Radio Shack (AKA, RadioShack, The Shack, Tandy Corporation, Realistic, Optimus, etc) appears to be filing for Bankruptcy if the Wall Street Journal and Reuters is to be believed. I see the words “private equity firm” in the article, that does not bode well.
Radio Shack of late has become a glorified cell phone store. It used to be one could get some emergency repair parts, an FM antenna, or a CB radio as the need arose. As a young lad, it was fun to poke around and look at the various radio kits and other assorted fun things. My first shortwave radio was a kit from Radio Shack; assembly finished just in time to hear the Vatican Radio’s announcement that Pope Paul IV had died.
What happened to Radio Shack is fairly typical; what was once a niche market for hobbyists and experimenters tried to go mainstream and lost their core customers. There are still plenty of electronics hobbyists out there, look at the Amateur Radio community as an example. Yet, that market was abandoned for the more lucrative general consumer electronics market. Unfortunately, Radio Shack never produced high-quality stuff, so their reputation in the consumer electronics market was not that great. Thus, not being known for anything, they slowly slipped into irrelevance.