RadioShack’s Strategic Confusion

radio shack



Source: WSJ

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  1. Iamthe50percent commented on Feb 6

    Aren’t they dead yet? Haven’t shopped there for a decade. Sales associates have no technical knowledge and try to sell what Radio Shack wants to sell rather than what the customer wants to buy.

    From your chart, the downfall probably came in 1999, but then there is 1984 also. Who would buy a phone from Radio Shack?

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Feb 6

      Duh! Didn’t even look at the graph. Haven’t finished morning coffee. Point was I didn’t need the graph. The words “partnered with Microsoft” were sufficient.

  2. zot23 commented on Feb 6

    One possible route for the Shack would be to embrace its roots but work towards supporting the new generation of makers and hacktivists. For example, bring back selling straight up components but add bare Raspberry Pi CPUs, 3D printers, and everything to support that kind of adventure. Toss in quad copter drones, other robots, go pro cameras, and get a staff that is enthusiastic about using and advancing this tech.

    Really I don’t know if they can survive even doing that, but it would give them a definite audience on which to focus. As it is now, the few times I go there I am mystified at who would pay such outrageous prices for such basic products. The internet is stripping them down by the hour…

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Feb 6

      They’d do at lot better doing that then selling cell phones. They can never hope to undercut service providers that will sell the phones at a loss or give them away and make it up on the service contract.

      Selling kits and components may be a niche market but combining brick and mortar with a web store ala Walmart should be viable. It would be a comfortable business but not the infinitely growing tech business that Wall street has come to expect. Also, knowledgeable sales personnel treated with respect by management would give customers an incentive to shop in person. Both radio Shack and Best Buy fail in this regard.

      Radio Shack management isn’t qualified to run a lemonade stand.

  3. Clif Brown commented on Feb 7

    I worked as a salesman at Radio Shack when they came out with their first electronic calculator mentioned on the graph. Then it was big excitement when RS combined with Allied Radio and the size of the catalog really jumped as talk started about anti-trust action against the combo. It seemed like the future was bright. At the time the highest profit item in the store was the “lifetime guarantee” vacuum tube that were still common in TV’s

    Then came the TRS80, my first “real” (not breadboard) computer and, again, it looked like a gold mine for RS. It was, but only for a while.

    As the huge wallspace of a million and one electrical components (capacitors, resistors, transistors) disappeared, the life went out of the place because the company lost its identity and could never establish a new one.

    So goodbye RS, as you follow Heathkit, Lafayette, and Olsen Electronics into history.


    ADMIN: BR worked in Lafayette in college

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