The recent rebranding of RadioShack as “The Shack” seems to me a sign the venerable electronics retailer is making it’s last stand. And it’s sad for those of us who grew up with the brand and have only recently gone elsewhere for electronic parts due to a dwindling selection at most retail outlets. Instead of radios, electronic instruments and other cool products under the counter, today’s Shack is more likely to feature an overpriced netbook. Big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Costco own the market for such products and RadioShack can’t seem to find their niche in this new environment. The few times I visit a store these days is to buy an overpriced cord to connect my iPod to the rental car aux jack. If I see a Wal-mart or Target before a Shack location, I go to those retailers as the same product is likely available for less.
But I will remember Radio Shack as the place to buy obscure electronic parts, educational kits and, yes, radios. My 18 year old Realistic shortwave still reliably tunes in the BBC when I’m out of wifi range or the power is out. RIP Radio Shack. You will be missed.