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Patient: RadioShack; Condition: Ciritcal, with death the likely prognosis


Darth Avlectus
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I don't know if you've heard yet but...RadioShack is going out of business. 93 years was a good run, but it just couldn't hold on.

 

Shares currently at 33 cents and falling, it will go under next month and have a clearance liquidation sale on its way out.

 

Sure its prices were too high, but I think that's a symptom of the problem of being a brick-and-mortar type retail store in the age of internet.

 

I enjoyed stuff written by Forrest M. Mims III, and I seemed to know my stuff about components, power supplies, batteries and soldering equipment. In fact I wasn't even dressed like I worked there, but fairly often people thought I did because I could answer questions--even some questions their own employees couldn't.

 

Guess now I'm stuck with either Harbor Freight or Fry's Electronics if I want to buy stuff in person.

 

Goodbye RadioShack, it was nice knowing you.

 

R.I.P.

 

---Thoughts?

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Radioshack was a nightmare to work for - at least my experience was a nightmare. There's a reason it was on the list of the 10 worst places to work.

 

There weren't any outstanding sales goals other than the usual ****ty set (selling useless service plans, upselling, etc). However, selling wireless was one of our main goals and we were expected to always upsell accessories - the problem of course is that Radioshack carries **** for accessories, and we often NEVER had cases for the phones we sold. Uphill battle for sure.

 

I was one of the hardest workers that worked at my store and yet I never even got a chance when I made that one fatal mistake that got me fired. Never mind all the people who lazed around all day and FOR SURE never mind the one girl who disappeared for a month with no notice at all, was absolutely lazy and would snipe people's phone sales (we got paid on commission). NOPE, she still has her job. I make one mistake and I'm out.

 

It may sound like I'm bitter - I was bitter - but the joke's on them. After a brief stint at Gamestop, I landed a job at Costco and after leaving that place, I now make 3 times the amount I made at Radioshack.

 

They have royally f***ed over so many people. They brought this on themselves.

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@VP: Yeah I certainly hear that. Actually they were kind of begging ME to work there for them after a time, but I always found that most folks eventually ended up hating the place. So I was leary. And apparently rightfully so...

 

Yours isn't the only story like that, actually. The one (sort of) exception was a location in South Lake Tahoe. One of their better performing chains I might add (grossing $2.5M last year)...but what shook me was they had the same guy working there for over 20 years and finally let him go...just simply let him go out of the blue. Maybe he was just moving on, but I question what really went down.

 

Honestly, even overpriced as the NTE line of replacement components are, I never understood why they only sell those online--they could have competed with Fry's, actually. ......Now *there* is another company who screws over their employees. Nice variety, better than best buy, but man I hope you don't ever have to return something or have to work there...

 

I digress... One could appreciate how they were trying to stay in as many categories as possible but they could have had less stores overall and applied the additional resources & funding to better product variety and more frequent improvements to existing products.

 

Their products did help me to teach myself. Their product line wasn't the best but it was available if I needed it...except those project nights where it's 2 AM and I need more solder, a new iron, parts, etc.

 

Personally I've never had bad service thankfully, though often I was regarded as someone who was un-helpable because I was 'that guy' whose questions were beyond what employees were trained for.

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Yours isn't the only story like that, actually. The one (sort of) exception was a location in South Lake Tahoe. One of their better performing chains I might add (grossing $2.5M last year)...but what shook me was they had the same guy working there for over 20 years and finally let him go...just simply let him go out of the blue. Maybe he was just moving on, but I question what really went down.

 

They fired my boss who had been with the company for 15 years because he was using coupons to drive sales. Arguably, it was not the nicest looking thing on paper, especially for loss-prevention, but this was literally the one thing he had done wrong in 15 years working there.

 

I digress... One could appreciate how they were trying to stay in as many categories as possible but they could have had less stores overall and applied the additional resources & funding to better product variety and more frequent improvements to existing products.

 

Yes, but I don't think they did any of them properly. They had a nice thing going with phones - the one nice thing about Radioshack is that it's usually cheaper to get phones there than at a carrier store - but of course it wasn't always easy to fix issues in people's accounts. It perpetuated the myth that Radioshack employees don't know what they're doing with activating phones.

 

Personally I've never had bad service thankfully, though often I was regarded as someone who was un-helpable because I was 'that guy' whose questions were beyond what employees were trained for.

 

Yeah... so pretty much no one in my store often knew how to answer more technical questions - and truth be told, neither did I. I was just good at googling. I also happened to pick up a few tricks for increasing the performance on android phones and that apparently made me an expert somehow.

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They fired my boss who had been with the company for 15 years because he was using coupons to drive sales. Arguably, it was not the nicest looking thing on paper, especially for loss-prevention, but this was literally the one thing he had done wrong in 15 years working there.

Yeah. The location itself was actually pretty good. But after a certain point it was like regional management just didn't care anymore when it came to employees. Shame, too.

