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RadioShack CEO Resigns 474

xzvf writes to tell us Forbes is reporting that RadioShack CEO David J. Edmondson has resigned. Reeling from a 62% drop in fourth quarter net income the company has announced a sweeping restructuring plan. From the article: "Edmondson said in a separate statement Monday that new leadership was needed so the company's turnaround plan would have the best possible chance to succeed. The revamp announced Friday prompted mixed responses from analysts, who indicated the plan might be successful but, at that time, they doubted Edmondson's ability to pull it off after it became clear he had lied about his education."
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RadioShack CEO Resigns

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  • Check? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Agent00Wang ( 146185 )
    "became clear he had lied about his education"

    It seems like you hear about this more and more in the business world. Don't they even bother to check people out?
    • Don't they even bother to check people out?

      You'd be amazed at how many businesses don't.

    • Re:Check? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Fear the Clam ( 230933 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:43AM (#14766726)
      Don't they even bother to check people out?

      They did ask for his mailing address...
    • Re:Check? (Score:5, Funny)

      by GoatMonkey2112 ( 875417 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:49AM (#14766755)
      That's pretty surprising considering that Radio Shack normally requires background screenings in order to buy some freakin batteries.
      • My father once ran in quickly to do just that, and they start asking him for name, addy, digits, everything - he stared at the clerk for a couple seconds and then repeated "just these batteries" and blinked until the guy rung him up and took his 5$.
        • Re:Check? (Score:3, Funny)

          by brunes69 ( 86786 )
          I usually find its faster to give them the old "10 Nowhere Drive, 90210, 555-1212" routine. If they start to clue in they just stop asking. If they don't then who cares.

      • Batteries can normally be found in the "Home and Hobby Bomb-Making" rack at most RS stores.
      • Re:Check? (Score:3, Funny)

        by Shipwack ( 684009 )
        I usually respond to questions about my address, phone, etc by looking the (usually) male clerk in the eyes, putting my hand on top of his, and repsonding, "I'm flattered, but you really aren't my type...."

        Since I'm a big husky guy, they usually stammmer and just give me my batteries.

      • Re:Check? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by typical ( 886006 )
        Seriously, that is one of the most annoying things a store can do -- to demand your personal information at the counter.

        Also, the guy at the register hates doing it, because half the people that go by hate him asking them for it.
    • Re:Check? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Janek Kozicki ( 722688 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:58AM (#14766796) Journal
      the previous president of Poland (two cadencies, 8 years in total - 1998-2006) lied about his education. Media went berserk about it after the first election, and yet(!) he managed to get elected for the second time.

      I live in Poland, so I know for sure.
    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:05AM (#14766825)
      The reason why they probably never checked his education is because It was not not the most important part of his Resume. In real life Education is only a minor factor, especially when you get more experience. When you are staring out Education is a major factor because you don't have much to go on. But when you go further it becomes less important, unless you plan to switch paths, like say you have a BS and you want to get into management so you get an MBA. That way you can show the hirers that you are not just a Tech Egg Head and you have some business knowledge as well. But If you were able to work your way up in a company with a GED and proved yourself valuable (Bill Gates never graduated from college) then you could be work more then a person with degrees up to the kazoo. Sometimes I see people who may Flash their PHD in Engineering at me to show how smart they are, except they call me to fix the problem with their primary program when windows is putting up a little bubble on the screen saying you have loss network connection. So I tell them the program doesn't work without a network connection, then they just flash their degrees at me.
      In Business degrees and education usually says the person was able to stick it out for at least 2,4,6,8 years and get a degree and they have the building blocks to learn to do the job. But when you start getting experience then that counts for so much more.
      As for Lying about your education what that does is makes it easy to fire you for lying on your Resume if they don't want you. But they are not going to take the effort and check it unless they need a good reason.
      • by TFGeditor ( 737839 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @10:00AM (#14767116) Homepage
        I deeply regret that the parent was modded "Funny." The post is insightfully correct, but it fails to point up the larger underlying principle: discrimination.

        I was a test-engineering consultant for 20-odd years to companies such as Lockheed, Motorola and TI defense divisions, Dell, and so on. At the time, I was one of the top ten people in my (admittedly narrow/specialized) field in the U.S.

        Yet, not one of those companies would have hired me as an employee to do the *exact* same work they hired me to do as a consultant because I did not have a degree. I never attended high school, but did get a GED.

