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RadioShack To Rebrand As "The Shack"?

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the a-little-old-place-where-we-can-get-together dept.

629

Harry writes "Rumor has it that RadioShack is planning to re-brand itself as The Shack later this year, after eighty-eight years under the old name (most of them with a space in between 'Radio' and 'Shack'). I hope it's not true, because I don't think the move would do a thing to make the retailer a better, more successful business." Where will we go to buy soldering irons and those RCA to headphone jack adapters now?

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629 comments

The Nut Shack (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28927569)

Come in and get nutted.

The Nigger Shack (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28928143)

Come in and get niggered.

I guess that means these annoying white kids who grew up in the suburbs who think theyre badass ultrahard thug niggers cuz they listen to rap. Those lil bastards got niggered. Ah if only these jigs knew that "our music" is comin from an old white record executive with a degree in marketing...

Beware of namechanges (5, Insightful)

Duds (100634) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927577)

It's very dangerous to rebrand because of how much you lose vs how much you gain. IBM makes bugger all money from "International Business Machines" these days but they wouldn't want to lose a brand everyone knows. Same for "Carphone Warehouse" in the UK, they don't want to lose the recognition despite the fact no-one has called a cell/mobile phone a car phone in 2 decades.

And Microsoft's stuff certainly isn't small. (*sidesteps hook*)

So despite the lack of "Radio" as their main business, they should REALLY look and see if the number of people who say "I don't need a radio I won't go there" might be outnumbered by the people who will end up saying "What the f is "The Shack"?". It sounds like somewhere you'd buy a very dodgy Hawaiian style shirt.

Re:Beware of namechanges (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927673)

i know what you mean. i stopped drinking Nestle Quick after it was portmanteaued to NesQuick.

Re:Beware of namechanges (5, Funny)

Duds (100634) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927723)

Oh that's what it is, I thought it was a service that delivered you a popular 80s console by 9am...

Re:Beware of namechanges (5, Informative)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928107)

It's been called Nesquik everywhere but the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia since the 1950s, the name was changed to "Nesquik" in 1999 in those countries.

Unlike Opal Fruits, which were introduced as Starburst in the US in the 1970's and then had the brand changed everywhere else

Re:Beware of namechanges (5, Insightful)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927763)

they should REALLY look and see if the number of people who say "I don't need a radio I won't go there" might be outnumbered by the people who will end up saying "What the f is "The Shack"?"

They should really look and see if the marketing company, to whom they undoubtedly gave millions of dollars for this rebranding idea, is worth their salt. On the other hand - name changes aren't always bad - Verizon seems to be managing just fine.

Re:Beware of namechanges (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928139)

Agreed. "The Shack" just sounds incredibly sketchy to me. It'll garner some initial attention (like us making fun of it), but I don't think that's what they were looking for in the name change. I could be wrong though... I've never been in marketing.

Re:Beware of namechanges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28927919)

they rebranded in canada years ago to "The Source"... now the store is terrible and i never go as opposed to it being my default store

Re:Beware of namechanges (5, Informative)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927997)

They rebranded it from "Radio Shack" to "The Source" in Canada years and years ago. But everyone I know still refers to it as "Radio Shack". I can't even remember the name "The Source" well enough to tell someone how to find the place... I had to check online before I made this post.

Re:Beware of namechanges (2, Insightful)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928025)

On the other end of the scale it can also be seen as a life saver for a company precisely because everyone knows the name.

For example, the French Thomson SA is in a middle of restructuring, changed its field of business, and has been struggling because people still see it as a cheap brand of consumer electronics whereas they are now catering to pro industry clients. So changing name = blank slate, as it were.

http://www.reuters.com/article/mergersNews/idUSLR8701120090727 [reuters.com]

Not necessarily what happens here with "The Shack" (name sounds ridiculous btw), just saying that it can be carefully planned decision, and possibly financially sound.

(Let's not talk about "Sy Fy" ;))

Re:Beware of namechanges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28928159)

carphone is a slang term in parts of america for using cellphones in cars.

