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Radioshack Celebrates One Year Anniversary Of Closing 500 Stores By Closing 500 More

Tyler Durden's picture


If it seems like it was exactly a year ago that turmoiling retailer Radioshack shut down 500 stores due to lack of consumer interest in its wares (and or consumer disposable cash), it is because it was. So how does Radioshack demonstrate its morbid sense of humor on the one year anniversary of said announcement? Well, by closing another 500, or about 12% of the retailer's total 4500 outlets currently in existence.

The WSJ reports that the company which once was the butt of all LBO-rumor jokes (and still is, only this time in the context of an M&A-rumor with JCPenney and/or the Joseph A. Wearhouse joint venture), is "planning to close around 500 stores in the coming months as the electronics retailer continues working with advisers to restructure the company."

RSH's pre-bankruptcy operation problems are well-documented. And funded - "in October, RadioShack secured $835 million in loans to refinance about $625 million of debt. Those funds, from a group led by GE Capital, also freed up cash for RadioShack's overhaul." Of course, when said overhaul fails, the loans rolls into a DIP loan which funds the company's bankruptcy.

As was well-documented during the Super Bowl, the Fort Worth, Texas, retail chain has been working on transforming its image from an old-school electronics store into a destination for shoppers looking for entertainment gadgets, like headphones and smartphone cases. Sadly, it appears to not be working.

The retailer has struggled to reverse a string of losses deepened by a sales strategy focused around smartphones, which failed to improve revenue over the past two years.


RadioShack executives last year suggested the company would resist downsizing its store footprint as they focused most of their attention on reinventing the brand's image. Stores might close in one section of a neighborhood to set up shop in more highly trafficked locales, but the number of outlets would stay the same, they had previously said.


"I think we're a 4,000-plus network," RadioShack Chief Executive Joe Magnacca said in a November interview. "My job is to make sure that we've got the market covered."

That, or a '0-precisely network.' And while the Shack struggles to find just what market it is that it covers, if any, the population will enjoy how it spends several months of cash flow on amusing Super Bowl gimmick ads such as this one which is a fitting - and hilarious - epitaph of what happens to every retailer that stop adapting to its current environment.



Finally, while the ultimate fate of Radioshack is quite clear to most, a far more important topic is what happens to all the commercial real estate secuiritizations and/or malls that currently have a RSH location which is about to shutter. Then again, this is the new normal, and things such a fundamentals and cash flows are merely an irrelevant footnote.


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Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:42 | 4400863 HyBrasilian
HyBrasilian's picture

The 80's called... They want their EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS back...

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:01 | 4400945 redpill
redpill's picture

wtf, where am I supposed to buy weird shaped batteries and obscure cable connectors that cost more than the thing I'm connecting?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:04 | 4400957 Hippocratic Oaf
Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Zh reports on RS at 1:37, CNBS reports on RS at 1:55.

I swear they get half of their info from ZH.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:07 | 4400978 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Where can I go to purchase a radio?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:11 | 4400995 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

To the shack I suppose Silver....obvious, eh?


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:26 | 4401044 superflex
superflex's picture

If they only sold guns and ammo, they wouldn't have this problem.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:41 | 4401085 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Maybe drones would be more fitting for them to sell, eh?

As well as anti-drone tech.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:06 | 4401205 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Can you say tax revenue and cooked books at the same time?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:07 | 4401502 fonestar
fonestar's picture

If Radio Shack really wanted to prove itself modern and ahead of its competitors it would accept Bitcoin right away.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:09 | 4401227 Agent P
Agent P's picture

I was at Barnes & Noble yesterday buying a book for my son's birthday, and I saw this behind the counter:

My first thought: "What the hell are they doing selling drones at Barnes & Noble?"  

My second thought: "What the hell am I doing buying a full priced book at Barnes & Noble?"

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:26 | 4401307 radwon
radwon's picture

Got mine off Amazon. They are something. Two camera live feed with recording. Checking gutters for leaves on the two story home while on the ground. Very entertaining.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 19:19 | 4401935 object_orient
object_orient's picture

So were there leaves? Don't leave us hanging!

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 22:39 | 4402507 akak
akak's picture

Get your mind out of the gutter!

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 19:36 | 4401993 Blano
Blano's picture

Face it...we know the two story home you're talking about belongs to your hot neighbor.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 18:04 | 4401713 Silver Bully
Silver Bully's picture

'Maybe drones would be more fitting for them to sell, eh?

As well as anti-drone tech.'


I can tell all the posters (and the author) who haven't been in a Radio Shack in a while. Seriously, does anyone think a retail chain with over 4,000 locations that SELL SMARTPHONES is going to go away overnight? These guys aren't JC Penny.