        (Side note: Tandy was one of my clients in the 1980s and 90s. Every Tandy computer manufactured in the U.S. was production tested with software I wrote and on apparatus I designed and built.)

        When I burned out in that field, I switched careers and entered writing/journalism, eventually becomming a magazine editor (circ. ~100k)--still on a contactor/consultant basis. Yet, I'd be hard put to land even a proofreading job as an employee because I am "uneducated."

        I hold that this is an unrecognized/unacknowleged form of discrimination and bigotry. Experience and ability should be the primary--if not only--criteria in hiring, not race, sex or orientation thereof--or education.

        • by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @10:56AM (#14767460) Homepage Journal
          I hold that this is an unrecognized/unacknowleged form of discrimination and bigotry. Experience and ability should be the primary--if not only--criteria in hiring, not race, sex or orientation thereof--or education.

          Whoa. Race, sex, nationality, and so forth are entirely separate from education since they're what the person is. Unless you're Michael Jackson or a eunuch, you can't change those things and its rightly illegal to discriminate on those lines (AA quotas aside). Education is something you CAN change. It shows an employer that you set your mind to a goal and stuck it out until you got your degree, learning relevant info and getting liberal arts education along the way. 40-50 years ago, you could walk out of high school and land a decent manufacturing job or other such gig with the right hookup. Today, the deck is stacked against you if you follow that route, unless you're heading for a trade school or to the service sector.
      • I never got a degree, and I'm now a contractor who does very quick turnaround solutions for a customer who needs very specialized and unusual tools (software and hardware). It's very interesting and technical work requiring a fair breadth of knowledge, and there's no room for incompetency (4 man team, combined 70 years of experience). I think I've done quite well for myself.

        I say that not to brag (well, maybe a little), but more to drive the point home when I say that a college degree is a very important
    • Re:Check? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There is no shortage of people on Slashdot with no business education who think they could run a business.... Seriously- Why does everyone here insult Biz degrees and MBAs?
    • Radio Shack had questions - he clearly did not have answers.
  • slogan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kisrael ( 134664 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:36AM (#14766698) Homepage
    "You have questions...we have cellphone plans."
    • Re:slogan (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Technician ( 215283 )
      When they went to toys and phones instead of answers and parts, I stopped visiting. There are lots of places to get good prices on toys and phones. Why did they go from a niche market to an overpriced K-B Toys and cellphones? When I'm breadboarding a hardware project, I order online. I know the local Radio Shack doesn't have parts.
    • Re:slogan (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kevin Stevens ( 227724 ) <kevstevNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @11:32AM (#14767773)
      I am sure this comment is going to be utterly redundant shortly, but last time I went to Radio Shack I wanted solder. Not an exotic transistor or out of the ordinary capacitor, just farking solder for a soldering iron. I looked around the store, and could not find it. So I asked one of the clerks where I could find it (not believing that its possible that Radio Shack could have moved that far away from hobbyist stuff). The clerk did not know what solder was! He had to ask his coworker who said they might have some in the back. I was shocked, and there was another geek next to me who also had a stunned look on his face. In another time or place, or possibly a more empty store, we probably would have hugged each other to console ourselves. After the two of them went in the back store room for almost 10 minutes, he finally returned with a roll of it and asked if it was what I wanted. I walked out feeling like a defeated man. I kind of wanted to take the shitty component systems on the wall shelf and throw them at the stack of overpriced R/C cars.

      I am pretty sure if I had asked him for an LM555C Timer his would have asploded.
      • In another time or place, or possibly a more empty store, we probably would have hugged each other...

        I saw that film. Quite disgusting.

  • Hmm.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrByte420 ( 554317 ) * on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:41AM (#14766716) Journal
    Its been news for the last few days that he never gradudated college let alone had the two degrees he claimed. I'm suprised the article writeup only touched on this in italics in the bottom. One of the degrees he claimed wasn't even offered by the university that he claimed awarded it to him.
    • Re:Hmm.. (LINK) (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As usual, the /. article is very low on relevant links. Here is the article about this fucktard admiting lying.

      http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11388447/ [msn.com]

      He is paid >1.4M$ per year, and will probably get that as its package.

  • Long time coming.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by j0e_average ( 611151 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:41AM (#14766720)
    Radio Shack went downhill when they made Cellphone and Satellite TV service their primary sales vehicles. They ought to get back to their roots...providing components for tinkerers. I know there's not as much potential profit in this, but if they were to partner with the editors of Make Magazine, they could become the new hope for the home brew crowd.