Surveillance (3, Interesting)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927587)

Well since they aren't going to sell real electronics anymore, maybe they'll stop reporting who is buying what electronics components to the government. Or am I thinking of the 80s?

Re:Surveillance (4, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927803)

My local 'Shack' hasn't sold real electronics for years now. I've gone there 4 times over the past two years. Once they had something that kinda worked. The other two times I eneded up finding it at Wal-Mart. I'm really not sure why I bother, except that they are in the same minimall as Wal-Mart.

This line made me chuckle:

"Where will we go to buy soldering irons and those RCA to headphone jack adapters now?"

Mine doesn't carry soldering irons, and they might have a place on the shelf for the adapters, but I'd be shocked if they have any stock. It's really quite sad. They wonder why they are going out of business...it's because they've changed their competition from Ace Hardware to Best Buy. And competing with Best Buy is always a good idea, isn't that right Circuit City and CompUSA?

A year from now, I predict 'The Shack' will be liquidating assets under Chapter 11. Anyone wanna take that bet? It would be smarter than buying Radio Shack stock.

Re:Surveillance (2, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928007)

I'm really not sure why I bother, except that they are in the same minimall as Wal-Mart.

If you have to frequent minimalls that have Wal-Marts and Radio Shacks you need to move to someplace less soul-destroying.

Re:Surveillance (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928131)

Yeah because visiting the minimall that has JCPenney and Woolworth's is just sooooo much better.

Re:Surveillance (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928119)

I don't wanna take That Bet, but I will rename it to "The Bet-inski"

Re:Surveillance (4, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928127)

A year from now, I predict 'The Shack' will be liquidating assets under Chapter 11. Anyone wanna take that bet? It would be smarter than buying Radio Shack stock.

Bad prediction. Against all odds and logic, the company is reasonably profitable [marketwatch.com] .

Re:Surveillance (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928129)

competing with Best Buy is always a good idea, isn't that right Circuit City and CompUSA?

Actually Tandy/Radio Shack was one of the first casualties or doesn't anyone here remember Incredible Universe [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Surveillance (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928155)

A very unusual project at work required me to make a mono audio jack to RJ11 cable.

My first thought was 'Radio Shack.' I'm digging through the drawers of connectors and the salesman came over and asked if I needed any help. (I was the only one in the store, he was probably bored.) I explained the project and got a blank stare.

I eventually found bits that worked for my purposes (1/4" mono jack, screw down...no soldering iron at work, not that I'd want to risk it in the first place, I'm not that coordinated... and a 1/4" to 1/8" mono jack converter. Incidentally the converter was 3x as much...go fig.) Paid and left.

I couldn't help but think if this was 10, 15 years ago not only would I not have gotten a blank stare, if it was that slow they might have offered to even make it while i was there.

Re:Surveillance (1)

thelexx (237096) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927903)

Could you please elaborate on this?

Re:Surveillance (3, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928095)

Could you please elaborate on this?

Back in the handwritten receipt era, they used to "demand" names and addresses for all purchases to add you to the catalog list.

I had relatives employed there, and address collection was a typical MBA tracking metric complete with graphs and goals and standards, you could be fired for not bothering, there was a minimum quota for data gathering, etc. If I recall around a quarter century ago you were expected to get the address at least 60% of the time. During christmas rush it was assumed you'd not bother, on the other hand, during the slowest football sunday it was assumed you'd gather all info since you have nothing better to do.

Crazy people usually had the intersection of two beliefs :

1) That anyone cares that you personally bought a headphone-RCA adapter cable.

2) That no one can tell a lie to a store clerk, or just plain ole make stuff up (Yes sir, I do in fact live at 1600 penn ave in DC). They never, ever, asked for picture ID.

Re:Surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28928115)

Could you please elaborate on this?

No. You're probably one of them.

Stupid noob government spook.

Back in the day... (1)

jes1510 (1396523) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927595)

"The Shack" was the place to go to grab some TTL logic chips and capacitors. Now they sell cell phones, and not very well at that. I suspect "The Shack" is doomed.

