Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

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train_radio_guy
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Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by train_radio_guy »

While this subject isn't tied exclusively to Motorola Radios, this does relate to the field, since Radio Shack has been a convenient source for some Electronic Parts & Accessories over the years (along with the likes of Mouser & DigiKey).

(FYI: In case some haven't heard, Radio Shack has filed for bankruptcy, and announced the closing of most of it stores. Some of them may be converted into Sprint Stores, while others will simply close their doors for good.)

What retail sources (brick & mortar) remain, which even come close to serving this niche? I'll admit, the direction & content of the Radio Shack stores leaves a lot to be desired, especially as of late, but they have a convenience factor, especially here in the Midwest, which can't be ignored. Many of us on the board, would probably have had a far different experience with electronics in our youth, if not for Radio Shack's existence.

Years ago there were more options, some locally-based, while others regional chains - most of which are all but gone. Technology has changed dramatically over the years. Some of it is simply not designed to be repaired, but for the DIYer's/Makers, Preppers/Survivalists, & Hobbyists/General Tinkers, Radio Shack has been a source for technology-based things, that other retailers simply don't carry or support. I wonder who's left to fill this niche..... Or will we be limited to only online resources?

Thoughts/Ideas..... ?
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Jim1348
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Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by Jim1348 »

Well, from my perspective, there aren't any others around here in Minnesota. Sure, I like Micro Center for computer and home entertainment toys. Perhaps they could add some stuff that Radio Shack used to carry. I did see that some Radio Shacks will remain, according to the list that I have.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by Satelite »

Hello:
Not sure that my next comment would come to be but.
Maybe itll open another door for someone to be in there own business as the replacement for the now closed Radio Shack.
Im with this thinking on it.
With 9 pizza joints in my town of 11000 population if one or even three closed it probably wouldn't make a lot of difference on being able to get a pizza when you wanted one but close a Radio Shack that would be a noticible situation here as its all we have.
As I understand it not all Radio Shacks are owned by Radio Shack but rather leased by the operator.
That as im told is the case here in my town.
I see the owner operator of my radio shack store still stay open but he will possibly change the name.
He knows what sells and what his past customers wanted and id bet he might just stock it himself from various suppliers and continue to make his living.
And if he does he can expand into other little niches that need itchin too .
So Radio Shack closes and Shacks Radio opens :lol:
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by nukedude »

In the surrounding area of Seattle, there is Fry's Electronics in Renton. Then there is Vetco in Bellevue. I have yet to see any clearance sales in the area Radio Shack stores, or even signs saying they are closing.

My work had some items in end products, noise filters that came from Radio Shack. They had a case of these left out for any employee to take as many as they wanted. Another vendor for the item was found, so these were being given away.
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train_radio_guy
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by train_radio_guy »

Years ago, I worked at a local Radio Shack, as a summer job in High School. This was a time when they were converting many of their stores over, from the old yellow/brown peg board look of the 1970s/1980s, to the new Technology Store’s Gray/Blue appearance. It was supposed to be a more modern & sleek look. They had a sample CD of Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine playing on the stereo, and our ‘new’ compact/slim cellular bag phones were prominently displayed, when you came into the store. We would answer the phone with tag lines like “Thanks for calling Radio Shack, where our computers are 95% IBM compatible,” or greet our customers with “Welcome to Radio Shack, Where you’ve got questions & we have answers.” One of our ‘new’ 486 laptops would be running a demo version of Prince of Persia (in DOS), with a super twist LCD Display. And best of all – we had a real, bonafide catalog!

From what I remember, Radio Shack had corporate-owned stores, and dealerships/franchises. Typically the corporate-owned stores were located in larger or more populous areas. Some were free-standing, while others were located in shopping malls. The dealerships/franchises were usually located in rural or less populous areas.

The press releases surrounding Radio Shack’s bankruptcy seem to indicate that approximately 2500 of their stores nationwide will become Sprint Stores – some with Radio Shack products sold ‘in a corner of the store.’ The remaining Radio Shack stores will be shuttered or closed. I’m assuming all of this applies primarily to corporate-owned stores. I spoke with a manger of one of the nearby Radio Shack dealerships, and it’s not terribly clear what their future holds. Apparently Corporate Radio Shack is keeping the dealerships in the dark, with rather cryptic messages like hold tight, or standby to see how this plays-out - vague at best, with troubling undertones.