    Example: In this month's Make Magazine...there's an article on how to receive free (not illegal) satellite channels by using inexpensive materials. Radio Shack should be the source for this material for those who don't want to scrounge!

    I know this has been a huge plug for Make Magazine...but for goodness sake, when I used to need some obscure part, I knew it could be had cheaply at the Shack...now you have to order a lot of parts.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:56AM (#14766787)
      Are you nuts? People are too busy being at the mall or watching TV to do anything by themselves. Tinkering has become the pastime of penny pinchers and weirdos who can't or don't want to do what a good citizen does: CONSUME!

      Let's face it. Making stuff yourself gets out of fashion. Remember, kids, only commies make stuff themselves, a good consumer buys it!
      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:26AM (#14766936)
        Tinkering has become the pastime of penny pinchers and weirdos

              And terrorists! Let's not forget the terrorists...
      • Remember, kids, only commies make stuff themselves, a good consumer buys it!

        I didn't know MacGyver was a commie...
      • As likable as angry, sarcastic snobbery is, I think you're off base on this one. Nowadays, "tinkering" is something you do at (or inside) your computer. The gap between individual components and consumer-level devices is so huge that kids today are about as likely to solder capacitors as you and I were to make them ourselves out of clay and carcinogens.

        There isn't enough time in the day for Linux and soldering...

        • That's true... At the beginning of my senior year of high school, I thought I had reached the apex (given my current interests and environment) with new tinkering (and buying parts) in the computer department. As such, I went big-time into electronics and microcontroller stuff.

          Once I got to college, I discovered whole new worlds of computer tinkering, and the soldering iron went back into the toolbox.

          Since then, I've been trying to juggle back and forth between the two, but computers always still get the
        • Well, the problem is that the gap between "what you can do at home" and "what's useful" has opened up tremenduously. 20 years ago you could actually, given a few parts and lots of time, build your own computer, and it wouldn't be TOO much behind an off the shelf computer. You could probably even use the same software.

          Today, even if you did get all the necessary ICs, you could not create the prints at home (or, rather, most people couldn't), you can't solder them in (unless you have very special equipment),
      • I realize your entire post is obviously tongue-in-cheek, but seriously, this attitude exists. If it weren't for tinkerers, there would be no Apple Computer, no HP, no Ford Motor Company, no Eastman Kodak, no Xerox -- these are all massive global companies that were started by tinkerers and inventors, yet, we can barely imagine a world in which the tinkerers who started them never began their creations.
    • by ian_mackereth ( 889101 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:06AM (#14766832) Journal
      I've nursed a grudge against Tandy/Radio Shack for many years, so their current woes fill my small soul with spiteful glee.

      Back in the 70s, they moved into Australia and tried to buy their way into market dominance, mainly against a local company, Dick Smith Electronics. DSE got hold of documents that showed that RS were prepared to lose a lot of money (by local standards) to wipe out the competition, then make it up with monopolistic pricing.

      It didn't work, not least because they tried to simply transplant an American store to an Australian shop without taking local conditions into account. The publicity from DSE's protests didn't help them, either. Nor did the crap that they were selling!

      Ironically, both Tandy Australia and Dick Smith Electronics were bought by Woolworths Australia (a big supermarket-based chain) in 2001. They still operate seperate shops, but there's a lot of overlap of product.

      (Not completely on-topic, but moderators please note that I've just admitted to carrying a grudge for over thirty years. Mod me down if you like...) 8-)}

    • by sasdrtx ( 914842 )
      I've found Parts Express [partsexpress.com] to be a great alternative to Radio Shack. It's great for me since I pass them on the way to work, but they are primarily an online order company anyway.
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      A year or 2 ago, I got interested in learning to solder. I've had soldering irons and tinkered a bit before, but I wanted to learn to do it right and actually be able to make things. (Without buring the boards and frying the components, you know?)

      My first thought was 'Radio Shack! They've always had that stuff.' So I'm all happy and travelled 45 minutes to my nearest not-a-cesspit Radio Shack (I wouldn't touch the local one with a 10-ft pole. Very slimey) and start looking for those kits for radios and
  • by Dekortage ( 697532 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:43AM (#14766724) Homepage

    According to CNN's article on this topic [cnn.com], Edmundson "originally said he had received a Bachelor of Science degree, but now says he believes -- but cannot document -- that he received a ThG diploma, awarded for completing a three-year degree in theology."