Re:Back in the day... (4, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927771)

I used to buy parts 'at the last minute' at the rat shack. now, I don't even bother looking anymore and instead just hit up the only valid mailorder places left: digikey, mouser, newark are the big 3.

their parts are cheap enough, they work, they web ordering works and the selection is world class (literally, many people across the world order parts FROM the US distributors and even pay VAT/customs to receive the pkg).

I go into a rat shack and I see candy, cellphones and an ever dwindling parts selection.

they don't even carry x10 powerline remote stuff anymore (that used to be a stable at the shack).

I might as well turn in my radio shack battery club card:

http://www.antiqueradios.com/gallery/v/temp/battofmonth2.jpg.html [antiqueradios.com]

Re:Back in the day... (3, Interesting)

p_trekkie (597206) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927841)

Actually, they still sell logic chips and miscellaneous electronic components, albeit fairly well-hidden in the back of the store. I had a last minute idea for a project for a summer camp group I was leading last week and was able to pick up all the components I needed from RadioShack. Admittedly, the selection isn't what it used to be, but it's still there when you have a sudden pressing need for resistors, LEDs, transistors and capacitors....

Who knows what this "rebranding" will do for that section of the store....

Re:Back in the day... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927967)

Actually, they still sell logic chips and miscellaneous electronic components, albeit fairly well-hidden in the back of the store. I had a last minute idea for a project for a summer camp group I was leading last week and was able to pick up all the components I needed from RadioShack. Admittedly, the selection isn't what it used to be, but it's still there when you have a sudden pressing need for resistors, LEDs, transistors and capacitors....

That's assuming the manager/employees at your local store even know what those things are or why people would want them. I went to one of my local "The Shacks" a few months ago to pick up some things. The drawers were tucked in the back and almost completely empty. When I asked the manager about them he just shrugged and said "I don't know what that stuff is for". Thankfully another "The Shack" near me did have the pots and resistors I needed.

Re:Back in the day... (1)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928141)

Exactly. I was making my own AA battery cell phone charger. And was looking for a mini-usb male connector. All I got from them was to buy a car charger for my phone. Needless to say I found an old Motorola charger and sacraficed the end. But they did have diodes and a battery clip that worked for me.

But in reality there is only one 'Good' radio shack near me, and it was the one where I was told to buy a car charger when describing my completly unrealated project to them. Plus they wanted $20 for a charger (that didn't even have my phone model, though it would have worked, on the box). All I ever see there are cell phones and GPSs.

Re:Back in the day... (3, Interesting)

rikkards (98006) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927993)

Every time I went into the Source (Radio Shack in Canada since someone still owns the name) and went to that section, the guy would always come over assuming I was stealing batteries or some remote control doodad because no one ever goes into that section anymore.

Re:Back in the day... (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928027)

The selection may vary depending on the location... I didn't pay a whole lot of attention or spend a whole lot of time in the store, but I think the Radio Shack in my local mall has a more consumer electronics-oriented selection than the Radio Shack in a plaza across the street.

Re:Back in the day... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928039)

It depends on the store.

Some stores still have a wide variety of components. (Usually but not always "strip mall" and "standalone" stores, but not always.)

Some stores only have a reduced selection.

Some stores (nearly all mall stores) have no electronic components.

In my case, Unicorn Electronics in Johnson City, NY is closer than all of the local Rat Shacks, and other than its reduced business hours compared to RS (Unicorn closes at 6), it's where I always go for components if I need them quickly.

Re:Back in the day... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928163)

Back in the day was when geeks didn't think of "time to live" when hearing TTL...

Let's face it, the times of the soldering iron are past. Sure, I enjoy a bit of soldering every now and then, but even my soldering needs can't keep a shop alive.

Why rebrand? (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927597)

What will rebranding actually do for them, will it increase sales, will it make room for better expansion or is it really just pointless!

Problem (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927599)

The main problem is that a "shack" usually connotes a cheap, run down house. Not really the image they should try to project.

(I know "clam shack", "radio shack", etc. don't really have such a connotation. I'm just talking about the word "shack" when it's used all by itself.)