 

 

 

Yes, but I don't think they did any of them properly. They had a nice thing going with phones - the one nice thing about Radioshack is that it's usually cheaper to get phones there than at a carrier store - but of course it wasn't always easy to fix issues in people's accounts. It perpetuated the myth that Radioshack employees don't know what they're doing with activating phones.

 

I know. Actually, some really unethical customers try to take advantage of that. One time I actually thought the guy was going to get belligerent and take it to a physical level.

 

The phone thing was what they gambled on to stay relevant because, well, folks like me are a dying breed (as I'll elaborate below). So they needed to reach a wider customer base. Problem is their chains are all rented, too many and many of them under-performing long before it became a shareholder issue. This, in turn, limited just how much variety they could have. Either you specialize and you're online, and global... or you generalize with wide variety in-store while expanding upon that online. Easier said than done I realize, but...their competitors are doing it on that side of the equation. They aren't, they didn't... they're dying now.

 

 

Yeah... so pretty much no one in my store often knew how to answer more technical questions - and truth be told, neither did I. I was just good at googling. I also happened to pick up a few tricks for increasing the performance on android phones and that apparently made me an expert somehow.

 

Yeah, I was basically the guy who'd come in once a moth or possibly per week depending on time of year. You'd probably chat with me. I hung around the components and soldering because I have a bazillion projects. Or just time to burn. Me and maybe a handful of others were buying enclosures, IRF510 MOSFETs, resistors, diodes, capacitors, perfboards, parallax microprocessors, solder and rosin, etc.

 

I have my eye on a raspberry pi for the clearance sale. When you can fit the thing inside a dead white "brick" style game boy carcass, complete with emulators, roms, USB for peripherals for wireless internet... and a glowing self-lit screen... why not?

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Yeah. The location itself was actually pretty good. But after a certain point it was like regional management just didn't care anymore when it came to employees. Shame, too.

 

I have my eye on a raspberry pi for the clearance sale. When you can fit the thing inside a dead white "brick" style game boy carcass, complete with emulators, roms, USB for peripherals for wireless internet... and a glowing self-lit screen... why not?

 

Wow, that sounds pretty legit! I'm unfortunately not much of a handy guy - I for instance, just barely was able to solder a kill switch into my guitar so I could be like Tom Morello or Buckethead... I'm more on the programming end of things. Haven't really interfaced with hardware a whole lot, although I know it's something I should know how to do. Raspberry Pi, I hear is quite useful, as well as the several Arduino kits that were sold at Radioshack. Almost no one ever touched them, however...

 

We also generally had really good deals on USB thumbsticks and SD cards.

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Wow, that sounds pretty legit! I'm unfortunately not much of a handy guy - I for instance, just barely was able to solder a kill switch into my guitar so I could be like Tom Morello or Buckethead...

 

Hm. I wonder...how exactly did you go about soldering that? :)

What were your biggest problems when doing it?

 

I'm more on the programming end of things. Haven't really interfaced with hardware a whole lot, although I know it's something I should know how to do.

 

I'd be happy to assist where I can. I think even Rhett, ChainZ, and Sam D can also offer some advice, too.

 

If you want, I also have some reference source recommendations for learning soldering on your own. (Helped me!)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/circuitbuilding-do-it-yourself-for-dummies-h-ward-silver/1014056087?ean=9781118051825

This covers generally everything, soldering, fabbing, repairs, starting from scratch, just about anything. Musicians who know this can fix their own stuff instead of paying someone else or buying new every time something breaks. Plus you learn equipment maintenance.

http://www.amazing1.com/content/download/GCAT1.pdf

Although it's tailored to the kits of Information Unlimited, this has a lot of the same stuff for general considerations when doing this kind of work. (FREE Download!)

 

Raspberry Pi, I hear is quite useful, as well as the several Arduino kits that were sold at Radioshack. Almost no one ever touched them, however...

 

If you want the low-down on that particular project, it's actually not too hardware intensive.

https://superpiboy.wordpress.com/

 

For raspberry Pi projects in general

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/raspberry-pi-projects-for-dummies-mike-cook/1116601279?ean=9781118766712

 

Since you know the programming end of things, I'm sure you could customize your setup even more to your liking.

EDIT: They're basically just tiny Linux computers. That's it. /edit

 

Personally I know hexadecimal, but truth be told the primer on 6502 assembly language is overwhelming for me right now. I understand it, barely.

 

As to RS and reaching out to amateurs on an educational level, it's a noble goal. Arduino is probably the simplest for learning microcontrollers. Unfortunately it has limited potential to drive custom circuits AND it's rather unforgiving to errors.