    Call it academic theology: "I believe that I got the degree, but cannot document it." Intelligent design, anyone?

  • by aapold ( 753705 ) * on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:44AM (#14766734) Homepage Journal
    For years now I've associated Radio Shaq with overpriced items... I only go there if they have something I can't get somewhere else and by that I mean something I need right this minute. That's like 3 times in six years for me.

    Plus, what few things they have are all across the board. I always wondered what they held in common, now I see that it was profit margin. A slim range of digital cameras, handheld radios (do people still use these?), stereo wire and connectors and radio control cars (like its a place you bring your kids to?). For each of these if that's what I'm looking for there are other places that come to mind first. Even audio connectors I'll go to some local contractor electronics supplier who can make a custom cable if I need it...
    • Well, retail stores in general are overpriced compared to the mail order places.

      Radio Shack is the convenience store of the technology world.

    • I recently web ordered a security camera and ignored the additional accessories page. The website had a 100' video cable for $18 and a power supply for $10. In a pinch to install the camera I go to Radio Shack.

      Radio Shack had a 6' cable for $16. I would have needed 16 of them and 15 connectors to equal the 100' at a cost of $331.00. Not that I would have gone that route but still...

      And then there was the power supply. Radio Shack wanted almost $20. We ended up with a different solution that "only" c
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:45AM (#14766737)
    that he needed to be Realistic and not an Optimus.
    • Nice. :) (Score:3, Informative)

      What's really sad is that a lot of people won't get that joke at all. Hopefully, you won't get too many "Offtopic" mods. Unfortunately, I don't have any mod points or I'd throw a +1 Funny your way.

      For those not in the know, Realistic and Optimus are Radio Shack brand names.
  • they doubted Edmondson's ability to pull it off after it became clear he had lied about his education

    What was the problem?

    Was he hiding the fact that he had an MBA or something?
    • It's really simple, he lied on his resume and is subject to termination like anyone else. If anyone gets caught with a lie on their resume or a job application they can be fired. It seems to be happening regularly over the last four years to high profile people.
      • The difference being if it was any other level employee they would have been marched out the door when this came to light, instead he resigned with a pat on the back as he walked out the door..

        "Roberts said, 'because Dave is a talented and dedicated individual who has made many contributions to the company. Dave recognized that major distractions for the company could negatively impact its efforts to implement the company's turnaround strategy. Undoubtedly, this was a tough decision.' "

        These CEO types reall
  • Realistic (Score:5, Funny)

    by FrankDrebin ( 238464 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:46AM (#14766739) Homepage

    new leadership was needed so the company's turnaround plan would have the best possible chance to succeed

    Sounds like a Realistic(tm) plan to me.

  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:48AM (#14766747)
    Big box consumer electronics retailers have usurped the role of the neighborhood consumer electronics store. Remember that not long ago, this was Tandy Leather Company. Although the company has changed over the years, each of their markets has big competition:

    - Cell phones and 2-way phones are in the big box retailers
    - Fry's and others have edged the electronic components and tech tool offerings
    - TVs, computers, stereos, and others are the domain of Best Buy, Circuit City, etc...
    - Tech toys have also been gnawed on by a slew of retailers

    So it's no fun to be Radio Snack, as my uncle calls them. Closing 700 stores is only the first step on a long journey back to health for these guys, as they try to find identity and appeal in the major and tiny markets they once did well in.

    Getting smeared because of their ex-CEO's dubious credentials is just another nail in the coffin if they're not careful.

    • I wish they'd stick to their guns and sell stuff like circuit boards, toggle switches, fuses, diodes, and solder. Maybe remote controlled cars and some audio / visual equipment, too. That's fine. All the other junk is just overpriced whats-its, like speaker wire.

    • Tandy Leather was sold many years ago. They are still around, but harder to find. I remember goign to Tandy alot when I was a kid. Back then, my dad did leather work to supplement his income. I still carry a wallet he made. He still does the stuff, but has to get the kits via mail most times.


