Is Radio Shack making or losing money?

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Is Radio Shack making or losing money?

Post by PrIsMaTiC » Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:19 am

From a financial perspective, I'm sure I could find out more than I ever
would want to know about Radio Shack's economic health, or lack
thereof. There are countless web sites about business, the stock market,

I'm much more interested in the opinion of the members of this forum,
since a lot of us got excited about electronics as kids because of Radio
Shack. When I walk into a Radio Shack these days, it looks like a shrunk
down version of Best Buy or Circuit City. All those components that
allowed millions of young people to get hands on experience are gone.
Who knows how many people became scientists and engineers because
Radio Shack carried inexpensive semiconductors that kids could
experiment with. If I had to buy everything from mail order catalogs
when I was nine or ten years old I'm absolutely certain I never would
have continued my interest in electronics as an adult.

Maybe we could divert a few billion from the war in Iraq and open a few
hundred taxpayer funded "tech stores" across the USA. Stock each
store with several thousand basic (low cost) electronic components.
Millions of kids who are bored with school (like I was) might find that
learning can be fun! I know, I'm an insane socialist who probably
should be sent to a "reeducation camp."

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Post by dyarker » Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:03 pm

I didn't know it was possible to reeducate insane socialists :grin:

Back to serious mode - I agree with your obsevation. A more workable solution might be a tax break to electronics (components not stereos or TVs) stores that give 10% off to students. And don't forget books like "101 LM555 Projects For Beginners" (made up title) that should be put back into print. The web is great, but it is hard to beat a real book with simple explanations and large schematics.
Dale Y

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Post by copperclad » Sat Jun 03, 2006 1:32 pm

i got started with a copy of Forrest Mims Engineer's Notebook , $3.95 at Radio Shack in the 80's , dana :smile:

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Post by gerty » Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:03 pm

I still have my copy :grin:

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Chris Smith
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Post by Chris Smith » Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:10 pm

The tech industry, just another thing we have sold to china and india for a Dime on the dollar like everything else.

Everything is for sale in DC, real cheap.

Heed Jeffersons words and kick some butt in DC at least once every generation, lest you get what you deserve.

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Post by pwillard » Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:08 pm

Electronics has changed so much that it is probably not profitable for Radio Shack to carry 2N2222's just because 1 in 10,000 people might have a week-end project.

...and get it right.

Everything is not for sale just because of DC. It's because the capitalist system, by design, does not see country borders as obstacles. It may have in the past, but no longer. Companies are no longer American... they are global. Global companies give a flip if their labor is in China or the US. You want economic freedom? The large US based corporations have the freedom to not put Americans first in the name of greed, profits and cost per employee.

Since most companies *create* stuff where the labor is... places like Radio Shack no longer have easy access to EXCESS LOCAL US MADE semiconductors like they may have in the past. If the price is up and the demand is down... I figure they need to start selling higher ticket items... which is what you see in the stores.

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Post by Chris Smith » Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:31 pm

Cute, but very naive.

Were for sale all right, to the highest bidder and that’s what off shore banking is all about.

And remember corporations don’t pay taxes, you the customer do that for them.

And did you know its not a felony to bribe your congressman or senate?

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Post by Sambuchi » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:40 am

AAAHHHhhhhhh!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Economics 101 !!!!!

I could never wake up early enough for that class..

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Post by haklesup » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:39 pm

The world has changed and radio shack has changed with it. When I was a kid, I could not use a web browser to go to DigiKey and have parts shipped to me overnight even if I did have to money to afford it.

The variety of semiconductor components is so mind bogglingly vast that no retail chain could possibly turn the stock fast enough to make a profit. Really, what parts would you stock, could you guarantee to the CEO thay would all sell equally well in all markets. This type of sales is very well suited to a website rather than a retail outlet.

I credit them with staying alive and strong so long. They are still a staple of malls and plazas all over the country and many towns have more than one (we have 3). I see them more like a 7-11 of electronics. A very convenient albeit not inexpensive place to find the bulk of the most commonly purchased electronic items and accessories and connectors.

I wonder if a well written ad campaign showing parents teaching children about electronics using RS kits and parts might not reinvigorate interest in the hobby. (rather than ads about parents buying cell phones for their kids so they can be separated). Mabe a new PIC kit with lots of add on options to make game like projects.

While a US corporation can choose labor from anywhere. To choose US labor when it is 2x or 3X the international rate such as to cause financial doom for your company is just plain stupid and in a public company a breach of confidence with the shareholders who will in turn rebel, plunging you more quickly toward bankruptcy. That does noone any good. That's not greed, its called "Fiscal Responsibility"

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Chris Smith
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Post by Chris Smith » Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:55 pm

As for our Rich Coprporations, ....when no one in the US makes enough money to buy your product, let alone feed their family, fiscal responsibility should have been to job security for your fellow citizens and workers, and not simply focusing on buying your second house in Aspen. [Greed]

After all, if no one can buy your cheap crap that is made in China, what good is it to cut your own fiscal throat?

The more you pay higher wages, the more money is floating around to buy YOUR products.