Not Taking it Far Enough! (5, Funny)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927879)

Indeed, I believe they are being too conservative in this renaming. For regular customers of Radio Shack, we know the new name is too high class. The only possible remedy for this situation is to name the chain "Electronics Shanty," because we all know that's what they are.

Re:Problem (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927927)

It's because they're completely changing their business model. Pizza Hut is now "The Hut" and they're selling pasta and crap. Radio Shack is going to become "The Shack" and sell pizza. Now we just need to wait for a pasta joint that's going to start selling electronics and the circle will be complete.

Re:Problem (1)

mverley (1205706) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927985)

Totally agree. I never shop there myself because I find them overpriced and unhelpful. But I was quite surprised to read http://www.fwbusinesspress.com/display.php?id=10707 [fwbusinesspress.com] : they actually made a decent profit in 2Q 2009 despite slight declines in gross revenue. So someone must shop there.

Used to call it "Shit Shack" (1)

PotatoHead (12771) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927603)

Guess that works better these days.

I prefered "Radio Shaft" (1)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927675)

Because if I had to buy any parts there I had to pay their ludicrous high prices.

Rebranding should be for everyone... (-1, Flamebait)

Vexler (127353) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927613)

...take, for instance, "The $oft".

And if you don't know what that stands for, you must not have been watching all the anti-trust trials.

Go to Wal-mart (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927617)

The selection is about the same, the staff is equally competent, and they don't even ask for your address when you buy some batteries.

Re:Go to Wal-mart (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28927653)

The selection is the same? Really? When was the last time you bought an op-amp at Wal-mart?

Re:Go to Wal-mart (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927825)

The selection is the same? Really? When was the last time you bought an op-amp at Wal-mart?

Try buying one at Radio Shack:

"A what?"

"Nevermind, I'll find it myself."

"Do you want to upgrade your phone with that?"

Re:Go to Wal-mart (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927889)

I'm sorry but Radio Shack (or as it will be known now, as The Shack) is no longer the place to buy your cool parts for build projects. Yes, they still have a decent supply of some things but every time I go in there it becomes closer and closer to a best buy. I mean, half the stuff in there is pre-built computers, cell phones and such. The days of going to Radio Shack to find every obscure part you need for a build project are long over.

Re:Go to Wal-mart (1)

Tsar (536185) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927833)

The selection is about the same, the staff is equally competent, and they don't even ask for your address when you buy some batteries.

Yes, the equally competent Wal-Mart staff were very helpful last week when I needed a 2200 microfarad capacitor [radioshack.com] . I believe the kid's exact response was, "Dude, you shoulda hit the 'Shack."

I'm kidding of course. I hit the 'Shack first. And yes, I'm one of those guys who walks right past the luser filter--er--consumer electronics section.

legalize now (4, Funny)

davejenkins (99111) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927621)

They're just anticipating the coming legalization of pot. It will allow them to move into a generalized convenience store model, sort of a "smarter" quik-e-mart: soldering irons, robot toys, pot,and munchies.

Re:legalize now (3, Interesting)

cmpalmer (234347) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928075)

Back in the early 80's, the Radio Shack store at the local mall had a fishbowl full of alligator clips marked "party favors" (roach clips).

How are they even still in business at this point? (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927623)

Radioshack has spent the last 20-30 years attempting to rebrand itself from a store that carries one-of-a-kind electrical components and equipment to a store that carries 2nd-rate, overpriced versions of the stuff everyone else carries (cellphones, computers, really awful audio equipment, non-educational toys, etc.). It's all part of their master plan to turn themselves into a store with no apparent reason to exist.

Re:How are they even still in business at this poi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28928009)

Most of the specialty stuff that RS used to sell is gone. The weird capacitors, fuses, doodads ect.. that couldn't be found anywhere else have just disappeared from the shelves. I suppose hobbyists use the Internet now. Also, the prices are way too high. I used to love the place, now it is useless.