Since the dealerships/franchises are privately owned, they will most-likely lose their Radio Shack name, as well as their primary merchandise supplier, at some point in the bankruptcy process. The local manager I was speaking with, claimed to be looking into alternate suppliers for some of the smaller items, but seemed to be having difficulty with the larger or more popular items. The dealerships/franchises just don’t have the corporate relationships or buying power with the likes of Apple, AT&T Wireless, Cisco/Linksys, etc…

Radio Shack served a niche market. It filled a specialized need, which did not necessarily appear to have direct competition on all fronts (at least not so much today), but at the same time couldn’t survive on those niche sales/revenue. It was a fine line to walk – serving hobbyist interests, while also attempting to serve the mainstream populous.

Going forward, is there anyone else that even comes close to filling the void, where Radio Shack once stood? Retail stores like Fry's Electronics is the only name that comes to mind in this part of the country, and they aren’t exactly conveniently located nearby - only one in Indiana, and one in Illinois.
Last edited by train_radio_guy on Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by RadioSouth »

train_radio_guy wrote:Years ago, I worked at a local Radio Shack, as a summer job in High School. .
In the late 70's it was Lafayette Radio for me, Radio Shack's biggest competitor in the North East. Basically everything RS had plus a focus on the enthusiast market. Dedicated high end audio room, Short Wave sets, Marine and some Ham. Lotsa components. Their downfall was hiring a guy from JC Penney as their CEO who in turn brought many of his people with him who had no experience selling enthusiast targeted electronics. A bunch of our regulars at our store wouldn't deal with these new guys. They went bankrupt and some stores morphed into Circuit City.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by escomm »

Agreed on Fry's. For the last many years Fry's has been better for oddball electrical components and connectors and stuff than Radio Shack.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by train_radio_guy »

I wonder if Fry's has a Catalog - paper, CD, or PDF. There are times, when I'm not near a computer or Internet connection, and I need to reference something. Just wondering. Fry's online catalog is searchable, but leaves a lot to be desired.

Locally, I've found a couple of sources in Illinois, for components:

1. Jay-Tronics, http://www.jaytronics.com
-> Address: 124 North Rockton Avenue, Rockford, Illinois 61103
-> Voice: 1-866-965-6775, 1-(815)-965-8786
-> Fax: 1-(815)-965-6453

Their website isn't as thorough as I'd like, but telephone, as well as walk-in support is good. This is more of a mom & pop type of store. They have a respectable showroom, and an ample warehouse to support it. If they don't have it in-stock, they're not afraid to order it, although it may take awhile to arrive, since they sometimes hold orders, until their supplier's minimum order quantity is met. Overall, they have decent service, at reasonable prices.


2. Electronic Supply, Inc., http://www.theesupplystore.com
-> Address: 9 Enterprise Drive, LaSalle, Illinois 61301
-> Voice: 1-(815)-223-3788
-> Email: es-inc@comcast.net

Their website is limited to a line card of products carried, brief company history, and contact info. Electronic Supply has good telephone, as well as walk-in support. They're locally owned, and have a 'shirt-tail' connection, to the former Klaus Radio of Peoria. Their showroom is on the smaller side, as is their warehouse. That being said, they are accommodating towards customers, and make every effort to find the part, if it's available. Because of their smaller size, buying power is limited, so their pricing may not be as competitive. All in all, the convenience of a local brick & mortar store, with employees that actually have a clue is invaluable.


Beyond the two businesses listed above, and outside of the Chicagoland Area, I haven't been able to locate anyone else, in the remainder of Northern & Central Illinois, that sell electronic components, accessories, etc... and has a brick & mortar showroom/warehouse. One would think the Bloomington/Normal or Peoria markets would have something. Sadly, no such store exists, since Klaus Radio closed their doors.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by gtriever »

In my neck of the woods, it used to be Warren Radio up to the '80s. When they closed, the manager bought out the stock and opened his independent business, Hughes Electronic Supply. Happily, he's still in business today.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by RFguy »

Unfortunately, DigiKey will kill most of the small electronics stores over the next 5-10 years. Just a sign of the times.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by train_radio_guy »

It will be a sad day indeed, when we're reduced to depending on DigiKey, Mouser, & MCM Electronics. They have their respective strengths, and pricing can be decent for quantity orders; however when it's needed urgently the same day, local suppliers will always be preferred over mail order & online suppliers.

In my job, most things need to be operational 24/7/365. If something was to break, that's mission critical, and our backup is toast, next day shipping just doesn't cut it. If & when we're forced to depend on the likes of DigiKey, Mouser, & MCM Electronics, we're going to have to revisit a tough subject for our management - in-house stocking of parts. They weaned us away from that many years ago, in favor of a cheaper solution - next day/overnight shipping. Although it was tough, we found ways to 'creatively work-around' the system, comply with their new philosophy, and still keep things running. Local component suppliers played a big roll, and in a jam, even Radio Shack was used.

