It seems that with every passing year, there's a staple of American business that disappears forever. Whether it be a result of changing times and technologies (which led to the loss of Tower Records and Blockbuster Video), or a once-major chain no longer able to support itself (Mervyn's, Montgomery Ward), some of the most recognizable retails chains in the US have shut their doors forever.
(via New York Times)
Now another familiar chain is in danger of disappearing: on March 5, electronics retailer Radio Shack announced that they would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closing some 1,700 stores in the US and Mexico. The chain has been struggling for quite some time, having already closed 1,100 stores in 2014. There was hope that a rumored buy-out from Amazon would get the company back on its feet, but those plans now seem uncertain.
Home of the Gadget-geek.
Though Radio Shack's history goes back to its founding in 1921, the company really came into its own during the 1970s and '80s. It became a haven for both average consumers needing the right antenna for their tv, professional electricians searching for reasonably-priced supplies, and budding gadget geeks of all stripes.
Although on-line shopping has increased the ease-of-use in finding the electronics of one's choice, there's something to be said for the interactive nature of shopping for personal electronics in person. The electronics specialists of Radio Shack paved the way for the likes of Geek Squad and the "Genius Bars" at Apple stores - the latter of which is fitting, considering the role Radio Shack equipment played in the first Apple products.
Although the chain has yet to be declared "dead", the recent activity proves that it has suffered damage from which it might never recover. Which is a shame, because it means that there's one less recognizable American business to patronize - and one less budding gadget geek to find the right wires to make their dreams come true.