Radio Shack – What is next and why I will miss….
I saw the headline of RadioShack Corporation Is Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic. Does that really capture it? Maybe.
I was in the market recently for a connector and my wife had asked me to come to the mall with her so I said sure, let me check out the Radio Shack and I had been hearing about all the challenges they have had so I figured since I haven’t been in one in a while and I started to wonder if it was because of me? Or them?
I still like to build things as evident of my recent builds of Elecraft equipment.
Elecraft Build K3: http://nicktoday.com/elecraft-k3-final-build-assessment-and-first-on-air-testing/
And some other recent building.
So I walked in looking for two simple things. One was a Lenovo power cable for a laptop, which is a flat connector and not an “easy” one to come by, but something I thought they might have.
Second was a simple PL259 Patch Cable that I needed from my Icom 7100 to my Turbo Tuner. That I thought would be a very simple asks or at least the parts and I could build myself.
Well, too much dismay they had neither. Worse was they were trying to sell me a universal charger for my laptop, which would work and I would have purchased but it didn’t have the flat adapter that the Levono Carbon needed. I tried and tried to explain that to the guy that worked there and I was willing to go to my car and get the laptop if he kept pushing me.
Second was he had no idea what a PL259 was. That was concerning as “Radio” is the first word in their company name. I thank him and said I was just going to walk around a bit. As I did really, what the realization was is that it was more of a Best Buy Mobile Store than anything else. They had Tablets, Phones, Computers and accessories. The largest displays were of cellphones. I realize that the business of radios these days, as well as kit building has most likely gone the way of the record player.
So, my basic thinking became – if they are trying to compete in consumer electronics are they ever going to win? Best Buy, to Wal-Mart, to Amazon to Apple having their own stores. How do you try to break into that business?
So as a computer geek, radio geek and kit building geek I will miss the days of Radio Shack. I got my first scanner there, my first RC Car that I drove around the backyard, my Coco computer with chicklet keyboard… There are so many things that I’ll miss about Radio Shack, but like Ham Radio as a hobby I think I’m the minority on this one. My kids never knew Radio Shack, they do not know about kit and building and of course, phones are everything to them.
I’m not sure I see a way out for Rat Shack… not sure how you compete in a consumer electronics world and since your not building your own market with a new product or private label phone/computer/tablet your banking your future on a Apple product. $600 for an iPhone and then sell it for $199 on a subsidized plan. It eventually gets another $450 in “subsidy” from the wireless carrier, allowing it to recoup its costs and earn a profit. However, it could take months for that money to arrive.
I am shopping on Ebay tonight for a CoCo to sit next to my Commodore 64…. And thanking you for the memories.