Re:How are they even still in business at this poi (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928029)

Give them a break... they've left about 6 inches of shelf space in the very very far back of each store for one-of-a-kind electrical components and equipment.

Re:How are they even still in business at this poi (1)

gid (5195) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928031)

Haha, spot on. Radio Shack, I mean RadioShack, I mean The Shack used to be the place to go to get specialty cables and all sorts of crazy gadgets and what not as a kid. Now I can't remember the last time I stepped foot in the store, I think it was when they wanted to charge me $30 for a super special gold plated component video cable. I left and went to WalMart and got the same thing for half the price.

Cheap electronic parts (5, Insightful)

crumbz (41803) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927641)

"Where will we go to buy soldering irons and those RCA to headphone jack adapters now?"

Digikey?

Not to be an old grumpy man, but RS has missed out on the electronics maker revolution of the past decade. They could have been on the ball, like NewEgg, for the PC modding market but failed to adapt to the market. The RS of today is but a poor imitation of the RS of the '70s and '80s. Full of crap, obsoleted models and cheap junk. /Now get off my lawn.

Re:Cheap electronic parts (5, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927855)

Most of the time when I got to radio shack for a component, I need it now. Not in two days.

For instance, movie night with my buds a few weeks ago. DVD player popped a cap (blah, that sounded ghetto. magic smoke instead). A trip the Radio Crack and 20 mins later, we were back in business.

Re:Cheap electronic parts (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928011)

Exactly. I needed a 3.5mm stereo jack so I could unbrick a Netgear 614L router. Radio Shack was around the corner and had what I needed.

For my real projects Digikey is the place for me.

Re:Cheap electronic parts (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927883)

Not to be an old grumpy man, but RS has missed out on the electronics maker revolution of the past decade. They could have been on the ball, like NewEgg, for the PC modding market but failed to adapt to the market. The RS of today is but a poor imitation of the RS of the '70s and '80s. Full of crap, obsoleted models and cheap junk. /Now get off my lawn.

If you're close enough to a MicroCenter, they're more like what a Radio Shack should have become. And they actually have a better selection of electronics tools than RS. They only lack a wall full of discretes and ICs, but so does Radio Shack now.

Re:Cheap electronic parts (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927907)

Yeah, pretty much, you can spend $40 for a 6' hdmi cable at radio shack, or you can pay $2 on amazon.com, ditto for most or all other A/V type cables. Jameco and digikey, as well as smaller mom-and-pop electronic component stores (they still exist, they're just tricky to find, simply because you don't know where it is doesn't mean that you don't have one hiding in an indstrial park somewhere) were pretty much where i went to after RS moved all of their components to the a cabinet at the back of the store and only refilled it once a year or so.

Re:Cheap electronic parts (1)

gid (5195) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928085)

So true, Radio Shack was always the last place I'd go to look at computers and equipment, even back in the 80s and 90s.

So? (4, Insightful)

kjs3 (601225) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927651)

Radio Shack has been an irrelevant vendor of cell phones and cheap 2nd tier consumer electronics for a decade. Long gone are the days when one ran down there to pick up a couple of capacitors and transistors to finish that weekend project.

They are being eaten (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28927683)

In my opinion Radioshack (aka The Source in Canada) are trying to expand in to areas that are served by better players. Here, in Canada, they try selling home electronics but Futureshop (aka Best Buy) pounds them in to the ground on volume and price. As far as electronic components go, there are better and less expensive places as well in most cities. Radioshack does sell some cheap phones, music players, toy robotics, etc but I don't see how they can survive selling that.

they want to get rid of people like the poster (1)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927687)

the whole goal is to be more best buy like. They want to get rid of people who buy soldering irons, and other low margin items that require a lot of exspensive customer support.

Where will we go to buy soldering irons and those (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28927701)

Marlin P Jones for soldering irons
Digikey.com, newark.com, mouser.com for components.

Radio Shack has not been serving the needs of the professional / hobby electronics geek for years.

Goodbye Radio Shack, alas, I knew ye well.

Already done in Canada (2, Informative)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927709)

All of the Radio Shack stores in Canada (that I've been able to find at least) were rebranded as "The Source" years ago.