 

Since most amateurs can't be bothered to read datasheets in their entirety on the Atmel chips at their cores (and I can't say I blame them personally! Yet even so, some of this information is not readily intuitive for those who do)... These happen:

http://www.ruggedcircuits.com/10-ways-to-destroy-an-arduino/

 

Their Parallax microcontroller kit is probably the next step I'd take. I have that kit they sell, just haven't gotten around to teaching myself how to use it, but I do know that it teaches BASIC programming language which is required for using the Velleman kits RS sells.

 

We also generally had really good deals on USB thumbsticks and SD cards.

 

True. Right there with Staples, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart. I often blew right through them for awhile.

Edited by Darth Avlectus
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Meh... its a little sad to see something that's been around so long disappear, but I usually avoid Radio Shack anyway. I guess I'll miss seeing their logo when I pass by where their stores are now, but that's just nostalgia talking.

 

It's sad for nostalgia reasons and all that, but they haven't been a good store for a while now and they're always expensive, anyway. I wouldn't mind them being a little higher than other places since they're usually pretty small stores and rent in malls and shopping centers can be pretty high, but their products tend to be cheaply made. You pay more for a lesser product. That I don't like.

 

The main reason I tend to avoid them is because they try to hard sell you the protection plan on everything you buy. Some of the employes just don't seem to want to take "no" for an answer. Once, I needed an HDMI Cable and didn't feel like walking all the way through Walmart. I had to tell the guy four times I didn't want the protection plan before he finally gave up...

 

That was the worst, but usually they ask at least twice.

 

Sigh... It's sad to see a business that's been a fixture for so long disappear, but I can't really be sad because of the way they seemed to try to drive the company down as far as they could over the last few years.

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting. Seems like Amazon is going to buy out some of Radioshack if not all of it. Apparently Amazon wants to hybridize itself with brick and mortar storefronts. Buying out the store chains seems like an excellent plan.

 

Also I plan to possibly move to Reno NV soon. What interesting timing.

 

With other tech companies moving there too, it looks like the place is about to be booming. Amazon's competitor Barnes & Noble has a enormous shipping/online store base there as well as a regular store. Apple is moving there, a server company of some kind is moving close by and is going to make the largest site of servers it's ever made before (largest in the world it claims). Also the Australian drone maker company has selected Reno as one of its 4 sites in America, planning on doing unmanned machine exploring and mining--or so I hear. And yes, Tesla Motors liked Reno's package deal the best, in fact they are now building their gigafactory for batteries east of Reno/Sparks and just had an expo at UNR. Also, there's a big geothermal plant in Reno which is growing, been there at least since I was a kid, possibly before I was even born. More jobs.

 

Back to the point: what does this mean for Amazon buying out RadioShack? There's 6 RS stores in Reno, 2 in Carson City, 1 in minden, and of course one in Tahoe (the highest grossing one in this region as no competitors in basin and the only other one close besides the ones in northern Nevada is in Placerville which is further away).

 

IMO whether RadioShack survives at all or not, Amazon is attempting to compete with Wal Mart, Apple, Barnes and Noble and maybe other local businesses. With all the big tech businesses coming in, it's doubtless Amazon is attempting to evolve and capitalize on the situation: they could now offer a "neighborhood storefront" convenience, they would have tech service centers for their non book products and small stores for books. An "apple store" style experience. Lots of people getting new jobs. Lots of people wanting to start new businesses. (I count myself among that crowd).

 

It's hot in the summer, with jagged winds being at the bottom of the east side of the Sierra Nevadas. Frigid in the winter. But damn if this desert isn't just so empty. The rationale is less regulation, lots of space, fill it up.

 

 

@Bob_Lion: I think most people would agree with that, actually.

 

Also: Part of the reason they pressed so hard on the stuff that they did was because they were banking on cell phones and accessories in general to take over the majority of sales they made since electronic-ers have become a rare breed. Loss is due to changing hobby habits... and SMD style components have mostly supplanted their through-hole counterparts in products. SMD assemblies can be done by hand, but they are typically made by manufacturing machines. And... well, we now just don't repair electronic appliances like we used to.

 

Also, while RS used to be the DIY computer enthusiast store, things migrated a bit and others arose to specialize in computer components. So this has been going on awhile.

 

As to them driving themselves into the ground bit? Actually it seemed as if shareholders were determined to do just that. With some 4000 chains in the USA, a majority are underperforming or failing, but those in charge of the purse strings would not allow them to close stores to try to save its own skin. However this may have lead to the current effect we're seeing now with Amazon.

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  • 1 month later...

I apologize in advance for the double post (sorry my bad) but an update is in order if only minor.

 

So RadioShack has beaten the reaper, Amazon and Sprint bought out a large number of building rental contracts and a fair bit of their distribution centers. There's now only about ~1000 chains around the country, but this reprieve perhaps means they may survive to hit the 100 year mark afterall! They have had to de-list from the public stocks due to having fallen below $1/share, but they paid off their shareholders. Their number of stores has shrunken from ~4000.

 

Now let's hope they can start to make better deals with us costomers.