If you want to understand why Radio Shack sticks around, just understand 2 things:

1. Their primary business is mobile phones (and has been for years). Unless demand for smartphones and their accessories does an overnight collapse, the Shack will continue on. Markup on Radio Shack-branded smartphone accessories is astronomically high. We're talking 60-70% profit or higher. So it doesn't take many sales to make a profit for them. Which leads to #2

2. Radio Shack owns their own battery and electronics supply chain, which nets them over 90% pure profit on each battery or diode or transistor sold. This has been a core part of their business, which allows them to subsidize a lot of the stupid crap that people look at and go 'wait, is that a ham radio? Oh right, it's Radio Shack.'

This is how they will continue to stay in business. The only problem they have is the overexpansion in the past decade. If they trim their retail locations back to sustainable levels (and don't get too levered up with stupidly bad debt), they'll stick around.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 20:26 | 4402134 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

I can rember buying a new computer every year. Ditto laptop. Now? Haven't touched the pc in years. Its just a storage file im afraid to toss. The lap I use every now and then. PC and lap sales have crashed. I have a Kindle HD and have half transitioned my reading addiction to it. Ive mused on buying a Ipad, or Surface Pro....but..but why? Anyway I broke my HTC1 and got a Samy III Galaxy. I can't see getting another phone. It does all I want. Just like the 5year old lap top. I used to get excited about new computers/phones but now they are getting as unthought of as a Bakelite rotary dialup. They've gone from marvels to utility tools, to be replaced when lost or broken.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:40 | 4401090 nuclearsquid
nuclearsquid's picture

or a tyler is a writer/producter at CNBS.

BTW, why are you watching CNBS?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:02 | 4401197 gafgroocK
gafgroocK's picture




Years ago, this was the first store that ever asked me for my phone number to buy something with CASH.

Of course I refused.

RS killed themselves with that 'smart' idea.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 19:50 | 4401584 scam_MERS
scam_MERS's picture

...and to return anything you bought there with cash, same story. Last time I returned something, they wanted my full name, address, phone no., email, the works. I said "Really? I bought this with cash, it's still sealed and unopened, and you want all this info?" The counter drone says "we can't do a return without this information". I flat out told him I'd make up a name and all the rest, he just shrugged his shoulders - so that's what I did. He didn't care, even though I was obviously making it all up. In the end, I had to sign the receipt, so I signed the same fake name. (H/T Futurama: shoulda used "I.C. Weiner" for name but didn't think fast enough)

What a bunch of idiots. There's several of these Radio Shit stores near me, and they're always completely empty except a couple of clerks wandering around with nothing to do. When you walk in, you feel like you just dropped into a shark tank. Not a good know you're about to get ripped off. They won't be missed when they go TU, just like Sears/Kmart. No loss.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:40 | 4401092 CPL
CPL's picture

Prices and variety are much better.  And they sell everything.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:41 | 4401103 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

including tesla coils, sweet

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:13 | 4401251 CPL
CPL's picture

It's the purest of techie pornography, so much awesomesauce.  Remember when radio shack sold this stuff?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 18:15 | 4401762 Occams_Chainsaw
Occams_Chainsaw's picture

Had several of those.  Loved them and kept me busy for hours and hours.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 19:41 | 4402018 Jerome Lester H...
Jerome Lester Horwitz's picture

Back in the early eighties when I was a Freshman taking Electronics 101 walking into Radio Shack was an awesome thing. So much cool stuff to build things with. Walking in one today feels like a miniature Best Buy.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 19:55 | 4402045 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

WHOA! Now that brought back some memories!

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:07 | 4401509 Lost My Shorts
Lost My Shorts's picture

The problem with Radio Sharks is -- when you walk in to buy a doodad that cost 14 cents to manufacture, and you see they charge $9.95 for it, you walk out and never go back.  Their entire original customer base walked out and never went back.  It was so clever to improve cash flow by marking everything up 1,700% -- some MBA retail genius thought of that.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 19:56 | 4402055 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

Yep. You never want to give people the choice between buying the replacement part and throwing the thing you're trying to fix in the garbage


Most of the things you buy at RS are in the 'Do I really need this?' category

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:24 | 4400959 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

This song is an old pop hit from the 80s -*** The track topped several international music charts and has been covered by many recording artists. Its music video was written, directed, and edited by Russel Mulcahy, and is well-remembered as THE FIRST MUSIC VIDEO SHOWN ON MTV IN THE UNITED STATES AT 12:01am ON AUGUST 1st 1981 -*** so it's appropriate as a metaphor for most things a) brick & mortar and b) related to DISCRETIONARY spending, in our new Depression (Best Buy, JCP, Sears/Kmart, Rite-Aid, Blockbuster, Gamestop, Many Restaurants, The GAP, American Eagle, Dots, FYE, Macy's, Kohl's, Lord & Taylor etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc).