Small minds only focus on the short term greed.

No one looks at the big picture any more, and that is our real problem to solve.

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Post by SETEC_Astronomy » Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:23 pm

I think you could make a profit having a store like radio shack used to be but better and up to date. You can carry standard 5% carbon resistors the most common FETs, transistors, caps, etc.... There are many micro controllers to choose from but most people prefer the same models. Carry PICs, AVR and so on but only the most popular flavors of each. It would also probably be possible to allow people to bring in a USB drive or a floppy disk with a hex file and let them program them before they bring them home so people who just need a couple can save the expense of a programmer and all the related hardware. Where I live we have a great science center that was plenty fun when I was a kid. I think a store that lets you play with the parts (robots premade that are available as kits) and maybe has workshops or classes at night that you or your kids could attend would be great. Think how much fun could be had. I think it would have to be more than a store, more like a fun place to hang out buy electronics and talk with others who share your interest. When shipping is $7 for the first pound paying for resistors that you badly need from the net is a big waste and radio shack selling 5 for $1.50 is ridiculous. If I had the money to start it up I think a store like what I described would be great and I know I'd have fun and use it.

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TRS-80 Model 1 Level 1 lives!

Post by KamPutty » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:44 pm

Okay, I had to get that out of my chest! I remember running from school to our local Radio Shack and using their TRS-80 for hours on end...ah, good times!...good times!

Radio shacks in an interesting position, they are neither an "electronics/tech" shop or a "Circuit City-esk" store. When I need parts (I live in Santa Cruz, CA, USA) I can go to an "Electronics" store, and about 75% of the time they carry the basic part I need, resistors, caps, etc. Nothing fancy. They build computers, sell parts, cables, telephony stuff etc., you know, a ELECTRONICS shop. No identity issues with them. I can ask questions, and I get educated responses, many of "...I do not know, but here is the ref guide so lets look it up etc...", all keeping me moving forward.

I go to our 3 local radio shacks, and there tucked in a corner is the Electronics "nook". I can get a few PCB's, kits, their GREAT 101 books!. Their is also a cabinet with pull outs that contain their resisters, caps, etc. Unfortunatly, said cabinet must be on their lowest "lets make sure it's stocked" check. I would say that on average with all 3 stores, I get about 40% hit rate on parts, again simple res's, caps etc., nothing fancy. Sad to say, but the only electronics help I've gotten from them, as great as it was, "...I can order that.". I cannot ask for electronics help as their help is educated about Consumer Electronics, not electronics.

They definately have a known name here in the USA. Everyone's heard of Radio Shack. Lost, and you need batteries, radio, etc., and you see a Radio Shack, you'll be set (unless you're looking for electronics stuff! [g!]). I feel thats what's keeping them alive, name recognition. The Electronics shop in the mall! The 7-11 of Electronics shops!

~Kam (^8*

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Post by Clyde Crashkop » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:51 pm

I went to a Radio Shack in a mall today in a futile attempt to get a D flip flop. They didn’t stock ANY ICs or even resistors. But they did have a lot of open floor space. I think they are going to close that store.
Engineers Notebook II is still the first place I go for circuits.

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Post by stevech » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:10 pm

bad sr. management at radio shack a few years ago - when they decided that their so-numerous stores allowed them to somehow charge for for the same items that people go to Best Buy, Fry's etc for - like stereos, TVs, etc. And then the fools decided that 1% margin cell phone provisioning was prudent - in the same strip mall as the not-for-profit cell company-owned store.

Meanwhile, selling a steady stream of high priced batteries and cables and a few components - once their bread and butter, is gone. I guess this was inevitable as they overbuilt.

They also tried Internet sales. That flopped.

Too bad.

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Radio Shack stopped selling most cables in bulk,Mouser Elect

Post by Timothy Rasch » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:01 am

I went to Radio Shack last Saturday needing #6 cable for my inverter and or battery hookup and they told Me they discontinued them[in bulk] about 7 or 8 months ago so I looked around and found they got rid of all bulk wire and a lot of their roll wire too and left the store. I will try Fleet Farm Never thinking of Radio Shack for wire again!!!! By The way I discovered by accident the 2n2222 [plastic ] transistor basing is not the normal basing when the flat part is facing you and leads pointing down ,normally on parts like nte123ap it's E,B,C but on the 2n2222 it's C,B,E [left to right]. As for subs for the 2n2222 I suggest
RS# 276-1617 [pkg of 15] :the gain is higher 200,IC=800ma,vce=30v. The Radio Shacks in Malls probably do not have them in stock. Where I live in Green Bay ,Wisconsin there are 3 Radio Shacks ,2 Radio Shacks have these transistors in stock. I found a interesting thing about Mouser Electronics ,they charge and a lot for backorders .I put a order in for parts costing $12.14 -$3 [part not available]=$9.14 and when I got the backorder today I owe $20.75 total for everything. The shipping is more than the cost of parts .Is this crazy? I thought Mouser was Cheep for their parts?I guess not!!!!
Tim Rasch [email protected]

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