 

BTW, I'm no longer certain about moving to Reno. I'm in a rough period of personal transition. ...Hope you all are doing great.

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  • 2 months later...

Hope things work out for you!

As for Radio Shack--I went to go buy a part to repair a headset that I really liked. They didn't have what I needed, didn't know what I needed, and tried to sell me an overpriced headset of lesser quality (I wanted to repair the headset I had because it was a well made one that would have survived a lot longer if my daughter hadn't rolled the chair over the cord a half dozen times).

Their inventory sucked, what they did have was not what I needed, and their employees' knowledge base had dropped like a rock. I bought the part I needed at amazon or newegg or something.

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honestly, if they weren't so high-priced (sometimes twice the price of newegg) I would have given them more business.

 

In the IT feild, we will always do our homework, find the best deal, and buy that. Though staples now doesn't have much competition anymore, I can see their prices going up.

 

I'm sad that the icon of radioshack is going down, but thats it. Just the icon though, nothing else.

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  • 4 months later...

I think a large part of what contributed to the decline of RadioShack was simply changing times. This isn't 1996 anymore. Consumer electronics are a facet of everyday life nowadays, and accordingly, people purchase them from the same retailers from which they purchase their other needs for everyday life: Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Best Buy, etc. A specialized store is no longer able to corner the market. Sure, their few loyal customers would continue patronizing them, but they alone wouldn't be able to keep the doors open.

 

Dunno if anyone's heard, being as this thread's been dead since June, but they recently got bought out for a paltry $160 million, and there are plans for the chain to enter into a partnership with Sprint, among others, to offer both companies' selections in stores together. Renovations began a few months ago.

Edited by Carwil
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UPDATE: Well, the Reno thing didn't quite work. I'll get outta here eventually.

Got to sit in a Tesla Roadster, though. Very neat car but I don't think I'll be getting one anytime soon, at least not with a $90K pricetag. ;)

 

As for the comapny now, it is owned by Sprint. So RS might make it to 100 years old if it can hang in there and remain profitable until its birthday in 2021. So RadioShack lives. They just had to get rid of many of their stores--which they would have already done if their shareholders weren't trying to crunch them for the money.

 

You will see them getting more into phones and home appliances for entertainment.

 

 

Hope things work out for you!

As for Radio Shack--I went to go buy a part to repair a headset that I really liked. They didn't have what I needed, didn't know what I needed, and tried to sell me an overpriced headset of lesser quality (I wanted to repair the headset I had because it was a well made one that would have survived a lot longer if my daughter hadn't rolled the chair over the cord a half dozen times).

Their inventory sucked, what they did have was not what I needed, and their employees' knowledge base had dropped like a rock. I bought the part I needed at amazon or newegg or something.

 

Heheh. Yeah, kids are urban destruction machines, it's practically a law of the universe.

 

I've noticed as I have taught myself this technical knowledge, people are actually coming to me thinking I work there.

 

Smart move on your part. What I found is that you can actually get repair kits and replacement parts online if you know the right places to look or you know the right words and product numbers to use and what have you.

 

Before universities made it standard practice to look up parts and components online, I was doing it for a hobby. I actually found that old USENET groups, forums, faqs, and the like had lots of handy info. Companies and OEMs are eager to deal direct with DIY buyers and hobbyists. It avoids expenses and sitting on shelves by cuttng out the middle man--who often doesn't end up selling it anyways. Manufacturers are willing to sell direct and they have extra parts as a contingency plan for accidents in shipping and replacements, or whatever. A few extra bucks on the side selling some parts? Sure. :)

 

honestly, if they weren't so high-priced (sometimes twice the price of newegg) I would have given them more business.

 

In the IT feild, we will always do our homework, find the best deal, and buy that. Though staples now doesn't have much competition anymore, I can see their prices going up.

 

Yeah, actually from an economic perspective competition keeps prices down and spurs innovation. Once a company has no competition, there's no incentive to keep prices low so you will see them start to creep up as time goes on.

 

It's horrid out in rural areas because Staples tends to start acting like a convenience store--matter of fact they are selling soda and junk food for about the same price. I digress: the computer hardware you might find in a small city Staples for $60-70 can be twice that (or more) in rural locations. I can see a Microsoft 4000 ergonomic keyboard at my local location for $110. Down the hill? Ha, $45. Their shipping around the holidays seems to be the only real competitive thing going on.

 

But then again, as you say and many notice: online suppliers can beat the prices for retail products. Online continues to be the most economical option.

However, this does mark a disturbing end to the trend of doing business at physical locations. I think there will always be some calling for physical locations of some businesses, but for most things I'm afraid it's inevitable that the majority of stores will be practically online only. I hate this because it is ultimately not going to be a free market as most markets will be monopolized by a few far reaching companies. It may be capitalistic but it will be highly centralized, and we will not get the aforementioned benefits of competition. Besides the obvious "try it in person" thing going by the wayside.