The tsunami of store closings has only yet begun.

We've had 35+ years of a credit/debt crack up boom and expansion of the banker fractional fiat reserve crack supply, and 2008 was merely the appetizer on the down payment of the hangover.


I heard you on the wireless back in Fifty Two
Lying awake intently tuning in on you.
If I was young it didn't stop you coming through.
Oh-a oh

They took the credit for your second symphony.
Rewritten by machine on new technology,
and now I understand the problems you can see.
Oh-a oh.

I met your children.
Oh-a oh.

What did you tell them?

Video killed the radio star.
Video killed the radio star.
Pictures came and broke your heart.
Oh-a-aho oh

And now we meet in an abandoned studio,
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago,
And you remember the jingles used to go?
Oh-a oh.

You were the first one.
Oh-a oh.

You'll be the last one.

Video killed the radio star.
Video killed the radio star.

In my mind and in my car,
we can't rewind we've gone too far.

Oh-a-aho oh,

Video killed the radio star.
Video killed the radio star.

In my mind and in my car,
we can't rewind we've gone too far.

Pictures came and broke your heart,
Put down the blame on VCR.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:17 | 4401564 Straw Dog
Straw Dog's picture

Remember it well, used to ice skate to it:

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:06 | 4400966 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

More sigs of robust economy!   

GE capital...what could go wrong? Giant debt works for us!  Until it does not. Our books are not for inspection, trust us.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:16 | 4401016 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Killed by the ObamaPhone.   The few times I was in one recently, it has become a phone store.  Most of the customers were Obama voters.  Sad.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:41 | 4400865 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

I've missed Radio Shack, the real Radio Shack, for years.

A real shame.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:52 | 4400906 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

What do they do again? Sell Verizon phones?

I went into one about 10 years ago and they were selling all their electronics bin stuff on clearance for about 5% of what it sold for normally. Resistors, LEDs, even grounding straps. I've got 3 lb. coffee cans full of the stuff.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:52 | 4400914 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

WTF will I do now, that I can't get my 10ft roll of speaker wire for $35?!  The real question is, how tf long have these guys stayed in business selling cheesy RC toys and off-model electronics?  Pretty f'n long.  Whoever manages this company knows what they are doing, quite frankly. 

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:58 | 4400935 Turin Turambar
Turin Turambar's picture

^ +100


I've always wondered how Radio Shack stays in business.  Speaker wire and an electronic battery here and there for me over the past 30 years.


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:11 | 4400997 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Oh, so you never tried their hookers?  The best!

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:38 | 4401648 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

If I could some service at the counter, maybe, yes, I would have tried their hookers.  Yes, I was waiting on line here first, can you please just check out these wire snippers, I don't want to leave the mall empty-handed, my psyche can't take it this Saturday afternoon.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:41 | 4401097 nuclearsquid
nuclearsquid's picture

2400% Gross margins basically

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:23 | 4401037 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

Spouse's comment on seeing the Superbowl ad was "You mean they're still in business?".  Apparently.  Let's see if they can change business models as well as Madonna changed her image(s) in the 80s and 90s.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:42 | 4401109 CPL
CPL's picture

There is still a good steady trade of parts out there because when you need a 200v 3ohm transitor for something, you really need it.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 20:53 | 4402205 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Online is the way to go:,,

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:58 | 4400929 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

They seem to be trying to replace geeks with breasts....might work...

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:42 | 4401663 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

"We're just like Hooters, but instead of boobs and wings, we do boobs and cheap 500k fader pots!"

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:47 | 4401673 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Radio Rack.  "Our gals know resistors and have big hoots."


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:59 | 4400930 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

old school radio shack was something else. If you ever wanted to try building a robot or a time machine, that was the place to go ( also in canada we have a place called princess auto with all sorts of odd jacked up gizmo parts ). As I recall they were also a repository of all manner of fucked up batteries too.

In Canada our Radio shacks became a chain called "the source." Honestly I don't know how or if they do well but the good thing about them is they seem to have popped up in alot of small towns which otherwise would not have a mega electronics store.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:37 | 4401078 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Typical of how things have changed.  Nobody actually BUILDS ANYTHING anymore. Radio Shack was THE source for all the geeks who built their own, well... EVERYTHING.  But gone are the era of Heathkits and such - and all that represented.  You're not seeing garage based startups that build COMPUTERS anymore.  Nothing like Hewlett Packard - companies that started building THINGS.  Now it's 'social networking software' and such.  The engineering and building are done elsewhere.  Not so many Americans even doing the hardware design work anymore.

That applies to EVERYTHING - gone are the days of the 'shadetree mechanic/inventor'.  Not too many Americans are all that comfortable with tools of any kind and we're all the worse off for the change.