In years past, our company like many early technology-based companies promoted its staff through the ranks. They prided themselves in this concept, as it worked well for both the company & the employees. Leaders & Decision/Policy Makers with a technical background typically had a degree of practicality & common sense, as well as they were more invested in their jobs, and in-turn the company. Having spare parts on-hand, a preventative maintenance program for support equipment, proper tools & test equipment, and in-depth training - all played vital roles in the livelihood of the overall operation of the company. They believed in actually exceeding the customer's expectations, not simply meeting or striving to meet the customer's expectation. Profitability & Accountability/Responsibility were not mutually exclusive.

At some point this mindset evolved into a very narrow, short-sight approach, that was solely based on profit, through number crunching. It's literally like everyone in leadership roles have been blindfolded, gaged, and forced to drive in rush hour traffic, somehow expecting not to get in an accident, or be responsible for it. Logic & common sense do not factor into this new philosophy. In short I don't think things are headed in a good direction. Adapting to changes can be tough, but is possible so long as things are heading in a positive direction. I'll step down from my soapbox rant now.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by Big BOB »

I guess my Battery of the Month Club card isn't any good now?
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources

Post by train_radio_guy »

"I'll need the last 4-digits of your telephone number please. Would you like the Tandy Extended Service Plan (ESP) for your new $ 5.00 headphones? It only costs $ 20.00."

The agony of it all. :o
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Bankruptcy # 2

Post by train_radio_guy »

Here we go again. Bankruptcy # 2 for Radio Shack. Some reports are indicating 200 stores will be shuttered. Some have already begun the liquidation, while others have already closed their doors. Interestingly, stores which aren't on the closing list, have reduced prices on their current product inventory. It should be interesting to see what's left, after the smoke clears on this mess.

Of the remaining Radio Shacks I've visited in Illinois & Wisconsin, the selection for anything radio-related is pretty slim. A few RF connectors & adapters are left, infrequently an antenna or two - mostly for CB Mobiles or portable scanners, accessories such as power cords or scanner programming cables can be found once in a while, but nothing much for actual radios. CB Radios, Scanners, etc.... all seem to be long gone. Losing GRE for Scanners didn't help Radio Shack's cause. E-commerce, and the Shacks' inability to compete, with their poor pricing structure, & limited draw to their stores, has put the final nails in their coffin. Many employees feel this is the final chapter in Radio Shack's nearly 100 history. Time will tell.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by Satelite »

Hello:
The Radio Shack store in Spencer Iowa is closing this march 2017 as well.
Bob was not a radio shack full member store but rather a privately owned radio shack store.
Some stores were radio shack others privately owned and paid to be a radio shack store I'm told.
Bob too said the electronics era was no longer and that he had gone to selling cell phones and repairing computers along with radio shack products but it wasn't enough.
Sad thing is Bob really poured his heart into the store and while he didn't shed a tear he was dang close to it when those of us close to him and the store was discussed.
Bob wound up having to sell his house and is moving to another state to partner up with two others in a hog raising operation as I recall but don't qoate me exactly on that but it was something like that.
I know ill miss him and radio shack but truth is radio shack sorta fell behind times and sales just dried up it seems.
I do wish Bob Great Success In His Future Ventures As He Sure Deserves It.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by KE7JFF »

My wife is an assistant store manager of RS; back in 2015, the store she was a full manager at closed as high rent was the problem. This time around, its the stores that Sprint was paying to keep open; since Sprint pulled out of the deal, those stores closed up. However, the current store she is at is one of the few gems in the corporate stores; it has low rent and its profits are consistently awesome and probably will be the only remaining Radio Shack in Portland at this rate...
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by Astro Spectra »

I happen to visit the Portland RS a couple of weeks ago. They had a big sale on but repeatedly said they were not closing. Since not all items were on sale, perhaps this was an example of a franchise store run by an independent quitting the RS stock? It was actually a pretty good store.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by FireCpt809 »

Radio shack has been dead to me for years. They have been useless for anything for decades. The employees were clueless. Never had what I needed in stock. Last time I was there was to use up a $25 gift card I won at a Hamfest. I bought a new HDMI cable... Had plenty of those..
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by KE7JFF »

Astro Spectra wrote:I happen to visit the Portland RS a couple of weeks ago. They had a big sale on but repeatedly said they were not closing. Since not all items were on sale, perhaps this was an example of a franchise store run by an independent quitting the RS stock? It was actually a pretty good store.
Which location?
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by Astro Spectra »

The one in the Lloyd Center mall
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by KE7JFF »

Astro Spectra wrote:The one in the Lloyd Center mall
Oh yes...there is a story about this...and its always been a corporate store.