Agreed ... bad move .... (5, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927713)

In the last decade or so, Radio Shack seems to have been really pushing to become more of a "boutique electronics retailer", ditching their image as a "parts store" for hobbyists. I guess on one hand, I understand the desire - because there's not a lot of profit in individual sales when your customers want a package of resistors, a spool of wire, or some $10 pliers or cutter tool.

But I don't think their obvious alternative has worked out very well for them either. They're stuck trying to compete with much larger stores like Best Buy, and getting killed merely because Radio Shack doesn't have enough floor space in a store to carry the variety people expect when shopping for a new flat panel TV set or stereo, or computer.

Reminding people that their stores are small "EG. "The Shack" is emphasizing what may be their biggest negative in the market-space they're working in!

The question everyone is asking... (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927725)

Will they show "syfy" on TVs at "the Shack?"

(Although, "the Shack" has been an unfriendly sales environment for years, it was always a great place to buy electronic doodads... just remember the guy selling you the extended service plan is not your friend...)

This is part of some new anti-geek backlash?

The Shack? FAIL (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927729)

That sounds like either a seafood restaurant, bait shop, or garden-supply house.

How do they stay in business? (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927809)

There's an onion article on this, but whenever I go by radio shack, I wonder how on earth they stay in business. The shops tend to be small, with various corners full of obscure electronics components. Yet, they also attempt to sell computers and televisions from these tiny shops. Everything they have in the parts drawer or on the shelves you can get cheaper off of ebay, often at half the cost or less. Radio shack is fundamentally inefficient. Each of these little shops has an inventory that sits there and depreciates, requires employees to tend, bills and management, etc. Internet mail order shops via ebay and other mechanisms is a lot more cost effective method for delivering high value specialty goods. I mean, I've seen CPU coolers and power supplies at radio shack : hello, newegg?

Re:How do they stay in business? (3, Insightful)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927905)

And when your paper, project, etc. is due Monday morning, and your CPU fan or PSU dies Friday night, you really have time for a online purchase...

There are some things that you just have to have *now* and even if it costs you $5-10 more than the online item, having it after a 30 min drive and short walk is worth it.

Re:How do they stay in business? (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928153)

'The Shack' sells PSUs? I don't remember that.

Re:How do they stay in business? (2, Interesting)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928041)

I remember that exact article, and you are right. I think RS does well in small markets (like where I am from) that doesn't have any of the big-box stores and tends to cater to customers who were told "I need a USB cable" but don't know what that is or where to get one. They expect they'll get marginally better (knowledgable) service than Wal-Mart with less hastle. Last time I was there in California a lot of people were paying the cellular bill there, which I don't understand why anyone would pay their bill in person when there are a lot more efficient method(s).

I think they key for them is that crowd, and the "I need it now so I'll pay a little extra" or the "I'll pay a little extra not to stand in line at wal-mart where the person in front of me wants to send a Money Order and buy a carton of cigarettes they have to get from the counter on the other end of the store."

They also do well when you're looking for esoteric batteries like for cameras, hearing aids, etc. They're also pretty good at having odd cables at decent prices (amongst other brick-and-mortars) such as a male-male 1/4" stereo cable for the AUX jack in newer cars. They are also good when you're traveling and need said odd batteries or a cell charger.

Future uncertain (2, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927815)

Radio Shack used to be a decent outlet for common electronic parts, what I've referred to as "the 7-11 of electronics". Over the last 10-15 years it's been shifting away from that, and into something more like a micro version of Best Buy or Circuit City with some electronic parts. I guess the world is moving away from electronics as a hobby now, which is sad, but even though they're not as useful as they once were, I'd be sad to see Radio Shack disappear. Aside from the local Fry's, which despite the immense amount of aisle space they dedicate to it has a pathetic selection of electronic components, there isn't anywhere else you can just walk in and find what you might need. It would suck to have to mail-order everything you need when you might need it on the spur of the moment.