We've seen a push towards - what to me at least - seems to be vacuous intellectual narcissim - Look at these pictures of me, this is what I'm doing/thinking/eating/whatever right now.....what are YOU doing?  What is Justin Bieber doing now?  see the new selfie of Kim Kardashian?...... all pretty much iseless intellectual vomit.   Meanwhile the wealth of a society comes from producing and adding VALUE.  Mining ore, smelting metal, transforming that metal into somethign.  CUtting down trees, majinng things of wood, growing grain, making flour and then bread.  Chemically trasnformign oil into plastics and making things of that....... Most other things are OVERHEAD - functions which came into existence to SUPPORT THE CREATION OF WEALTH AND PRODUCTION OF VALUE.  Accounting kept track pf the sheep and cows you raised and traded.  The financial system came about to invest in the production of goods - to allocate capital efficiently.    'Service' economies cannot exist when there is no production of original wealth.  But that's what we have now.  And don't rebut with the 'movies/software/entertainment 'value creation'.  NOBODY would have any money to pay for any of those things - nobody would cae about those things without the wealth created elsewhere.  People care more about having somethign to eat and places to live (solid concrete 'things' that were produced in a process of adding value.

If Gilligan et al landed on a desert island today there wouldn't be any 'Professor' creating things for them.  They'd all die of starvation shortly after entering iPhone withdrawl.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:25 | 4401310 akak
akak's picture


If Gilligan et al landed on a desert island today there wouldn't be any 'Professor' creating things for them.  They'd all die of starvation shortly after entering iPhone withdrawl.

That is one of the funniest, and truest, and saddest lines I have ever read here.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:35 | 4401642 Meatballs
Meatballs's picture

"gone are the days of the 'shadetree mechanic/inventor'"

Still here and doing great! Thanks.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 18:10 | 4401736 akak
akak's picture


"gone are the days of the 'shadetree mechanic/inventor'"

Rather off topic, but still an analogous situation: how many people actually cook at home anymore, or even KNOW how to cook?  I prepare probably 98% of all my meals myself, and increasingly get strange looks from people when I tell them that.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 18:29 | 4401653 scam_MERS
scam_MERS's picture

Funny how you mention "Heap"kits :)) "Benton Harbor Lunch Boxes", etc. -- I built my first tube tester from Heathkit, the TT-1. Remember those? I had an old Weller soldering gun (didn't get the WTCPN iron until a few years later) that I used to put the whole thing together in a few days after school. I was so proud of that thing! (I was 13 YO at the time) My dad used to get mad because I take tubes out of our (working) TV just so I could "test" them. After I dropped and broke one, that was the end of spurious "testing". I put an ad in the local paper for free pickup of old electronics, and got a bunch of stuff to play with, one being an old Grundig console SW radio. After I got it working, I spent nights listening to overseas radio, and was facinated. The whole experience led me to become an electronics technician, which is what I spent the rest of my life doing. Today, no one wants to pay to fix anything, and so-called "technicians" today are just board changers, they couldn't troubleshoot to component level to save their life.

Sad, but virtually all of what I learned to do in my lifetime is now obsolete. IMO, being a technician was harder than becoming a doctor, since bodies stay more or less the same forever. Electronics was constantly changing, and you had to keep studying and learning new things every day. Toward the end of my time working as a tech, it was becoming obvious where it was all heading, when I saw more products thrown away than being repaired.

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 14:16 | 4404541 InflammatoryResponse
InflammatoryResponse's picture



you are SO right!!!!  the number of people out there that can even USE a tool is dwindling at a rate of freefall. 


if RS was smart they try to cultivate that again.  we need fewer selfies and more doers.




Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:41 | 4401096 Bioscale
Bioscale's picture

All these shops went online I guess, I buy at, with new miniboards like Arduino or RaspberryPi it's like Lego for adults nowadays.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:13 | 4401240 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Buy straight from China Inc. You can buy 100x more than ShitShack sells for 1/10th the price online.

Why give Wall Street middleman fat profits and free arbitrage? RadioShitShack and Worst Buy have no allegiances to you, dear American consumer (or their employees) and buy their shit directly from the same sources in China anyways.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:09 | 4401226 CPL
CPL's picture

They are franchise based so if the store 'closes' the owner usually has to figure out their own marketing campaigns and supply arrangements.  Plus take down the sign that says 'the source'.  It's not a big deal, annoying, but not the end of the world.   The one in my area is also the appliance repair/yoga studio/techie/fixit/antenna shop.  Last I heard from him it's expensive staying under that model and he's been using Tiger express to act as is distributor because their vendor arrangements are simpler, better margin and easier to track/return.

