The Mighty RadioShack Giant Slain by the Mainstream
Mr. Andy Cohen, a RadioShack owner who is true to the “old ways” of the DIY keeps his store stocked for those that require transistors, resisters and many more of the goodies you can only obtain from a true electronics store. I have blown a lot of money myself buying parts for repair or for my Beam Robotics projects that I was heavily involved in at the time. Little by little RadioShack was not stocking the items a gold card member needed and the conversations also took a turn from personal and helpful to greedy and cold. I have been asked if I was interested in the latest and greatest. What happened to the simple “How can I help you”?
Now RadioShack stocks more of the mainstream items that the others carry and removed its identity to become a player in this tech age. For some places, this is needed to stay in business but RadioShack had a seat in a spot where nobody else could compete locally. It is depressing. I used to buy my son electronic kits to teach him about electronics in hopes that one day he would at least make it a hobby like his Electronic Technician dad. These were soon to be replaced by the iPhone in the stock room. Maybe there aren’t enough people out there who are interested in components, switches, and power supplies.
All I know is that all that I depended on, going to the store, has dwindled to a corner display, while I am overwhelmed by items I can buy at 100 different stores. Some of them being closer to my home. Gas is expensive in this day and age!
Andy Cohen also grew up messing around with electronics and visited parts stores with his dad as a kid. He too has seen these changes, but decided to make a difference, and try to keep hope alive. I thought that the best thing about a business was individuality and providing services that no one else does in your area? RadioShack HAD that… for many years they had what no one had. Now they want to go mainstream. I hope they have competitive pricing, because now they will be competing against the stores that have been doing this mainstream thing for years and built trust with their customers. RadioShack may find themselves with fewer customers AND less money as a company. I have not stepped a foot in one for a couple years now and more than likely it will be desperation if I ever do.
I have an original TRS-80 Pocket Computer with dock, and the original RadioShack fold out that it was displayed in. One day it will be worth a lot of money, when RadioShack cannot keep up with the big dogs of consumer electronics, and at that time my grandchildren will ask “Hey Gran-pa, what was RadioShack?”