Radio Shack

Brent Hilpert hilpert at
Thu Feb 5 23:26:28 CST 2015

On 2015-Feb-05, at 3:43 PM, Rod Smallwood wrote:

> On 05/02/2015 22:33, Fred Cisin wrote:
>> On Thu, 5 Feb 2015, Ali wrote:
>>> RadioShack had it essentially right in the 2014 Super Bowl commercial -
>>> the 80s called and they did want their store back. What they screwed up
>>> was thinking that meant the old store had to go and be replaced with the
>>> current monstrosity.
>>> RadioShack should have brought back the store of the 1980s and updated
>>> it items like cheap cables, Raspberry Pi kits, etc. I.E. hobbyist and do
>>> it yourself stuff. Yes, they still would have to close a number of
>>> locations (do you really need a ratshack on every corner?) but what
>>> would have been left behind would have thrived...
>> No, they would have had to take it back to the 1960s and 1970s.
>> By the 1980s, Radio Shack was already committed to changing from hobbyist
>> supplies to crappy consumer electronics.
> Radio Shack  or as they were known in the UK - Tandy - Are long gone from here.
> We have a UK alternative called Maplin. They have recently moved into being
> flashy high stores selling own brand consumer electronics and mobile phone
> accessories. The component side in the store is minimal.
> Their on line store is still good for some hard to get components.
> We do have Farnell, CPC and RS components,
> They are mail order only but have huge number of different stock lines.
> I also buy within the EEC as there is no customs duty to pay and VAT is the same as here or less.

.. how things change ..

When I was a kid in the 70's, Vancouver (Canada) was a backwater city situated on the edge of civilisation.
At that time we had half-a-dozen real, industrial-grade electronic suppliers, in addition to the plethora of RS stores and such lower-grade component sources sprinkled around the region.

40 years later, Vancouver is a "world-class" city, assessed by some or other as the second most expensive real-estate on the planet, the most expensive to live in North America, a player in the "global economy".
We are now down to 2 or 3 small-to-mid-size stores to which one can go to buy an off-the-shelf transistor or IC or capacitor.

(Quoted phrases above presented with some note of derision.)

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