If you are looking for it, it's right by the Notary/Chiropractor/Orthotics/Massage therapist/Hockey Coach.  It's the same guy btw, just in case you hurt your back while getting fitted for prescription skates and requiring a legal document stamped on your way to learn how to perform a hat trick.  He's right there to help you out.  Which is next to the book store/stationary/party stuff/internet cafe/bakery/sandwich place just in case you get hungry and need to look something up for throwing a book club party with fancy invitations.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:04 | 4400951 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

"I've missed Radio Shack, the real Radio Shack, for years."

They went into marketing electronics gizmos that everyone else sells, nearly abanding their former role as a place for electronics hobbyists/hackers. Now, too belatedly IMO, with the rise of the Maker movement, they're trying to get back into the hacker realm, but not to the extent needed.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:10 | 4400986 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

They show up at maker faires but they have so little to offer. 

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:22 | 4401033 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Shit - if they had moved into ammo and gizmos and gadgets for preppers to fight the coming battle with the NWO - they would have cleaned up. 

Apparently, serious preppers are also buying these Chinese handheld SW radios that can use a repeater.  They are really cheap like $40.  It is sad because Radio Shack had all that geeky stuff. 

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:32 | 4401053 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Baofeng UV-5R. Never heard of it.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:52 | 4401420 Freddie
Freddie's picture


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:31 | 4401057 codecode
codecode's picture

Remember Heathkit? Not sure how they would get that business model back today?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:29 | 4401332 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

Remember Dynaco?

People pay astonishing prices for their old stuff.   Especially the tube amps.  Look up ebay prices.  Amazing.    50 year old tech better than anything you can buy today.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:06 | 4401214 gafgroocK
gafgroocK's picture



Don't worry they still have your phone number and have sold it to 10-15 other retailers in a Hypothecation scam just like JPM ;>

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:42 | 4400867 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

Dows dropped 1000 points, and this bounce will end today at less then 100, get ready for 1000 points more to the downside!!

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:43 | 4400869 digitlman
digitlman's picture

Is this ad from this year's Super Bowl?  (I did not watch, obviously)

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:59 | 4400944 HyBrasilian
HyBrasilian's picture

THIS is all you missed out on on if you didn't watch the Super Bowl...

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:44 | 4400871 vortmax
vortmax's picture

And yet they're still trying to push cellphones--I'm sure shoving phones down customers' throats has great margins, but this company still just doesn't get it.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:45 | 4400875 Agent P
Agent P's picture

They have 4500 stores?  Really?  500 is probably the number they should keep vs. close.  

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:27 | 4401045 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Make em gun and ammo stores.  Sell hobbyist kits on how to jam and hijack drones plus prepper stuff. 

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:06 | 4401203 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

Seriously, the last time I even saw a Radioshack (I grew up on Long Island) it was selling TRS-80s.  Crazy Eddie blew their shack least around my neck of the woods.

The famous Crazy Eddie fraud story from Masterminds:

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:44 | 4400877 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

Anyone remember when RS would ask for your name and address even if you did a cash purchase for a battery?

I was told that it was all part of trying to catch the uni-bomber.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:03 | 4400953 PacOps
PacOps's picture

Yep. And they were so insistant that it was the last time I went in.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:46 | 4400880 stock trout
stock trout's picture

They are closing them due to inclement weather.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:06 | 4401498 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Send that douchebag Bill de Blasio to shovel the snow in front of The Shack.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:45 | 4400885 economessed
economessed's picture

I suppose this means the "Streaming Shack" rebranding idea is dead? 

Hey Radio Shack executives -- instead of reselling Chinese electronics, why don't you sell homebrewing and reloading supplies?  Just a thought.  If you did, I might have a reason to patronize one of your dreadful establishments.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:45 | 4400886 Mr Pink
Mr Pink's picture

Hey, Cliff Clavin doesn't work for beer

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:48 | 4400891 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

What's a radio?.....

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:50 | 4400900 L_Conquistador
L_Conquistador's picture

You bring up a good point.  Radio Shack should refocus on "shacks", since more Americans will be needing them in the coming years.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:59 | 4400931 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

In order to teach Morse Code and Short Wave Radio usage.....since there won't be enough cheap energy or debt creation to fuel huge data centers to IP packetize television signals or the internet.  That will be reserved for the HFT algo's........they MUST ALWAYS be able to run.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:31 | 4401051 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Apparently, SW portable radios are a big deal with preppers.  Not just small CB radios or VHF.  They have these chinese radios for like $40 but you need a SW/FCC license.  I guess when the SHTF that the FCC will be busy.

Great - banner ads on ZH.  F that.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:53 | 4401147 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

A license costs $15. Just sayin'

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:15 | 4401542 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Thanks bro.  How hard is the test? I heard they made it a bit easier.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 18:25 | 4401784 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Easy if you understand Ohms law, etc.  You only have to get 75% correct.  Free sample tests online.

