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January 14, 2015

Closing Up Shack

Filed under: News — admin @ 6:45 pm


No tear in my eye: Radio Shack, where I purchased my first computer over 30 years ago, is apparently going to seek bankruptcy protection. As my son so aptly put it just a few days ago, “Why is Radio Shack necessary?” Short answer: It isn’t.

The Shack began life as Tandy Leather. In fact, the T in TRS-80 is for Tandy. Lots of their early computers were known as Tandy, such as the Tandy 1000. From what I gather, their electronics business was just pure merchandising on behalf of founder Charles Tandy.

It was also dumb luck that Radio Shack even got into the computer business. Supposedly they had one TRS-80 Model I computer for each store. Figuring they wouldn’t sell one, their intention was eventually to use the computers as cash registers and for store inventory — but the computers sold!

The Shack never was a popular technology store. Often called “Radio Schlock,” it sold inferior merchandise and cheap Asian toys. As a computer pioneer, it was said that the one thing Radio Shack was good at was aggressively shooting itself in the foot. Recently they tried to become a cell phone store and even sell Apple porducts, but that isn’t helping the bottom line.

Adios, Shack!

Wall Street Journal

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