Image: Calsidyrose [Flickr]
RadioShack was founded by two brothers who wanted to provide equipment for the then-new field of ham radio. Over the next few decades, the company grew to become a large behemoth by appealing to the DIY community.
Then came rounds of scandals, getting their clocks cleaned by cheaper competitors, and The Shack rebranding (I mean, I understand, "radio" is something today's youth associate with their grandmothers).
What used to be a haven for amateur radio operators, tinkerers, and builders alike has devolved into a stripmall mainstay full of cell phones and overpriced junk. RadioShack knows that they have fallen out of your good graces, and since you are the demographic that put them on the map, they are appealing to the DIY community for input.
They want to know what is important to you – what you would like to see at your local RadioShack, and what would bring you back through their doors. Obviously price is a huge concern, especially with online outlets like Digikey and Mouser just a few clicks away. At the end of the day however, if you require a component RIGHT NOW, it would be nice to have the ability to grab some parts locally.
We’re well aware of the fact that this is all part of a marketing scheme, but if it helps stock your local store with a few odds and ends that are actually helpful, it won’t hurt to let your voice be heard.
This satirical The Onion article summarizes the predicament of RadioShack quite well:
Despite having been on the job for nine months, RadioShack CEO Julian Day said Monday that he still has "no idea" how the home electronics store manages to stay open.
"There must be some sort of business model that enables this company to make money, but I'll be damned if I know what it is," Day said. "You wouldn't think that people still buy enough strobe lights and extension cords to support an entire nationwide chain, but I guess they must, or I wouldn't have this desk to sit behind all day."
The retail outlet boasts more than 6,000 locations in the United States, and is known best for its wall-sized displays of obscure-looking analog electronics components and its notoriously desperate, high-pressure sales staff. Nevertheless, it ranks as a Fortune 500 company, with gross revenues of over $4.5 billion and fiscal quarter earnings averaging tens of millions of dollars.
"Have you even been inside of a RadioShack recently?" Day asked. "Just walking into the place makes you feel vaguely depressed and alienated. Maybe our customers are at the mall anyway and don't feel like driving to Best Buy? I suppose that's possible, but still, it's just...weird."
What do you think? Can RadioShack survive and recapture its glory days? Heck, when was the last time you were in one? (via cool-o-rama)