Re:Future uncertain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28928083)

Radio Shack used to be a decent outlet for common electronic parts, what I've referred to as "the 7-11 of electronics".

I think it comes down to the fact that it is easier and cheaper to sell small electronics components from a website store front than it is to stock them. From a cost/selection standpoint it's hard to compete...similar to Comp-USA.

As for "The Shack", I have been calling it that for years but as an official name it seems silly and the surfing dog mascot they will have in the new commercials will be even sillier.

Are there two more low-tech words (3, Funny)

93,000 (150453) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927817)

than 'radio' and 'shack'? Telegraph hut? Gramophone igloo? Victrola shed? . . .

Radio Shack = The Source = garbage (1)

ravrazor (69324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927829)

Radio Shack stores were all renamed "The Source [by Circuit City]" here in Canada after InterTan was bought by Circuit City a couple of years ago. I think they've recently all been bought by Bell to be set up to compete with the mall stores that every other cell provider has.
You'll get over the name change. The "Radio Shack" brand never had extremely positive connotations (as far as I know), so they're not losing much. Name changes, brand identity...they're all junky stores staffed by uninformed people in low-cost malls no matter what you call them.

Hmmm... (4, Funny)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927845)

I was actually thinking that if they were going to change one part of their name, calling the store a 'shack' is certainly more likely to turn away customers than implying that you sell radios... would you buy anything from the Computer Hovel? The Cell Phone Shanty? Meh... I won't be sad to see them go in any case, they have totally missed the opportunity to dominate the hobbyist market by making a half-assed attempt at edging into the mainstream.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928149)

Don't forget they spent all that money protecting the Shack part of the name, when they sued AutoShack into changing their name to AutoZone.

Cell Phone Shack (1)

Xmastrspy (1170381) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927849)

Last time I went into a Radio Shack "The Shack" to pick up some barrel connectors, the woman at the counter had no idea what I was talking about. When I spoke with the wandering sales kid, he at least knew were the tiny little bin of electronic components were. When I asked the kid, he made a joke about not knowing anything about electronic, but he could help me buy a cell phone.

That was the last time I will go into a Radio Shack...

Follow the money (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928019)

I'm not surprised Radio Shack is re-branding itself. A) Radio is now 'old' technology, and doesn't have the 'cool' factor that once it did; B) As the parent points out, their business has largely changed. It's hard to find any radio's in a radio shack (I think you can find maybe a couple Ham radios, and a few unlicensed 2-way radios, and maybe some ridiculously over-priced stereo's and home theater systems, but largely their business and profits come from selling cell phones, computer accessories, toys, cables and batteries - radio is really not a 'focus' of their business any more; C) As time goes on, and tech progresses, they will have to keep going from one declining market to the 'next big thing', so it really doesn't make sense to have any particular technology in the name of the company, as it too, will eventually become obsolete, and not reflect the company's business anymore.

So, "The Shack" seems as reasonable a name change as any. It at least keeps *some* continuity with the established brand, while chucking the historical 'baggage'.

Who cares? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927851)

Seems to me that the corporation is free to brand itself whatever it pleases. If they feel that they can justify the added expense of making new signs and advertising material with increased sales via the name change, more power to them. This re-branding doesn't seem nearly as stupid as this other one [syfy.com] that just took place about a month ago,... ;-)

The Internet has replaced them. (1)

elementip (1611063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927853)

Online retailers, of course! Sparkfun, Vetco, Jameco, etc come to mind for most of my Radioshack type items that I need. In fact, I've ordered from the RadioShack website 3 times in the last year - During the same period, I've stepped into a RadioShack store exactly 0 Times. Once the stores focused on Cell phones, Direct TV, and Monster cable, they pretty much became dead to me.

Re:The Internet has replaced them. (1)

elementip (1611063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927931)

I should add - even drug stores seem to carry a stock of RCA cables / adapters / telephone batteries etc. Why even bother with Radio Shack anymore.