 

As for the parts? People thought I was nuts 10 years ago dumpster diving, cannibalizing and scavenging appliances for parts and components. Guess what? I'm selling these parts because people don't want to go to all the trouble themselves and they don't want to spend any more money than they have to.

 

 

I'm sad that the icon of radioshack is going down, but thats it. Just the icon though, nothing else.

No, it ain't dead and it beat the reaper, but it's a limb of Sprint now.

 

 

I think a large part of what contributed to the decline of RadioShack was simply changing times. This isn't 1996 anymore. Consumer electronics are a facet of everyday life nowadays, and accordingly, people purchase them from the same retailers from which they purchase their other needs for everyday life: Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Best Buy, etc. A specialized store is no longer able to corner the market. Sure, their few loyal customers would continue patronizing them, but they alone wouldn't be able to keep the doors open.

 

Dunno if anyone's heard, being as this thread's been dead since June, but they recently got bought out for a paltry $160 million, and there are plans for the chain to enter into a partnership with Sprint, among others, to offer both companies' selections in stores together. Renovations began a few months ago.

 

Yeah, I neglected this thread since I last posted in...March this year as I don't come here as often anymore.

 

Yup, its remaining locations have sprint reps. Some have renovations underway, others just need a mere tweak on a cosmetic level. RS will be allowed to remain RS, but since sprint (as I understand it) controls RS it's now mostly a mobile phone store but still offering stuff like it has in the past. I think they can relax their prices a little now since they don't have thousands of deadweight store locations to drag along and make up for costs with price markups. Still, you will pay more for on site product because of the convenience factor. But it won't be SO overpriced as it was...at least if they're smart.

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UPDATE: Well, the Reno thing didn't quite work. I'll get outta here eventually.

Got to sit in a Tesla Roadster, though. Very neat car but I don't think I'll be getting one anytime soon, at least not with a $90K pricetag. ;)

 

As for the comapny now, it is owned by Sprint. So RS might make it to 100 years old if it can hang in there and remain profitable until its birthday in 2021. So RadioShack lives. They just had to get rid of many of their stores--which they would have already done if their shareholders weren't trying to crunch them for the money.

 

You will see them getting more into phones and home appliances for entertainment.

 

 

 

 

Heheh. Yeah, kids are urban destruction machines, it's practically a law of the universe.

 

I've noticed as I have taught myself this technical knowledge, people are actually coming to me thinking I work there.

 

Smart move on your part. What I found is that you can actually get repair kits and replacement parts online if you know the right places to look or you know the right words and product numbers to use and what have you.

 

Before universities made it standard practice to look up parts and components online, I was doing it for a hobby. I actually found that old USENET groups, forums, faqs, and the like had lots of handy info. Companies and OEMs are eager to deal direct with DIY buyers and hobbyists. It avoids expenses and sitting on shelves by cuttng out the middle man--who often doesn't end up selling it anyways. Manufacturers are willing to sell direct and they have extra parts as a contingency plan for accidents in shipping and replacements, or whatever. A few extra bucks on the side selling some parts? Sure. :)

 

 

 

Yeah, actually from an economic perspective competition keeps prices down and spurs innovation. Once a company has no competition, there's no incentive to keep prices low so you will see them start to creep up as time goes on.

 

It's horrid out in rural areas because Staples tends to start acting like a convenience store--matter of fact they are selling soda and junk food for about the same price. I digress: the computer hardware you might find in a small city Staples for $60-70 can be twice that (or more) in rural locations. I can see a Microsoft 4000 ergonomic keyboard at my local location for $110. Down the hill? Ha, $45. Their shipping around the holidays seems to be the only real competitive thing going on.

 

But then again, as you say and many notice: online suppliers can beat the prices for retail products. Online continues to be the most economical option.

However, this does mark a disturbing end to the trend of doing business at physical locations. I think there will always be some calling for physical locations of some businesses, but for most things I'm afraid it's inevitable that the majority of stores will be practically online only. I hate this because it is ultimately not going to be a free market as most markets will be monopolized by a few far reaching companies. It may be capitalistic but it will be highly centralized, and we will not get the aforementioned benefits of competition. Besides the obvious "try it in person" thing going by the wayside.

 

As for the parts? People thought I was nuts 10 years ago dumpster diving, cannibalizing and scavenging appliances for parts and components. Guess what? I'm selling these parts because people don't want to go to all the trouble themselves and they don't want to spend any more money than they have to.

 

 

 

No, it ain't dead and it beat the reaper, but it's a limb of Sprint now.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I neglected this thread since I last posted in...March this year as I don't come here as often anymore.

 

Yup, its remaining locations have sprint reps. Some have renovations underway, others just need a mere tweak on a cosmetic level. RS will be allowed to remain RS, but since sprint (as I understand it) controls RS it's now mostly a mobile phone store but still offering stuff like it has in the past. I think they can relax their prices a little now since they don't have thousands of deadweight store locations to drag along and make up for costs with price markups. Still, you will pay more for on site product because of the convenience factor. But it won't be SO overpriced as it was...at least if they're smart.