      Radio Shack History [radioshack...ration.com]
      Tandy Leather [tandyleather.com]

      Radio Shack still does sell alot of components, but just not as many as there used to be. I have not seen a ole 200 in 1 kit lately. Problem is how do you get kids intrested
      • Yet there's a legacy about what made them viable in the first place: small, low-rent, distributed strip mall and small town shops that were convenient and supplied things you needed. The concept of a radio shack grew out of the ham radio, and CB days, when a solder jockey could build something as basic a crystal radio kit and then graduate beyond. Digikey now sells zillions of dollars of components in all conceivable varieties and types, and others like MCM supply the consumer electronic tech repair trade w
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:50AM (#14766759)
    I personally find little reason to go to RadioShack much anyways, they no longer have as much as the stuff I really wanted. Things like Audio and Video Adapters and cables are getting more and more slim, There IC selection is becoming non-existance. I can't find things like a basic Cable Tuner, Null Modem adapters and other adapters. When you walk in there are TVs Surround sound systems, Cell Phones, as their primary which I could get a better choices at a Circuit City, Best Buy, Rex, etc... stuff heck I had to hunt around until I could find a basic calculator. People go to radio shack for hand made electronics and custom configuration of their technology. I should be able to go in there and easily find a Stereo Splitter. So my old 5 speaker Surround sound system for my computer will work on my normal Stereo TV with all the speaker for 4 speaker Stereo. Or If I need a Cable Tuner to get an Old TiVo working like new again they should have some in stock. That use to be Radioshack value add. People may stop in once in a while to get Computers, Cellphones, or TVs for the bulk to their profit but the small stuff keeps many of the more technical people coming back and get the low end stuff and perhaps they will get an other High Margin product in the future.
    Also customer service has went to crap. While they are friendly and everything, when it comes to ask about stuff in the far corner like Is there any RJ45 Connectors aka Cat 5 connectors, I will get a Blank Stare. In the old days the people were far more knowable about all the products then just the top sellers.
    • They just can't have a store in every shopping mall.

      If they would consolidate their stores and put one or two in each metro area, focusing on the hobbyist by providing the integrated circuits, connectors, switches, project boxes, breadboards, and so forth, they would be in good shape. How much would you pay for a handfull of 10k resistors if you needed 3 for a project? Talk about profit margin! They won't make money on cell phone plans, TV sets, cordless phones, or Tandy computers. They have a reputatio
  • A buyout by a Best Buy or whatever and a web presence for transistors and electronic kits.

    Let's face it even their name is dated.

    It's over.
  • Does anyone know what he is walking away with after driving his company into the ground? The article doesn't say and google isn't being much help either.
    • "Does anyone know what he is walking away with after driving his company into the ground? The article doesn't say and google isn't being much help either."

      He isn't walking away, they gave him the bun's rush, both because he ran it into the ground and because he lied about having a couple of college degrees that he didn't have, one of which aparently is a degree not even offered by the institution he says he got it from.

  • It's interesting and more than a little depressing to see just how greatly Radio Shack has changed in the past ten years. In 1995 I got my amateur radio license. Everyone knew that Radio Shack's license exam preparation materials, done by one Gordon West, were rubbish that taught people how to pass a test without understanding any of the concepts between it. That's why I ordered the ARRL's dependable guide Now You're Talking [amazon.com] from another store (check the book out if you are looking for an interesting hobby, it's also in many libraries). But Radio Shack was incredibly helpful for providing all the parts one needed to build little projects. Whenever I found an interesting project in the ham magazine QST, such as an audio amplifier or a QRP kit, I knew Radio Shack would provide the materials.

    But now, things have changed, there's hardly more than a couple of soldering irons for sale in the back of a Radio Shack today. The hobby of tinkering with electronics is no longer profitable for a retail store, possibly due to the decline of amateur radio. Hams today order what they need from the Internet or the catalogues that a few specialty stores like to spam technophiles with. Instead, Radio Shack has decided to entirely focus on consumer electronics. But it can't win there either, larger stores like Best Buy or Circuit City will always have a better selection. I can't really see any way for this company to survive.

    • I do not know but, one of the main reasons those kind of stores survive in my country (Mexico) is by selling replacement parts. Of course, in Mexico people will try to fix their blender machine 200 times before buying a new one and, compared to the USA, in Mexico we belive your motto is something like "USandThrow" as whenever something is broken in some way, people only throw it.

