Post by Michael Black Post by Foxs Mercantile Post by email@example.com
This is a sad day..... Radio Shack is the last of the old
Radio Shack was NEVER an old time radio store.
Except maybe back in the '50s before Tandy Leather bought
Yes. They were traditional when they were a s mall chain in the Boston
area. But they were going bankrupt, which is why Tandy bought the chain.
And one reason Radio Shack was successful after that was that it was
everywhere, at a time when electronics were widening. The average home in
1971, the year Radio Shack came to Canada, had a tv or so, some am/fm
radios, maybe a record player or stereo. But five years later, there were
pocket calculators, digital watches, home computers, tv games, endless
stuff and getting wider, the result of the switch to semiconductors, and
then especially digital ICs. And Radio Shack was there on every corner, a
more familiar place than the old time electronic parts stores that were in
basements away from the mainstream. Radio Shack was niche back then, but
it was a place when a wider audience could get those metal detectors or
shortwave receivers or scanners or whatever without having to go to some
niche store. There was no competition, the others came later. Radio
Shack was there every time something new came along, so you could get that
Casio music keyboard that would sample, even if you were in some small
ANd that's how the parts survived, Radio Shack could sell other things and
carry the parts. ANd it worked. I didn't buy parts there much, too
expensive and limited in selection, but it was convenient. But since I
paid attention and got the catalogs, when I started buying "stereo" stuff,
I bought at Radio Shack, usually when the item was on sale, or better yet,
a clearance item. And I bought a bunch of computers there, since they
were convenient. The catalog gave all the information, I could just go in
and get the item off the shelf.
And then at some point, other companies were doing the same thing, and
Radio Shack stumbled, losing its way.
So there was a bankruptcy even back then..... I did not know that, but
it seems they have gone thru a lot of them. Two recently.
I never understood the connection with the Tandy leather company. Maybe
there was no "real" connection, just that they bought the business. (Is
Tandy leather still around?).
There was a point when Radio Shack was called Allied Radio Shack. Did
Allied buy R.S. or was it the other way around? I dont know much about
the history, I only recall what I remember over the years. I remember
when they sold Archer brand items too.
However, I was pleased with most if not all of their gear, and I have
quite a bit of their stuff, from a few scanners, a radio, several
multimeters, lots of plugs and connectors, and a video switcher.
I realize their parts prices were on the high side, but I paid the price
because their stores were nearby and handy. Sure beats paying the
shipping from most places, and before the internet buying by mail was
involved, required mouth to mouth discussions and having a pile of paper
catalogs laying around. Far too complicated just to get a resistor,
capacitor, phono jack or semiconductor. It was easier to drive to R.S.
and just buy it. But I do agree their parts in recent years were very
skimpy and limited.
Regardless, I liked their stores and will miss them.....
The only reason I even found out that they were closing is because the
9volt battery connector broke on my portable weather radio, so I stopped
at R.S. to buy one. (I did not know they were closing). I had no problem
paying probably about $4 for one of them connectors. Now, I'm stuck
ordering one from ebay (I found a pack of 5 for about $3), but I hate
having to wait a week or more to get small parts like that, and my bench
piles up with projects waiting to be repaired, while I wait for parts.
Lately, when I buy a part, I usually buy 5 or more and keep them on
hand, so I have that stuff here. Its costing me more to stock all that
stuff in the end, but there is no way around it....
What once took a day or two to repair something sometimes takes months
now, because I have to keep waiting for each and every part I need.
Radio Shack provided a good service in that sense, and I was willing to
pay their prices for the convenience. Now they are gone, and I'm not
happy about it....