 

I'm glad to hear that RS may make it to a hundred years old after all. Who knows, maybe they'll actually be able to drive prices down by giving Wal-Mart, Amazon, and the rest of the market some competition?

 

I am curious, though, about Fry's. I understand they are (or were) an electronics retail chain similar to RadioShack? I'd never heard of them prior to seeing the name mentioned here, so I'm guessing there aren't any around where I live (although we have eight RadioShack locations within driving distance). Or did they go under?

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I'm glad to hear that RS may make it to a hundred years old after all. Who knows, maybe they'll actually be able to drive prices down by giving Wal-Mart, Amazon, and the rest of the market some competition?

Well, if they can just hang on in the cellphones market with sprint, keep providing Audio and Video equipment, connectors and batteries, and selling some of the repackaged old electronics along with their new emphasis on microcontrollers (and seemingly successful so far), they stand some chance of being around at least a little while longer.

 

Forrest J Mims III writes books specifically for introducing people to electronics, teaching in a balanced approach (provided the reader/prospective student) has time, patience and motivation. There's still a market for electronics but the emphasis must be on encouraging people to be innovative, education, and D.I.Y. projects. With electronic appliances so modular and modern, there really isn't nearly as much need for oscilloscopes. There's some but it isn't nearly as necessary as years past.

 

I am curious, though, about Fry's. I understand they are (or were) an electronics retail chain similar to RadioShack? I'd never heard of them prior to seeing the name mentioned here, so I'm guessing there aren't any around where I live (although we have eight RadioShack locations within driving distance). Or did they go under?

 

They have not gone under yet. In '85, Randy Fry opened the first location of this electronics chain. It saw a real heyday in the 90's, then settled where it is now. It managed to survive competitors and has weathered the stom of the recession. Its rival is Best Buy at current, but Fry's has more selection. Best Buy can only compete by striving for better customer service. They are in trouble, but still seem to be able to keep their heads above water for now.

 

Fry's Electronics is a franchise like RS. They have a website and a number of locations around the country, but understand that due to their store locations' massive size and usually massive inventory, you won't see them in every town, or state for that matter. I think there's less than 50 locations in all but more than 25. Several of them being in California, one in Las Vegas NV, I think at least one in Oregon, a couple in Texas, and one in Illinois. They're willing to compete with shipped internet prices for the same product if you can prove the price.

 

Here's what the one nearest to me looks like from the outside:

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Walking in one is quite an experience, even if now I'm over the novelty of it. It has what I call the "candy store" effect. You can get all kinds of tech stuff, even if it still doesn't quite match newegg, tigerdirect, mouser, digikey, ebay, and other online stores. Their selection beats out RS, Best Buy, and gives Staples a run for its money as well as car audio stores. Even troubles Sears Appliance, though again so does Best Buy.

 

If you like RS and Best Buy, you'll like Fry's, I promise.

 

BTW, they have DVDs, including adult DVDs. Yes, even hentai and ecchi. :naughty:

 

 

Website:

http://www.frys.com/

 

wiki info

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fry%27s_Electronics

 

Have fun. :)

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Well, if they can just hang on in the cellphones market with sprint, keep providing Audio and Video equipment, connectors and batteries, and selling some of the repackaged old electronics along with their new emphasis on microcontrollers (and seemingly successful so far), they stand some chance of being around at least a little while longer.

 

Forrest J Mims III writes books specifically for introducing people to electronics, teaching in a balanced approach (provided the reader/prospective student) has time, patience and motivation. There's still a market for electronics but the emphasis must be on encouraging people to be innovative, education, and D.I.Y. projects. With electronic appliances so modular and modern, there really isn't nearly as much need for oscilloscopes. There's some but it isn't nearly as necessary as years past.

 

 

 

They have not gone under yet. In '85, Randy Fry opened the first location of this electronics chain. It saw a real heyday in the 90's, then settled where it is now. It managed to survive competitors and has weathered the stom of the recession. Its rival is Best Buy at current, but Fry's has more selection. Best Buy can only compete by striving for better customer service. They are in trouble, but still seem to be able to keep their heads above water for now.

 

Fry's Electronics is a franchise like RS. They have a website and a number of locations around the country, but understand that due to their store locations' massive size and usually massive inventory, you won't see them in every town, or state for that matter. I think there's less than 50 locations in all but more than 25. Several of them being in California, one in Las Vegas NV, I think at least one in Oregon, a couple in Texas, and one in Illinois. They're willing to compete with shipped internet prices for the same product if you can prove the price.