      I know one of the main reasons of this is the wages, as it may be more expensive to pay someone to fix something than to buy it ne
  • No chance (Score:3, Informative)

    by drgonzo59 ( 747139 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:51AM (#14766767)
    My friend worked for RadioShack and he said the whole business model of RadioShack is crap and is obsolete. When before they were _the_ specialty electronics store, now they make most of their money off of overpriced batteries and cell phone plans. The savy geeks who would have gone there before to buy electronic parts, now get them cheaper from the Web, and the average consumers just go to places like Best Buy, CircuitCity and others where they have a larger selection of equipment. The last time I went to RS was 6 years ago to get some thermal paste for my heatsinks, and the idiot saleman didn't even know what it was, I had to go through the shelves and find it myself (I suspected they had it somewhere). That's the last time I bought anything from them. I am sure other "electronically inclined" geeks here probably have a similar story...
  • ...that I have to take the "Bikini Inspector (1993-1998)" entry off of my resume? But its such a conversation starter!
  • In the type of business Radio Shack is/was running then the internet was bound to hurt it. Buying components from a store is beset with problems of supply and demand - people want exactly what they need and they want it now. From a stock control standpoint this is incredibly difficult to do on a store by store level.

    When people had no choice before the internet people had to make do and wait for parts to come into stock. Now it's easier to source most of the parts online and usually cheaper. The company's
  • by marco_craveiro ( 551065 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:05AM (#14766822) Journal
    you know, just the other day I was browsing Linux Today [linuxtoday.com] and somehow i found myself reading the ever useful "get the facts" ad (right-hand corner). one of success stories was "RadioShack Saves Millions of Dollars by Choosing Windows Over Linux". and now there's a 62% drop in fourth quarter net income. yet another company "helped" by microsoft, methinks... :-D
  • I have never been a big fan of Radio Shack, (especially of their individually packaged resisitors). But since having moved to the US I have seen no other shops that actually sell electornic parts. So my question is: Where do you people buy electornic parts from?

    I used to enjoy wandering around an electronics shop just checking things out. Heck, even a Radio Spares [rswww.com] catalog is better than nothing, even if they were also overpriced. But I don't know who the best players are in the US.
    • by Tlosk ( 761023 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:40AM (#14767011)
      There's not really any national chains but it's not uncommon to find at least one really nice electronics surplus shop in most larger metropolitan areas. And by nice I mean they have a large range of components. But they rarely advertise and can be in off the beaten path locations, so it can be a challenge to find them. That and they are usually run by someone advancing in years who does it as much because they love it as to make money off it, and when they retire it's unlikely to continue as a going concern, so one by one these great places are winking out across the country. Unfortunate for people like us who love being able to physically browse all sorts quirky and hard to find electronic components, but in a changing world what are you going to do I guess.

      This would make an excellent Ask Slashdot post I would imagine, to get a list going of all these out of the way shops as I'm sure there's a lot of slashdotters with favorite places they know about.

      The closest to a national presence would probably be Fry's which has a pretty decent range of stuff if you live in a state where they operate (mostly west coast from what I understand).
    • "I have never been a big fan of Radio Shack, (especially of their individually packaged resisitors)."

      How well I remember buying the packages of two resistors of the same value, even though I only needed one, knowing full well that only one would be within tolerance and the other would be open or a few orders of magnitude off.

  • "You've got questions, we've got unverified answers!"

    or my personal favorite:

    "You've got money, we've got pockets!"
  • Motto (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Comatose51 ( 687974 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:20AM (#14766903) Homepage
    Radio Shack: You got questions, we got blank stares...

    I tried to get some parts for an oscillator once and the guy just looked at me like I was crazy. I thought in the back of my mind, "This is Radio Shack right....??"

  • slickdeas (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nxs212 ( 303580 )
    That explains why they had that 30% off EVERYTHING on-line sale last week of December.
    (trying to make their numbers look better)
    Dell does the same thing every quarter.
  • by Wansu ( 846 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:37AM (#14766994)

    This isn't the first person to be exposed for lying about academic credentials and it probably won't be the last. Nonetheless, after so many have been keelhauled for doing this, I'm surprised that people still lie in writing about their academinc credentials and surprised that there are still companies not checking for this, particularly for executive candidates. No doubt some of the Radio Shack board have egg on their faces as well, especially in light of the drastic cuts that ananlysts suggest are needed.

    Academic credentials are about the easiest qualification to check for. Just call the school. Either the candidate has the degree they claim to have or they do not. There's no shade of gray. That's why it's so stupid to lie about this. It's easy to check and there's no wiggle room. Why then do so many do it? Why then are there companies that don't check for this?
  • by TheSkepticalOptimist ( 898384 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:38AM (#14767000)
    If you want to turn around profits, then stop selling the house-brand crappy electronics that are made in China that you can buy at a Dollar Store for a buck (but RadioShack sells for $20). People recognize quality when they see it, and RadioShack doesn't represent quality.

