By Todd Anderson on May 31, 2017 at 1:51 PM
  1. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    RadioShack and hhgregg Can't Bear the Weight, Close Retail Location Businesses


    Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 2.43.01 PM.png
    (May 30, 2017) Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    We begin with a super retailer’s death that’s been years in the making – and it’s still not quite over. With 96 years of brick-and-mortar based business in the books and a once thriving retail presence exceeding 7,300 stores, RadioShack is once again waving the white flag and shuttering more stores. As of Memorial Day, 2017, RadioShack closed over 1,000 locations, leaving only 70 corporate stores and 500 dealer stores on American soil. The remaining corporate locations are scheduled to close over the next month.

    RadioShack believes it still has legs, and is opting to shift its presence to the Internet, where the company will continue to operate its brand through a virtual storefront on RadioShack.com.

    In an effort to raise funds (and cash-in on nostalgia), RadioShack is holding a month-long auction (www.radioshack.com/auction/) featuring prized items from the company’s history. Bidders can win one of several unused original TRS-80 Microcomputers, Realistic Transistor Radios, Tandy computer software games, original brick cell phones, gold commemorative watches, and more.

    “We cannot thank you enough for your patronage and support over the years and continued support as we shift to a primarily online business,” the company said in a statement.

    Next, we turn to a much shorter-lived member of the larger US electronics retail world, hhgregg. This multiregional consumer electronics chain has been on the ropes from some time, and has finally been dealt a merciful knockout punch. All of hhgregg’s stores and its website have been closed, sadly leaving thousands of workers unemployed.

    Traversing to hhgregg’s former webpage takes you directly to a statement from Hilco Steambank, the company charged with auctioning off hhgregg’s intellectual property and related assets. According to the statement, hhgregg operated 220 locations across the Midwest and Southeast during 2016, with revenues reaching $1.66 billion. Its online sales business was smaller, earning $106.4 million during 2016 (up from $93.1 million made in the previous year).

    The Indianapolis based business was founded by Henry Harold Gregg and wife in 1955, and grew to be the fifth largest national appliance retailer in the United States. Its growth outside of the Indianapolis area was peppered with stumbling blocks, and the company spent nearly two decades falling to its current fate.
     
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Discussion in 'AV Industry News' started by Todd Anderson, May 31, 2017.

    1. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Curious - does anyone have a favorite RadioShack item? When I was little, I was given a Realistic police scanner. It was black... roughly the size of 1980s answering machine...and had a collapsable antenna. We had to take it to the local store to have a regional channel package (crystal set??) installed.

      My first night of monitoring the airwaves I listened to an officer arrive at a break in... smashed window on a store front... and he reported the perpetrators were still inside.

      CREEPY.

      Of course, the widely available app 5-0 buries the capabilities that Realistic had... if that's your kind of thing, it's worth checking out. ;-)
       
      #2 Todd Anderson, May 31, 2017
      Last edited: May 31, 2017
    2. Robert Zohn

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      As a kid I loved Radio Shack and purchased many kits and parts.
       
    3. Sonnie

      Sonnie Senior Admin
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      C'mon... how could you EVER have lived without a Radio Shack SPL Meter... it's what we used back in the late 90's and early 2000's with sinewave test tones to tune our subs with the BFD 1120p.

      Of course we used them for car crank-off contests as well. I bet they sold more of the SPL Meters than anything else.

      On another note... I think this is a sign that people are shifting more and more to Internet sales when it comes to electronics. It's just easier! I wonder how long Best Buy will survive. Circuit City bit the dust, now RS and hhgregg... who is next?
       
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    4. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Great point... I have a Shack SPL meter. Still use it to check channel levels manually!


      Circuit City is trying to re-establish itself as an e-retailer. Although its June 2016 never happened... they supposed want to live on the internet with express brick and mortar shops.
       
    5. 1_sufferin_mind

      1_sufferin_mind Active Member

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      Yet another Radio Shack SPL meter resides in my home. That one is a digital version, and it's used to calibrate REW's SPL meter for acoustic measurements. It's served me well over many, many years. And you know what else? Radio Shack has been instrumental in supplying me with discrete electrical parts for various projects - resistors, caps, cable ties, etc. Even though they'll still have an on-line presence, I'll miss the experience of entering a B&M store to pick out my own parts.
       
    6. Asere

      Asere Active Member

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      I have always loved Radio Shack. In fact my parents worked for Tandy Cable and they made cables for Radio Shack before they moved the company overseas. As a kid if remember seeing all the marvelous toys and I do remember my parents had some sort of Realistic radio. I did purchase my SPL meter from there too. I also bought my first speakers there, they were RCA towers with center and surrounds and an RCA sub. WOW! I thought at the time I had the best HT in town lol.
       
