Radio Shack is bankrupt. Again


Originally published at:

Huffing Boing Boing

As a mere Canadian I am terribly confused by Radio Shack’s inability to make money. Their chain of stores up here got rebranded multiple times but still exist and still sell pretty much the same collection of consumer electronics as ever. This despite the existence of online shopping options and big box stores that also sell the same crap.

So it’s not that there is no market for a friendly neighbourhood gadget store where you can get cables and weird shaped batteries and so forth in addition to computers, phones, etc.

What went wrong down there?


Was reminiscing about my old CTR-41 cassette recorder just the other day. :blush:


The same thing I suspect will eventually happen to Batteries+Bulbs: people will get tired of asking the sales clerks, “I’m just buying batteries. Why do you need my phone number?”


Very often the real answer is hidden on Wall Street. Somebody bought somebody and cashed out, fired the experienced people, and so on. Normally, we plebs will never see the details of these deals that sometimes change our lives.



The occasion gave me the opportunity to re-read this piece from Jon Bois, who worked at Radio Shack for more than three years in the mid-2000s. I think the experience broke him a little.


I once used a metal-bodied bookshelf speaker of their brand (minimus-7?), as an emergency jack-stand, during a roadside repair.

Back when people repaired stuff and CB radio was popular, R/S were a valuable resource. Can’t fix a solder connection on your iPod (mostly) the way you might have been able to your cassette walkman. Now, to me, its just a phone store with a legacy collection of LEDs and switches.


As there is no sex in the champagne room…
There are no radios in the radio shack.
They could clean up in the entry level 2m ham radio sector( think re branded baofeng) but they’ve given up on that.
Although they have started offering Midland CB radios recently but antennas are usually not sold too.


My local radio shack stopped asking.
I doubt that was sanctioned by corporate


Ah, I wondered about that. I had to make an emergency run for a piece of electronics kit on last Sunday afternoon, so Radio Shack was the only nearby option. That’s pretty much the only reason I ever go to RS anymore. Kind of sad to think about. The local Shack was a wonderland in my childhood, and my first semi-non-crappy summer job.

Everything was on sale, with signs up saying “No Refunds.” The store I went to had all of the cellphones already removed. The manager was evasive about whether they were closing/reorganizing/whatever. The good news was that the sale prices (50% off electronic components in this case) brought their prices down to competitive levels. They’re very proud of their diodes, switches and such. But, still, it was nice to have something nearby for emergencies, without having to drive 20+ miles to the nearest Fry’s.


The good news was that the sale prices (50% off electronic components in this case) brought their prices down to competitive levels.

That’s the real answer to why they’re bankrupt again, imo.
I can go to radioshack and buy an hdmi cable for $20…or get the same one for half the price off Amazon and have it in 2 days. I can buy a transistor for $5…or I can order a pack of 170 off amazon for 10…


I think it has to do with them deciding to stop selling radio and electronics parts and accessories in favor of toys, phones, and badly made computers while insisting on keeping the name Radio Shack. The terrible marketing was a factor as well but for me and others I’ve spoken to the culprit was going to Radio Shack and not being able to buy the part I needed to repair my Radio. They built an empire on having the little parts we needed to keep our electronic lives humming along and then they suddenly forgot about all of that,


Where will Electra Woman get replacement parts? Those red single pole momentary on buttons don’t grow on trees.


How do you lose your shirt investing in shirts? I mean, either you become successful in selling the shirts or you end up with a surplus of shirts. Either way you should be all good for shirts.


backed by the same hedge fund that lost its shirt investing in American Apparel

Wonder if the hedge fund managers lost or made money bankrupting Radio Shack.


I had the pictured kit. I remember having fun with it, but I can’t say that I learned very much or that it led me to a life of electrical engineering.

My Apple ][, though…


Same way you lose your shack, investing in the Shack?


No money was harmed in the making of this episode.


And Dyna Girl? What of Dyna Girl?!