Why Radio Shack is Closing 700 Stores

Posted on by in Business, Customer Service, Design, Leadership, Remarkability

On Saturday evening, as my wife and I were on our way to the mall (after we had enjoyed a wonderful meal at Macaroni Grill), I commented to her that I had just read that Radio Shack was closing 700 stores nationwide (of course, you’re now concerned about my conversational skills on a date night, correct?).  I then asked rhetorically, "Do you know why?"  Answer: Because there’s nothing remarkable about Radio Shack.

Think about it.  First of all, does the word "Shack" inspire confidence in you concerning quality?  Secondly, don’t most of the Radio Shack stores you know seem like small overly cluttered stores with no sense of design? Thirdly, when you think of quality electronics, does the phrase, "Radio Shack" come to mind?  And fourthly, if you have an electronic need, don’t you tend to go to the store with the greatest selection (like a Best Buy or Circuit City)?

Nothing about Radio Shack inspires confidence in the hearts, minds and pocket books of most of the people I’ve ever met.  In fact, I can’t think of one conversation in the past five years where someone even mentioned Radio Shack in a positive light. Just think about it.  When was the last time you walked by a Radio Shack and said, "WOW!"

In other words, Radio Shack is in trouble because they’re not remarkable. Nothing about Radio Shack inspires confidence or creates customer loyalty (and their commercials during the Christmas season were completely unmotivating).  So, while you and I may be sad that a lot of people will soon lose their jobs, I fear that far more will experience the same fate unless Radio Shack decides to become remarkable about something that we customers care about.  It’s like they’re still trying to compete in an ocean that dried up years ago. The world has changed.  And as Eric Shinseki said so well, "if you don’t like change, you’ll like irrelevance even less."

Be remarkable!

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6 Responses to “Why Radio Shack is Closing 700 Stores”

  1. Keith 5 February 2013 at 11:57 am #

    I find it almost ironic that Radio Shack, which exemplified a ” do it yourself” attitude long before Lowes or Home Depot came onto the national scene, is now the 1st to suffer. Radio Shack used to buy bulk defective consumer electronic devices and fix them for resale. Its still the only national chain where you can go in and buy specific electronic parts for either hobbyist or professional who like to build or repair their own devices. But I agree with the poster they made a lot of mistakes: Bad branding, the Name Radio Shack is not all applicable in today’s marketplace. They should have never got into the computer selling business- they could never compete. They should have bowed out of consumer appliances long ago: stereos, TV’s, and yes even Radios. Even if they were to have introduced a line of electronics that were superior and well priced , at this point the confidence level of the consumer, based primarily on their abysmal branding, has sunk them.

  2. ZKWilson 6 February 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    The above article says it all. I stopped shopping RS when they insisted on having my zip code. I told the cashier, they have no right to ask and I have no reason to tell.

    Their merchandise is limited and overpriced. Their customer service is awful. Their stores are clean but small. Seems like the will disappear like Circuit City, Service Merchandise and many others because the American consumer is becoming smarter and more demanding.

  3. ZKWilson 6 February 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    The above article says it all. I stopped shopping RS when they insisted on having my zip code. I told the cashier, “You have no right to ask and I have no reason to tell.”

    Their merchandise is limited and overpriced. Their customer service is awful. Their stores are clean but very small. Seems like they will disappear like Circuit City, Service Merchandise and many others because the American consumer is becoming smarter and more demanding.

  4. CraigL 19 February 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Radio Shack stopped being Radio Shack. The store near me in Minnesota is almost like a cell phone store. I tried to buy a new roof antenna for digital TV, and was told that they no longer carry that item. They used to carry several different models. In the Twin Cities where 22% of the TV viewers still use over the air TV, there is both a replacement and new installation market for rooftop antennas. They used to carry a lot of parts for projects and repair. They have condensed the assortment of parts down to almost nothing now. I used to shop at Radio Shack a lot for the unique items that no one else carried. There is no longer a reason for me to shop there. I get my cell phone free every 2 years from my wireless provider.

  5. rublo 17 March 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Radio Shack is closing stores because it has lost its ability to keep customers captivated. To keep the flame of passion burning is necessary to have a well-paid sales force. Employees of these companies, such as electronic equipment, are still professionals and as professionals deserve a fair wage for their knowledge and skills. It’s not a perfect world, I know. I know there are people with bad intentions but are not such as to lead to a company at such levels. In the world of sales commissions are the fuel that leads the company to success. No pay. No sales. This situation is very sad because I have many customers that keep my store in they heart. Thanks you very much and please excuse for my English. Good Bless you all.

  6. Bruce Hale 15 April 2013 at 10:10 am #

    I use to love Radio Shack when I was a kid.
    I could always find electronic components like resistors &
    capacitors along with cables & various audio jacks & plugs
    to complete any projuect I was working on.
    The use to sell an awesome selection of home audio equipment
    like speakers and even kits to build your own speakers.
    Does anyone remember the battery club ? you would get one
    free battery per month with the Radio Shack battery club card.
    I don’t know who made the decision to close Radio Shack stores in
    Canada but that was a big mistake. They tuned into The Source stores and now they suck big time. I understand that Circuit City i the U.S owned The Source & now it was bought out by Bell Canada since the demise of Circuit City.
    I remember emailing Radio Shack’s head office a number of times with regards to the marketing of communications products in their stores.
    I’ve been involved in radio communications since I was a kid using walkie talkies & cb radio’s & amateur radio today.
    Radio Shack had a very poor marketing team when it came to radio communications equipment. They use to sell around 8 – 10 different junk AM cb radios and only 1 or 2 AM/SSB cb radios.
    In one of my emails to their head office I suggested that they sell

    1 basic AM mobile cb.
    1 basic AM base station cb.
    1 deluxe AM mobile.
    1 deluxe AM base staion cb.
    1 basic AM/SSB mobile cb.
    1 basic AM/SSB base staion cb.
    1 deluxe AM/SSB mobile cb.
    1 deluxe AM/SSB base staion cb.

    With these eight models they could satisfy all the needs of the cb radio users. Instead of listening to my advise they just kept marketing tons of junk AM cb radios and everybody who wanted to buy cb radios took their bussiness elsewhere.

    Bruce.

    Toronto. Canada.


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