Here is a free study guide:

Sorry for the late reply.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 19:53 | 4402044 Jerome Lester H...
Jerome Lester Horwitz's picture

ShackShack opening near you soon!

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:52 | 4400893 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Super Bowl ad did hit the mark on the head - the Radio Shack of today is little more than an overpriced version of either the cell phone kiosks or of online retailers.  But while they may want to return the boom days of the 80's, there are three really big problems -- one is that the kids today are on-line addicts and there is no excitement about building simple electronic devices.  And two is that electronic devices in the 1980's were expensive and were repairable if you could find the parts -- whereas today nearly everything electronic is a throw away if it breaks.  And finally, in the 1980's you had to run cables everywhere, and that meant connectors and special tools.  Today, its all wireless.  If you want to re-make the 'Shack from the 1980's then what you really need to re-make is the consumer of today -- and that ain't gonna happen...

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:51 | 4400898 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It doesn't matter what they do to their stores when you can get the same product from Amazon for a lot less money. This time next year they will be shuttering another 500 stores until they're finally all gone.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:59 | 4400942 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

A pancake collapse.  Just a little pause as each level gets compressed until the collective weight starts the inevitable decline all over again......until it meets the ground.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:51 | 4400903 saltedGold
saltedGold's picture

The local Radio Shack closed here years ago.  Unfortunately, the business model and clientele that Radio Shack was built upon doesn't exist anymore.  They tried to survive by morphing into a place that sells overpriced cables, crappy RC toys and cell phones. 

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:49 | 4400904 Smuckers
Smuckers's picture


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:51 | 4400910 akak
akak's picture

They should try opening a few electronics stores in and around Fukushima.

They could call it Radioactive Shack.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:56 | 4401153 tawdzilla
tawdzilla's picture

possible company theme song...

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:54 | 4400912 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

SERIOUSLY ??!!!!   D. I. T.

The WHOLE REASON Radio Shack was successful in the day was D. I. Y.

Have they missed the WHOLE MAKER MOVEMENT going on now?  Arduino ?  Rasperberry Pi ?  3D Printers?  Lego MINDSTORM Robot Kits?   They could build whole new communities in each locale with Maker's Faires with this stuff and more.

But NOOOOoooooo......they want to be a COOL place for me to fondle a phone or buy Skull Candy headphones......just like I can at Wally World for cheaper.  Or just fondle them and then buy them on Amazon.  OR.....better them cheaper on Ebay or off of Craigslist.

See ya Radio Shack.....been nice knowin' ya.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:10 | 4400993 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

Just FYI they do sell Arduino Uno's and Mega's and some of them even have the oddball shield (like TFT shields).  They've been trying to get back into it but they seem unable to figure out how to do so.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:45 | 4401118 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Shit... I tried to get a program going with Lego Mindstorm robots for years in our local upscale suburban school district.  The kids were interested but the 'educators'?!?!? bwahaaaaaa........ f'in useless mindless admiinstrators.  Same ones that sold off all the wood shop, metal shop and auto shop equipment for scrap.  Sad thing is that they are big on stuff like 'Science Olympiad' without realizing that theese are skills they need to compete in such events.  Instead of having real tech classes they'd rather have mindless play 'computer art' classes.   Meanwhile they buy new comuters every 3 years (totally unnecessary) and spend a fortune on crap that they don't need and never use (and frankly, don't understand).

You have a few teachers who DO 'get it' but they seem to get tired of butting heads with the administrators and leave.  The really good ones are gone before even trying to get tenure.

End result is even the kids who might be interested in all this lose interest from lack of exposure.  One of the reasons kids today aren't much into cars.  They go apeshit when they see a real 'Hot Rod' but that doesn't happen much.  Their parents are lawyres and doctors and bankers who don't even know how to hold a hammer.  Can't tell you how many boys are THRILLED to build Pinewood Derby cars for Cub Scouts - probably the first and last time they'll EVER build ANYTHING.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:08 | 4401230 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Nice post.  I'm sure these administrators see no need for science since we have the federal gov around to take care of us, protect us, and grace us with a slow steady stream of new electronic trinkets created by their spy network.

The reason no kinds know how to work on a car anymore is that if you tinker with a new EFI car it most likely will never run right again.  There's no maintenance really and if there is a problem the first thing you do is hook up a OBD scanner.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:56 | 4400913 I am a Man I am...
I am a Man I am Forty's picture


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:57 | 4400933 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Where am I going to buy terminal strips for my model train?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:01 | 4400950 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

There's a new market for ya'.  Learn to make your own and build for others.

You'll be a mini-railroad tycoon in no time !!!!   LOL !