      #7 Asere, Jun 1, 2017
      Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    7. It really is too bad that they could not make it. Markets are changing, but is sure was nice to be able to drop in and pick up that part or connector that I was missing on a Saturday when no one else was open or had the part.
       
    8. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      That's so true... what's left for the walk-in customer? Micro Center?
       
    9. Jeff Santerre

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      On a separate note, I was not totally surprised with HH Gregg closing. Retail has become a very tough business. I worked in retail management for over 20 years and 3 of the companies I worked for closed up shop (Gateway Country stores, Circuit City, and Linens-N-Things). In the few times I entered a HH Gregg store, I just found nothing to keep me coming back.
      As for Radio Shack, this is really sad for me. I had RS from my childhood on. Unfortunately they really lost their way in the past 10+ years. I have to admit that even I have turned to online stores to buy electronics and parts as RS was lacking in a lot of areas. I remember my first multi meter was from RS as was well as having some Realistic components back in the 70's.
      Alas, as was the case with each of the companies that I worked for that are no longer, upper management in many cases loses touch with what customers really want and make their "educated" guesses to take companies in a new direction. Problem is that it isn't always the directions we consumers want.
      RIP Radio Shack.
       
    10. Jeff Santerre

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      BTW I have changed careers in my later life and work happily in IT for a major university. I love this and wonder why I stayed in retail for so long.
       
    11. Tony V.

      Tony V. Moderator
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      Radio Shack was my go to place when I wanted resistors or LEDs long befor the internet was available. I still have a working RadioShack soldering iron and I also loved those 200-in-1 kits that you could make an AM radio or a sequence of LEDs do different things.
       
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    12. mechman

      mechman Senior Admin
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      I didn't even realize Radio Shack was still around! The few that were close to me closed up a few years ago.

      200 in 1 kits were my favorite thing from Radio Shack as a kid. :T I also own a RS SPL meter and a couple of soldering irons.
       
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    13. Todd Anderson

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      Their first round of closures was roughly 2 years ago. At the same time they opened a few concept stores in NYC. Obviously those didn't do so well.

      One of my biggest frustrations with RS (in recent years) was pricing... I buy a lot of fuses and found their prices to be exponentially higher than online options. I assume that was the case for most of their electronic parts. In a pinch I was was willing to pay... but there's no way I'd stock-up through them.
       
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    14. Jeff Santerre

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      That became my issue with RS as well. The prices were high. I guess the internet truly has spoiled us.
       
    15. Negatron

      Negatron Active Member

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      I used to love to go to RS to get batteries, SPLIT meters, speaker parts, etc. It was a sad day when I heard they were closing stores, but we had a little luck and our local store held out until this last month when they also closed.
       
    16. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      I tried hit a few of the local stores as they closed (they were having blow-out sales)... unfortunately, both locations near me were barren by the time I arrived. :-/ People were buying everything, right down to the shelving and drawers!
       
    17. theJman

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      How sad. I have no experience with HH Gregg, but I certainly do with Radio Shack. As a youth I spent many hours wandering through their stores, and as a young adult - in my 20's and 30's - those journeys turned from idle meandering into purchases. I still have my old Minimus 7 speakers stored away in the basement! It's really a shame to see this happening to so many of the old guard. Sears might be next on the chopping block. :justdontknow:
       
    18. Todd Anderson

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    19. Todd Anderson

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      Bring back any memories?
       
    20. theJman

      theJman Member

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    21. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Yeah.. stuff that like really tugs at the heart strings. How many of those ads ran during NFL football games on Sunday afternoons during the holidays?

      RadioShack was deeply woven into the fabric of our society on a lot of levels... I believe, at one time, the company claimed to have a store within 3 miles of 95% of residences in the United States!
       
      #22 Todd Anderson, Jun 2, 2017
      Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
    22. Tony V.

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      I dont know about 3mi but every mall here had one in it.

      I owned one of those portable arcade games when I was a kid, they were alot of fun

      Were any of you part of the "Battery club" they had going? You got free batteries every month.
       
    23. Todd Anderson

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      I was not part of the battery club... but every time I went in one they offered me batteries! ;-)
       
    24. tesseract

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      My first real fulltime job was with Radio Shack, a corporate store in Kansas City, KS. Out of 52 stores, I was consistently in the Top Ten ranked salesmen. Even though I knew nothing of the Tandy computers (around $2500 in 1985!) I made up for that in audio sales. While the home audio side was great fun, my young self dabbled heavily at the time with the cool DIY part and bits available, my friends and I creating all kinds of 12V monstrosities in our cars. Sad to watch the slow decline of this former industry stalwart.

      Still using my RS SPL Meter, when I remember to remove the 9V battery so it doesn't drain while idling.
       

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