Originally back in 2015, this location was to be closed, so they started their closure sale. At the same time, mall ownership changed; new management started to raise the rents on stores, what happened is that a few big names in the mall decided to close which hurted the mall's bottom line so rents were actually kept the same so that RadioShack location was saved.

Now, if you went over to 7th and Weidler around the corner from the mall, there's another RadioShack there; that actually is the 2nd store in the Portland area put back in the 60s actually. That one was one the stores that Sprint wanted to sell its products in, so when the Sprint arrangement fell thru that lead to this 2nd bankruptcy, that store is closed and now selling off inventory. What you see inside the mall store that is on sale is actually stuff from that store and a few other closed locations in the area.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by train_radio_guy »

I was fortunate to make it to the DeKalb, IL. store, before their Radio Shack closed. I found some decent deals, once the discount hit 75-85% off the list price. There were a few RF connectors & Audio Cables, which I needed, that aren't available anywhere else locally.

I also received a bit of bad news on the local front. Jay-Tronics, in Rockford, IL., which is owned by the Licari Family has closed their doors, sometime in the past few weeks. They've been there for at least 30-40 years – maybe longer, and were our last locally-owned electronics store in Northern Illinois. A Public Auction is supposed to be held sometime in the near future, but I don't have a specific date just yet. All of the local industrial customers, plus the three local 2-Way Radio shops bought their Electronic, Telephony, & RF products from Jay-Tronics. The Radio & Maker Community in our area are going to be hit hard with Jay-Tronics’ closure.

With the closures of several major retail chains, many of us are worried, and wonder where this is all headed. Only time will tell.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by Astro Spectra »

[quote="KE7JFF"]

Oh yes...there is a story about this...and its always been a corporate store.

[/quote]

Thanks for the local knowledge, I was just passing thru but was impressed with the friendly team in the store.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by kf4sqb »

A couple of weeks ago, I asked the people in a local store about the ultimate fate of Radio Shack this time around, and was told that they weren't 100% certain, but almost sure that this is the end of Radio Shack. Of course, they may have been misinformed.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by train_radio_guy »

After canvasing many employees & managers, as well as seeing how many store closures we've experienced, it looks as if Radio Shack may be, for all intents & purposes done as a company. The 'loose' game plan is to close almost all stores in a 'given' region, except for select stores, which will unofficially be designated as 'outlet or liquidation' stores. These 'outlet' stores will receive the stock & product, from local stores which are closing in a region.

The one question that arose was what will happen, once a region's stock is completely depleted? Some people have asserted that Radio Shack might take a different approach, such as catering more to the DIYer/Maker market, at the remaining regional stores. In all honesty, once they’ve reduced their store count to these regional stores, they lack any real buying power, compared to what they had several years back. Unless, by some miracle, they can find another business partner, to shore-up the business, it’s difficult to see any real future for the offset R.

In Illinois, I’ve heard that two of the regional stores to be retained, for the time being are Pekin & Arlington Heights. No word on the future of the dealership/franchise stores.

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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by Wowbagger »

In our part of the country (South-Central Kansas), one of our local stores was a DratShack affiliate, but carried a bunch of ham gear, surplus test equipment, and white goods. Some oxygen thieves from RS Corporate had come in, saw how much of the store was given over to ham gear, and said "oh no, this will never do, this must go!" Fortunately the owner ignored them, and he is still in business. He is starting to source parts from other sources like Mouser now.
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Re: Radio Shack Closing - Remaining Electronic Parts Sources?

Post by train_radio_guy »

I spoke to an employee at the Pekin Store this past week. He advised that it appears as though R.S. Corporate has abandoned the regional store concept. The Pekin Store's last day is Wednesday, 05-31-2017. As for the remaining stores in Northern Illinois (outside the Chicago market), the Belvidere & Freeport stores are slated to be closed on Thursday, 05-18-2017. Once they close, the closest dealership/franchise store is located in Monroe, Wisconsin.

After reviewing Radio Shack's website, & reading their FAQ on the bankruptcy, it appears as though they may be considering some options for survival, after the dust clears from this 2nd bankruptcy. Regarding the closure of stores (https://www.radioshack.com/pages/bankru ... stomer-faq):
"RadioShack is exploring all available options for the Company, including alternative business models that will enable it to keep some stores open on an ongoing basis. Upon emergence, RadioShack expects to continue serving the 425 stores operated by independent dealers."

This sounds like they may use the dealership/franchise stores, as the last remaining presence in the retail arena, after the corporate-owned stores have been shuttered.
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