    Even the name brands they sell tend to be the low end economy models that Sony, Panasonic, etc will sell at Walmart or grocery stores, of course for a far cheaper price then RadioShack.

    There may have been a time when you can pass off a cheap Chinese boom box for $100, and that is when RadioShack raked in the money, but these days people are a little more discriminating in the quality of electronics they buy, and RadioShack hasn't offered those better quality products. They still insist on selling that cheap Chinese boom boxes for $100.

    RadioShack should simply refocus on selling batteries and remote control cars, its about all they do well. Stop trying to sell cheap home theater and stereo equipment and televisions, drop computers period, and focus on smaller electronic gadgets that you can't find elsewhere. Either that, our start offering high end stuff you can't find anywhere else, open up a niche market that walmart, Best Buy and Target can't touch.

    Just, don't go on as business as usual. It obviously isn't working, and those no-name brands you keep carrying and selling for the same price as name brands are not making you money.
  • He had no answers...
  • Perhaps they should take these millions they saved and dig themselves out of their financial crisis.

    "After an extensive evaluation in which RadioShack compared Windows® and Linux, the company selected Microsoft® Windows Server System(TM) and Windows XP Embedded."

    Actually if they would just get out of the comodity market they got themselves into and start actually carrying cool shit again they might stand a chance.
  • It all started when they took out the vacuum tube testing machines from the stores...
  • by ursabear ( 818651 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:58AM (#14767104) Homepage Journal
    ...Radio Shack had parts and adaptors and other things that you just couldn't get anywhere. There were zillions of times I went to Radio Shack to get some bizarre audio adaptor - and not only would they have what I needed, they'd have three different types that would do the job.

    Ever wired a commercial audio job at some remote site in East Belt Buckle [insert state here]? In the middle of the job, there was always some part needed, or something that would not work right - and even East Belt Buckle would have a Radio Shack - problem solved...

    Spin the time machine to the present... the CEO isn't quite what was sold to the company... The product line is thin, cheap, and out of step with the times. The sales clerks demand your life's personal information if you want to buy a $.25 resistor or some wire, or if your wife just went there to buy an odd-size battery. They are not in the consciousness of the public (along the lines of CompUSA, Best Buy, Circuit City, et. al.). Their prices are not anything to write home about. Their hours are generally not as flexible as the Huge Mart stores against which they compete. And to top it all off, the cool little DIY parts are getting so thin that you can't go to RS and dream up a little cool electronic thing any more.

    Earth to Radio Shack: Do more than get rid of one or two brass... Figure out what America is after and then adapt to that. I don't like to nay-say the health of a company, but even I can see that Radio Shack has become the Kodak(TM) Instant Film and the 8-Track superstore that no-one needs it to be.
  • I haven't used my battery-of-the-month club card in years!
  • by TheSync ( 5291 ) * on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @11:06AM (#14767539) Journal
    I stopped going to RadioShack very often when it became a cellphone store.

    You would go into the store, and the one or two people working there would be on the phone busy trying to get someone's cellphone service working. You would wait for 20 minutes to check out. They didn't care if you were buying $10 of stuff, since they were in the process of selling $100 cellphones plus the monthly service.

    The ironic thing is that despite leaving the chip selling business, RadioShack is one of the few places you can drop by and pick up a wire wrap tool and wire wrap wire. But I need to do that once or twice a year.

    R/S has no differentiator now. If you want a cellphone, the carriers have their own stores that are better staffed and more familiar with the products. If you want home electronics, it is hard to beat Best Buy, and for that matter the low-end stuff is at Target as well. The one differentiator of R/S in the past was the electronics parts, which have been gutted.
  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @02:41PM (#14769698)
    There's a H U G E market for cheap 8 bit microcontrollers now that you can get a little computer for the price of a latte', and you can do a lot of near things with them very easily. There's loads of related things like robotics that they missed out on too - how many people have any idea where to get a motion controller, or a servo motor?

    Makes you think.

    Then there's the whole embedded linux thing!

    Radio Shack turned their back on hobbiests; I probably owe my EE degree to Forrest Mimms and his great books that radio shack distributed in the 80's. Now they sell cheap crap from China and Cell Phones.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?