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:32 | 4401061 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

They have this thing you're on called the internet.  Amazing you can find and buy almost anything...

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:18 | 4401276 oddjob
oddjob's picture

...that's great but some stupid people don't like to the idea of conducting commerce with a faceless counterparty coupled with another risk of having your personal information stolen and used for nefarious purposes, how dumb are they?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 14:58 | 4400936 CrimsonAvenger
CrimsonAvenger's picture

The Onion had it pegged years ago:

Even CEO Can't Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business,2190/ 

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:05 | 4400961 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

If soldering wasn't so hard (I still can't use the damn tool) the company might have had a chance. I'd still be using my HeathKit short wave....and tube can't find them any where nowadays.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:55 | 4401159 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

There's only two kinds of people who solder: Great, born to do it and suck at it no matter how much experience. Nothing in between

I'm in the "sucks" category, a forever source of frustration for me.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:15 | 4401553 Cheyenne
Cheyenne's picture

Ha ha. It seems like it'd be easy, but it's not. I went to work for Honeywell with a fresh E.E. degree and got laughed out of the lab by techs watching me melt down banks of $600 S-level power transistors. (I wrorked in the space systems division.) I spent an entire week in "solder school," which ranks right up there with typing in the pantheon of useful classes.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 18:16 | 4401758 scam_MERS
scam_MERS's picture

Just the opposite for me, I guess - I love the smell of 60/40 in the morning :)

I think I was born to solder, for the last 40 years all I've used is my trusty Weller WTCPN iron. Built like a tank in the 70s, still has the original heater and sponge, believe it or not (it's my personal iron, so it isn't on 24/7). Work iron was a Weller too, but one of the fancier digital models, the WESD51. I'm still more comfortable with my oldie than the digital unit.

There's a bit of art and a bit of science in soldering, and it takes a while to get the hang of just how long to leave the iron on the joint without smoking the component you're trying to solder. Unfortunately, these days I don't get as much of a chance to solder as I did when I worked for a large Japanese electronics company. I fix friend's stuff at home, and I'm setting up a bench that resembles the one I used for years at work. Something comforting about that...hard to explain.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:04 | 4400962 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

The people at the Radio Shack where I live have always acted like they were put out that you came in and they have been there a loong time. Oh yeah, they are closed on Saturday, lol.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:39 | 4401089 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Our local store too! and they were NEVER busy... Similarly, I walked into a local organic market this morning and said good morning to the employee and he looked at me like "What's good about it douche?" I'm nice to my Clients - they support me

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:07 | 4400980 homiegot
homiegot's picture

Shopping malls will be future FEMA camps.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:03 | 4401196 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Wow! Shopping and camping together. With half-off Cinnabon coupons they'll round up over half the sheeple


"Building the camps is the easy part. Getting me in one, well, good luck with that."

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:08 | 4400983 Caveman93
Caveman93's picture

Was a cool place for CB equpiment and gear and an occasional toggle switch here and there. Bye bye RS. 

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:34 | 4401062 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Went there a while back for a balun xformer (300-75 ohm for an old TV antenna).  They didn't have one (to be fair, neither did Home Depot).  Ebay has them, cheap.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:08 | 4400984 Ness.
Ness.'s picture

Can we "pencil" RS into this wiki page now?



Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:14 | 4401000 1stepcloser
1stepcloser's picture

No right said fred or Frankie goes to hollywood....Must of died from Aids I guess..

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:19 | 4401025 whatthecurtains
whatthecurtains's picture

Radio Shack should start selling 3D printer equipment and PLA/ABS plastic.    Team with Makerbot and all the amateur and prosumer 3D printer makers.    

Also let me send in my design and you guys do the CNC work for me right there.   I'd drive by and pick it up on my way home.  Hell that'd be awesome.

Problem is you'd need to hire people who can actually run and maintain the equipment.  The guys in my local Radio Shack can only answer their cell phones.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:25 | 4401035 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

the 80's offered me my job back.  Just offered a restaurant general manager job for same salary I made in 1983.  Similar operation.  Puff of smoke and some mirrors and the band plays on.  It gets very real when food for family of 4 hits 3 hundred instead of 150 a week.  We are getting there sooner or later but I think sooner.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:23 | 4401036 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

the 80's offered me my job back.  Just offered a restaurant general manager job for same salary I made in 1983.  Similar operation.  Puff of smoke and some mirrors and the band plays on.  It gets very real when food for family of 4 hits 3 hundred instead of 150 a week.  We are getting there sooner or later but I think sooner.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:25 | 4401038 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

the 80's offered me my job back.  Just offered a restaurant general manager job for same salary I made in 1983.  Similar operation.  Puff of smoke and some mirrors and the band plays on.  It gets very real when food for family of 4 hits 3 hundred instead of 150 a week.  We are getting there sooner or later but I think sooner.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:23 | 4401040 superflex
superflex's picture

Let's see.

