I saw in the Popular Electronics and Radio Electronics magazines.  Snail-mail and COD orders were big in those days.

C855B: What minimums at Mouser or Digikey?  I buy from both and I don't recall any limits. You can order from a single part to thousands and as far as I know there is no minimum for either quantity of parts or the amount of money per order.  Maybe I haven't read the fine print and my orders always end up over the minimum order cost?

But as it has been mentioned, time marches on and as much as I hate saying this: the paradigm is shifting.  You adapt, or die out.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

C855B

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2017, 04:13:28 PM »
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... What minimums at Mouser or Digikey? ...

Possibly changed, but at one time each had a $25 (or so) minimum order. Never thought about it much since like you I always accumulated enough to surpass that.
...mike

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http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

"Don't look at the trombones it only encourages them." –Richard Strauss

Mark W

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2017, 04:16:17 PM »
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You adapt, or die out.

It's just sad since, in RadioShack's case, they could have easily adapted and taken in a huge market share of the Arduino/RaspberriPi/Maker movement.  I would wager the only reason they held on after the first bankruptcy is because of the Maker movement.  But while the online likes of Sparkfun and Adafruit took on new ideas and ran with them, Radioshack kept with the same old strategy.  Oh but they did re-design component packaging!  I'll give them a participation sticker for that one.   :facepalm:

crrcoal

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2017, 06:13:06 PM »
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What p/n Dave? The local one to me is closing  :(


Where do you think that I got all of my slide switches for N scale turnout ground throws?   ;)

DFF

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2017, 06:42:05 PM »
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I think my dad still has an Allied amplifier from when he was in college, 1960's vintage.  Before the one in my town closed in the first wave I had a very difficult conversation trying to discuss wire gauge and what kind I needed for my layout. They only had speaker wire in size ranges of smaller, small, medium, bigger, large and biggest.  Their description not mine.
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Catt

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Re: Radio Shack....going once, going twice....
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2017, 07:30:03 PM »
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We had at one time 6 RS stores in Grand rapids.Actually I should say we had one and 5 wannabe's.That one store was stocked with all the right stuff and staffed with people who were the right stuff.All of the employees were very well versed in electronics.You could walk in there and halfast describe what you wanted to build or do any everyone of them could set you on the right path with the correct parts and how to put them together and a offer to trouble shoot your problems in store.

Would you care to guess which store was the first one to close? Yup you got it,not only that Tandy did not offer to place these people in of the other local stores they just let them go.The one remaining store is staffed by sales people that don't know a AAA battery from a diode.The only thing they know how to do is use the cast register.Oh and sell Cell phones.
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