 

Here's what the one nearest to me looks like from the outside:

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Walking in one is quite an experience, even if now I'm over the novelty of it. It has what I call the "candy store" effect. You can get all kinds of tech stuff, even if it still doesn't quite match newegg, tigerdirect, mouser, digikey, ebay, and other online stores. Their selection beats out RS, Best Buy, and gives Staples a run for its money as well as car audio stores. Even troubles Sears Appliance, though again so does Best Buy.

 

If you like RS and Best Buy, you'll like Fry's, I promise.

 

BTW, they have DVDs, including adult DVDs. Yes, even hentai and ecchi. :naughty:

 

 

Website:

http://www.frys.com/

 

wiki info

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fry%27s_Electronics

 

Have fun. :)

 

Man, they're huge. At least as large as Best Buy, from what I can tell in the picture; nothing like the little RadioShacks I'm accustomed to seeing. Just pulled up their locations. Apparently, there are twenty stores in all, mostly concentrated in California, and the one nearest me is in Georgia. So I guess I know where my next road trip is headed. ;)

 

Looking at their website, they seem to have a cart option. That means...yes, they do appear to have an online shopping option. That's sick! I'll have to browse their selection online later today. Their prices seem pretty reasonable as well, at least on par with, if not better than, Amazon's and those of other popular online retailers.

 

As for the hentai and ecchi, very interesting. :naughty: Not sure if that's my bag, though, although I've been known to casually watch anime in the past. But it does speak well for how broad their selection is.

Edited by Carwil
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Walking in one is quite an experience, even if now I'm over the novelty of it. It has what I call the "candy store" effect. You can get all kinds of tech stuff, even if it still doesn't quite match newegg, tigerdirect, mouser, digikey, ebay, and other online stores. Their selection beats out RS, Best Buy, and gives Staples a run for its money as well as car audio stores. Even troubles Sears Appliance, though again so does Best Buy.

 

If you like RS and Best Buy, you'll like Fry's, I promise.

I get in trouble walking into a Best Buy. I'd be in serious trouble walking into Fry's!

 

Oh, Sears may go under as well. They're going through really rocky times right now.

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Well it looks like I got me some FRY's virgins. Here's some general ground rules for your first time to maximize enjoyment for your experience:

 

1) Plan ahead and make plenty of time. This is just like an amusement park, more or less but as a shopping center. You will be drooling over stuff. A lot. For a long time. You might set a general (but flexible) timeframe.

 

BTW, *don't* try to go on holidays or black friday unless you're ready for practically a rioting stampede. I would say bring a baseball bat for good measure, but security might not let you in. ;)

 

2) People say customer service at Fry's is lousy. This isn't necessarily true. Have a good idea what you want or are looking for in advance. They have lots of ground to cover in terms of inventory, area, questions, and the like, plus the majority of customers are kinda clueless. Anything you can do to speed along the process will benefit both of you. :)

 

3) BUDGET!!! You will see lots and lots of stuff you want, and all sorts of little things you didn't think about but suddenly realized you could use or actually need. Do not be surprised if, by the end of your unorganized browsing, you have acquired numerous items in your cart alongside what you originally planned to buy.

 

Either get used to putting it back, or bring A LOT of extra money and don't plan on having much extra spending cash for at least awhile after this experience. Little by little really adds up and what originally was going to be around $50 could turn into something more like $500 in no time flat. Bring cash. Heating up plastic (aka using credit cards) should only be to cover the little extra you didn't foresee tacking on, i.e. you bring $140 cash and it turns out to be $172.

 

Or set a spending limit. You can still browse and enjoy yourself, but have the discipline to realize you can't take it all with you, you can't even take most of it. Just the few items within your money limit.

 

4) You will never hear the end of it from your significant other, friends, and family. :rolleyes: Fair warning--this one requires no explanation.

 

5) Future visits and returns on items.

 

If it comes down to returns (obviously not a first timer concern), make sure you keep your receipt and please *read all the terms and conditions carefully* if you think you might have to return something. Be ready for lines. Be apprised of the facts and hold your ground, but don't forget to be friendly and smile. They (like moderators of a forum) deal with a lot of people and a lot of crap everyday so if you can be more pleasant, you will get further with them.

 

This is why I avoid returns in general unless I'm *positive* I'm not getting a lemon.

 

Otherwise, if you're just coming back for another visit, repeat all the steps.

 

 

 

looked at their site. None here in NY. Thats a shame. It would be nice to have a techie candy store around here.

 

Bummer...and yet at the same time I kind of envy you. These are money pits, but they're fun money pits. :D

 

 

Man, they're huge. At least as large as Best Buy, from what I can tell in the picture; nothing like the little RadioShacks I'm accustomed to seeing. Just pulled up their locations. Apparently, there are twenty stores in all, mostly concentrated in California, and the one nearest me is in Georgia. So I guess I know where my next road trip is headed. ;)

 

At least as big? Hoo boy, then you obviously haven't seen the insides of one. They're kind of like costco in their nearly wall-to-wall layout. Your wallet is going to hate you for the next 6-8 months after that BTW.

