Mike KM5Z posted this article from Bloomberg.com on the Dallas Amateur Radio Club Facebook page that outlines the current negotiations that Radio Shack is making with Sprint Corp. In the proposed deal, Radio Shack would sell around half of their store leases to Sprint, and close the rest. The locations sold to Sprint would operate under the Sprint name, effectively ending the Radio Shack brand after 94 years.
Was nice to see the nod to Radio Shack’s roots in the Ham Radio business. From the article:
The discussions represent the endgame for a chain that traces its roots to 1921, when it began as a mail-order retailer for amateur ham-radio operators and maritime communications officers. It expanded into a wider range of electronics over the decades, and by the 1980s was seen as a destination for personal computers, gadgets and components that were hard to find elsewhere. In more recent years, though, competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and an army of e-commerce sellers hurt customer traffic.
Radio Shack is the company that was responsible for my entry into the electronics hobby, which went on to define my career. In my personal opinion, and I will probably come up with a lengthy editorial about this, Radio Shack numbered it’s days when it left the hobbyist market in the 90s and went on to become a place where you would go to buy a cell phone or maybe an audio cable. Radio Shack could have saved itself by watching the market when the maker movement started exploding over the last 10 years and re-entering it with more electronics stuff, which they ended up doing by getting into the Arduino and Raspberry Pi market, but it was too little too late. Online companies like Allied, Digi-Key, and Jameco (to name a few) had beaten them to the punch. When I was young, if Radio Shack didn’t have it, you didn’t build it until you decided to cough up the high minimum orders, or you just bit the bullet and waited until the next hamfest and hoped you could find the part. Now, there are many local electronics shops, and the major vendors no longer have insurmountable minimum order policies. Or you can go on Ebay and get twenty times what you need at the same cost as just a few, if you can wait a week or two for it to get here from China.
Soon it will be time to say goodbye to the Jap Shack. May they rest in peace.
(Published from DFW, Texas)