RS sells a 6 foot HDMI cable in store for $15.

Monoprice sells the same cable online for $3,50 and I dont have to deal with some junior associate douchebag trying to sell me the Beats Pill.


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:34 | 4401063 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

    Damn! Now I'm going to have to start making my own tin foil helmets again.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:34 | 4401069 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Everything is from China and throw-away these days. Who needs to use their brains in the US and figure out how to fix something.

Use your Obama phone and find someplace where you can purchase a new disposable item from China.

Appliances have become disposable as well. Manufactured in Korea, China or Mexico to last about 7 years before a breakdown.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:35 | 4401071 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

I'm sure they will close our local outlet - it is one of the worst retail sites in town. Mark down their proforma revs by the 10 bucks a decade I spend there.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:45 | 4401115 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

I worked on some corporate events for Radio Shack about 12 years ago.  They were a weird company.  They pretty much deified their CEO, Len Roberts.  They even hired a musician (actually the guy who played keboards on "Ice, Ice, Baby") to write a song about how great Len was, performed live with him on the stage.  It was like what you'd expect in North Korea or one of the 'stans.  Roberts had a "golden boy," a guy named Dave Edmondson who was the marketing guy.  Everybody but Len hated him.  The word was Len always had a favorite, whom everybody else hated and tried to backstab.  Edmondson hung on though until Roberts retired though, and succeeded him as top dog.  That didn't last too long; Edmondson had faked his resume and claimed a college degree he didn't really have (or it was from a mill; I forget).  After that they went through CEOs with amazing speed.  I remember Howie Long and Teri Hatcher were at the meeting.  Utter dorks.  Hatcher is worthless and stuck up.

So they had a cult of personality, a toxic internal culture, and no idea what in the hell their business was.  What could possibly go wrong?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 15:52 | 4401149 Meatballs
Meatballs's picture

Radio Shack has been ruined for quite awhile now- we didn't need another phone store. In the old days, if you needed a capacitor or a diode it was handy. The idiots behind the counter don't know what those things are now. Nicely done morons- you deserve this.


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:39 | 4401366 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

Those 80's costumes look pretty good on these actors, and the actors look like the actual people from the 80s, except for the one playing Mary Lou Retton. 


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 16:57 | 4401448 bankonzhongguo
bankonzhongguo's picture

Somebody posted it earlier and frankly its not a crazy idea in this age of dying retail.

Turn every Radio Shack into your neighborhood Survivalist Store, including guns and ammo and everything else you struggle to make or find on the Internets, AND all the silly deflationary electronic crap too.

Where can you find mica water filters, solar cell phone chargers, bricks of 22LR, the Radio Shack Bug Out Bag and a police scanner with your boom box and pay as you go cell phone plan.

If all Radio Shack did was appeal to the top survival blogs and DYI zombocalypse YouTube videos via their world class constellation of Level B real estate, they would be fine as a retailer. Where can a regular Joe find a food grade barrel for water storage and an armorers wrench for the AR-15, in addition to a box of MRE, and a short wave radio in real time?

Radio Shack's Heathkit demographic is the only one zippy enough to survive these weird times. It might even be a terrific marketing gimmick if all they accepted was cash.

Radio Shack.  "Where you gonna go when the lights go out?" How apropo.

Radio Shack.  "We're gunnin' for ya."

Radio Shack.  RIP. 


Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:34 | 4401624 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Get that Gunny guy as a spokeman.  The one who prattles on and on about Garands.  The douchebag said he voted for Obama and said he hates AK's on his YouTube videos.   Pretty funny in Full Metal Jacket until Private Pyle greased him.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:33 | 4401626 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Take the Radio out and rebrand it.
Guns, Ammo, boiled rope, knives, water filtration, etc.

Rename it "Survival Shack"

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 17:44 | 4401665 Freddie
Freddie's picture

They are from freaking Fort Worth so they should know guns and ammo.   Perfect fit.  

Boiled rope?  How about guilotines that could be used on banskters and their ilk?

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 18:11 | 4401740 Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

I've followed the radio shack here in my town of 5K for 30 years. I saw the whole meme go down the shitter, but when I knew the game was up was about 5 years ago when the the 20 year store manager was sacked. An replaced by.........a counter clerk. Yes, same ol', same ol'. When they start eating their own for a few pennies more, the gig is up. Surprised it took this long really.

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 20:12 | 4402087 djsmps
djsmps's picture

I went into a "new" Radio Shack to buy a 1 meter firewire cable. I've bought them there before for about $8.00. The cheapest cable they had was $19.00. I exited the store.

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