 

 

Looking at their website, they seem to have a cart option. That means...yes, they do appear to have an online shopping option. That's sick! I'll have to browse their selection online later today. Their prices seem pretty reasonable as well, at least on par with, if not better than, Amazon's and those of other popular online retailers.

 

As for the hentai and ecchi, very interesting. :naughty: Not sure if that's my bag, though, although I've been known to casually watch anime in the past. But it does speak well for how broad their selection is.

 

Oh they have regular adult stuff, maybe not quite as in depth as your local squeak-squeak-wank-wank adult bookstore, but they got it. :devsmoke:

 

I get in trouble walking into a Best Buy. I'd be in serious trouble walking into Fry's!

 

Oh, Sears may go under as well. They're going through really rocky times right now.

 

Bah, you're a doctor. I'm sure you can recover from a Fry's binge without being too badly off. Your kids might complain you're taking so long, though. And your husband, well, he'll quietly fret I suppose. I don't think there are any in Pennsylvania, but if you go back to Illinois to visit family, I'm pretty sure there is one somewhere in that state. :D

 

 

As for Sears... Really now? That must be why the K-marts they own aren't looking so hot anymore. Their shelves are a little bare. K-mart garden centers still seem okay. Their Sears appliance stores never seemed to be doing bad so I'm surprised the ones near me decided to pack up and move away.

 

 

EDIT: Oh God, the guilt is beginning to set in... You folks who never heard of Fry's before will now be tainted for life--and it's all my fault!!!

Edited by Darth Avlectus
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Bummer...and yet at the same time I kind of envy you. These are money pits, but they're fun money pits. :D

 

Oh, sort of like buying through Steam, then? :devsmoke:

 

As far as I know, there's only one K-Mart within miles of me, and it's smack dab in the middle of the run-down section of town. It's been there for years, and the last time I was in it was years ago, and even then it was looking pretty decrepit. Then again, we've got an inordinate amount of Wal-Marts and several Targets in my area that probably ran them out of most of their business.

 

At any rate, Fry's sounds like a rip-snorting good time. Of course, if I buy anything from them, it'll be online, but nonetheless, their selection is unparalleled, plus it beats fighting through crowds of Wal-Martians and getting robbed at Best Buy or GameStop.

 

EDIT: Oh, and as for the guilt, don't feel too bad, Avlectus. I'll be sure to hit you up when I'm living in a dumpster because the bank foreclosed my house and Franklin and Lamar repo'd my car because I defaulted on my loans after going broke at Fry's. :thumbsup:

Edited by Carwil
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Oh, sort of like buying through Steam, then? :devsmoke:

That and Daz3d--if you're into that sort of thing. :)

 

As far as I know, there's only one K-Mart within miles of me, and it's smack dab in the middle of the run-down section of town. It's been there for years, and the last time I was in it was years ago, and even then it was looking pretty decrepit. Then again, we've got an inordinate amount of Wal-Marts and several Targets in my area that probably ran them out of most of their business.

Yeah same here, other stores are running them out. Used to be some in northern NV but I think they're all gone.

 

The 3 locations of K mart near me: 2 around Sacramento seem to be suffering a bit but somehow still pulling through... for now. Same sort of problem and situation.

Then there is one Big-K up in Tahoe doing best currently, probably getting the most attention from corporate of any chain. I have my additional speculative reasons why this is but fact is this one continues to gross probably $1-2M like the lone RadioShack up the road from it.

 

Ugh, Target? Other than some CDs in 2001, some t shirts and jeans, and a couple copies of KOTOR 2 several years ago, I was unimpressed.

 

Wally's? They have their uses.

 

At any rate, Fry's sounds like a rip-snorting good time. Of course, if I buy anything from them, it'll be online, but nonetheless, their selection is unparalleled, plus it beats fighting through crowds of Wal-Martians and getting robbed at Best Buy or GameStop.

 

A good time it is, and though nothing too specialized, it seems to keep its abundance. Smart move, though the in-store is half the experience! Most of them have differing store themes at their physical locations. Roseville is the only one with the railroad theme I think.

 

Sick of GameStop eh? Here's something that'll make ya envious you live so far away from it:

http://www.thewarpzoneslt.com/

 

EDIT: Oh, and as for the guilt, don't feel too bad, Avlectus. I'll be sure to hit you up when I'm living in a dumpster because the bank foreclosed my house and Franklin and Lamar repo'd my car because I defaulted on my loans after going broke at Fry's. :thumbsup:

 

Ah, well if you go broke at the San Dieg--err "Santiago" Fry's location, come on up north to Bakersf--I mean Sandy Shores. If you're willing to sell your soul to the devil himself, Trevor Phillips enterprises might have a space for ya! Ron and Wade could use some companionship. :dev9:

Edited by Darth Avlectus
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