Now instead of ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28927869)

Now instead of "Radio Scrap", it'll be named "The Scrap".
Not much better... :D

Saw it on Wikipedia ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28927901)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RadioShack#.22The_Shack.22_re-branding ...
RadioShack is in the process of re-branding[citation needed] the company as "The Shack" as well as re-building corporate culture. This will be kicked off by a launch celebration in both San Francisco and New York featuring "14 foot tall laptops" streaming the images from their webcams from one city to the other, live music in both locations, as well as television coverage of the event.[13] The event will take place in Times Square and Justin Herman Plaza on August 6-8, 2009, starting each morning at 6AM Eastern and lasting until Midnight. In addition, "The Shack" began a telemarketing campaign on July 31, 2009, in which they call post-paid customers in the morning to inform them about upgrade eligibility. To help promote the remanding internally employees were given T-shirts, travel mugs, and EGrips all branded with the new "The Shack" logo. These internal promotional items were bundled with a 5 minute long, highly stylized and edited video with an introduction from the CEO explaining what "The Shack" is. ...

(caution: game refernce) (5, Funny)

The Redster! (874352) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927935)

I think they should change their name to "Hz So Good."

You've got questions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28927947)

...that's understandable.

Well.. not sure if it's better than (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927959)

I'm not sure what is better.. "The Shack" or "Radio Shaq"

The City (2, Funny)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927969)

Rebranding Circuit City as "The City" worked well for Circuit City?

Is there some Consultant on the loose recommneding this?

we have a good one here (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28927987)

It actually sells capacitors and whatnot in the little drawers. Most of the RadioShacks I've been in lately are all about ipods, wireless networking, and cell phones. I want a place to buy transistors in blister packs dammit !

Umm... will Jesus talk to you there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28928001)

Are they not aware of the connotation conjured up by the recent best seller in the "Creepy Christian Fiction" genre?

The Shack? (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928005)

I would think one would buy beef jerky or discount goods from a place called The Shack. They might want to hire a new marketing firm because the one they are using is giving them very bad advice...

Where won't you go? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928013)

Where will we go to buy soldering irons and those RCA to headphone jack adapters no

You can go just about anywhere for those. The closest Radio Shack to where I live is across the parking lot from a Home Depot, I can buy those items there. For that matter I think I can find a better selection of those items there.

The only thing I can get at Radio Shack that I can't get anywhere else is ... OK I give up, what is it now?

Yeah because it worked SO well for Pizza Hut (0, Redundant)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928017)

Wait, did I say Pizza Hut? No no, I meant PASTA Hut... Riiiight, because everyone calls it Pasta Hut now.

*Rolleyes*

Ghetto Radio Shacks will rebrand as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28928021)

Rizzle Shizzle.

Joe's Crab & Electronics Shack (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928043)

This is a pre-emptive move to keep Joe's Crab Shack from expanding into electronics kits in their kid's meals.

Why? Was "The Outhouse" already taken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28928053)

Sheesh, the "SyFy"-ification of branding.

The radio industry is dying... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928077)

DJs getting laid-off all over the place (my town has no DJs between 6 pm and 6 am). Music programmed by a computer set to automatic. More-and-more people using iPods to create their own music playlists... virtual stations in a pocket.

I don't blame "The Shack" for wanting to distance itself from radio.

For those with an historical bent (5, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 4 years ago | (#28928123)

The term "radio shack" was coined in the early 20th Century, when shipping companies began to add radio to their vessels. Since the ships were already built, the extra room for the radio equipment had to be added -- there was typically no existing space with both access to the antenna (i.e., above deck) and the necessary electrical power from the ship's plant. (The audible noise from the spark equipment of the day also meant that the equipment, which was used largely at night, couldn't be placed near the officers' sleeping quarters.) Paid for out of operating expenses by the frugal shipowners, these added rooms were typically small and poorly constructed, often from wood, and the term "radio shack" quickly followed.

New ship construction, of course, included a purpose-built room for the radio equipment, still called the "radio shack." Even the Queen Elizabeth 2 has a radio shack. The term quickly moved ashore -- amateur radio stations are in shacks, for example -- and "radio shack" came to mean the place where all the equipment was. From there, commercial use soon followed.

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