RadioShack soon to be called “The Shack” ?

RadioShack soon to be called “The Shack” ?

The Shack Engadget
The end of an era.. RadioShack soon to be called “The Shack” ? via Engadget.

“The Shack” re-branding RadioShack is in the process of re-branding[citation needed] the company as “The Shack” as well as re-building corporate culture. This will be kicked off by a launch celebration in both San Francisco and New York featuring “14 foot tall laptops” streaming the images from their webcams from one city to the other, live music in both locations, as well as television coverage of the event.[13] The event will take place in Times Square and Justin Herman Plaza on August 6-8, 2009, starting each morning at 6AM Eastern and lasting until Midnight. In addition, “The Shack” began a telemarketing campaign on July 31, 2009, in which they call post-paid customers in the morning to inform them about upgrade eligibility.

Post up your RadioShack stories and good times you had in the comments for googlemultivac to eternalize.

48 thoughts on “RadioShack soon to be called “The Shack” ?

  1. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Maybe they got tired of people calling it Radio Crap.

    We were talking about … er… The Shack on Twitter this week, trading stories of clueless clerks. I went to my local Shack last year and asked for solder wick. The guy took me into the stereo dept and showed me some material used in speaker mounting (or some-such). WTF?

    1. Nate says:

      Ironically, there’s two folks at the (sigh) Shack near my place that are fairly knowledgable about their component parts. Now, they’re not too savvy on what the parts really are, or how I could conceivably be using them, but when I say “10 microfarad capacitor” they smile and hand me the *correct* item.

      They’re a touch older, too, and actually remember when Radio Shack was the go-to shop for components.

      If this new change will make them completely drop all component parts, I’m screwed. All I have is a never-restocked Fry’s Electronics. Yeah, Mouser and Digikey are great, but not when I need a handful of simple parts “right now.”

  2. Andy says:

    Why do I get the feeling that the few, dwindling amount of components that they do carry will be completely gone?


  3. Sean says:

    of electronic components availability, kits and ideas. Radio Shack died over a decade ago, locally the last knowlegeable salesperson / manager quit about 8 years ago as he could see the writing on the wall.

    There was a time when you could get scads of digital and analog components to build quite complex projects. I can exhaust their capabilities by one trip every six months. Look to Mouser, Digikey, Jameco, BGMicro and All-Electronics for a good portion of your electronics needs, there are many other suppliers out there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We always call it “Radio Crap”

    Radio Shack harkins back to short wave days were the radio shack was the small building that housed the equipment.
    Now days it is the only electronics store in town (SF)
    I wish there were others….

  5. Phillip Torrone says:

    late 80s early 90s – read an article in 2600 or see a cool project on a newsgroup and b00m, you’re at a radioshack picking up parts and something to make. one of the clearest memories i have is buying a radioshack tone dialer and modding it so it could make free phone calls, i didn’t really have anyone to call, but it didn’t matter.

    the radioshack employees knew everything about everything, i’d visit there each week and it seemed at the time that anything was possible if you just knew the right parts to get.

    i wonder what alternative futures that were never explored are out there – radioshack is a techshop, radioshack sells makerbots, radioshack starts hackaday, engadget, make, radioshack is a trade school for the 21st century… radioshack will be our moon landing, a great stunt but too weird to keep doing – there’s more money in selling cell phones to everyone who doesn’t have an iphone yet, welcome to “the shack”.

  6. sean says:

    I look forward to the “change in corporate culture” part. I’m getting sick of the fat-ass manager at my local Radio Shack asking me if I’m building a bomb every time I buy some capacitors and resistors. I asked him, “I don’t know, what do you know about building bombs? Does this stuff look like what it takes to build a bomb?” After the stories of that poor MIT student nearly getting killed by gung-ho cops and then getting pinned with a “disturbing the peace” charge over her freaking blinking sweater, I can’t abide people cracking jokes about makers and “bombs”.

  7. Spooge says:

    Well at least it’s better than the stupid name we got in Canada
    “The Source”

    Where the Source?
    The sauce??
    No The Source Electronic store.
    Source of what?
    arghh…Radio Shack!!!!
    oh… well why didn’t you just say so.

  8. says:

    I used to go skating at the ice rink at the Tandy Center in Fort Worth as a youngster. I also used to listen to albums recorded to 60-minute Realistic cassettes.

    Wait, what does that have to do with anything?

  9. Thomas says:

    Everybody is reading to much into this. Just like Coke-cola is called Coke, Chevrolet is known as Chevy, RadioShack is marking it’s already used nick name that people have used for years.

    The company will still be RadioShack, it’s just trying to get people to to use the nickname. They are trying to get people to see “The Shack” in a different way.

    Thats it, plain & simple. It’s just a nickname. Don’t worry, it will be alright.

  10. SolidSilver says:

    My first job was at Radio Shack. I was 13, and arranged displays, cleaned the parking lot and changed the readerboard sign in exchange for grab bags of parts. I had a killer junk box!

    By ’95, things had gone downhill. I asked a teen-aged clerk for a CMOS backup battery and he said “CMOS batteries? Um… we got lithium batteries.” And then there was the time an older clerk argued for 30 minutes that there was no such thing as a battery cross-reference book.

    Fortunately, we have a decent electronics supply in town, but they’re not open weekends. And last year, Radio Shack did save my bacon by selling me a null modem at 4:55 pm on a Sunday. The last one in stock. The clerk said I was lucky, because they weren’t reordering that part.

  11. Volkemon says:

    Here’s hoping Thomas is right…just a nickname…

    I remember going to ‘Radio Snack’ as a kid in the 70’s every month as a proud member of the battery club…one free per month.

    Yes, the counterpeople are cell sales reps for the most part around here. But I still also use the components area on a somewhat regular basis…Recently getting 470uf caps to fix flatscreen monitors and refrigerator control boards.$1.59 each, and there when I need them on a saturday.

    I suppose it is like anything else- If we dont go there, it will die out and we can complain that it died. I have 2 here in our town, and will see what changes are taking place.

    1. Sean says:


      Funny thing how as they reduced component availability, my almost weekly trips to their store died off. It’s been quite the reverse. I can’t complain that it died, but that it became useless.

      It’s easier for me to order and stock my own now, so unfortunately their capabilities will dwindle to big screen accessories and cell phones.

  12. Chad says:

    i have always been a fan of the shack as a kid going in there to buy this or that ( funny thing i have an old box of electronic junk ( this i had as a kid) that i cam across a few days ago looking for something else and in it were heaps of old rs resistors and at least 6 or 7 spools of magnate wire!!) — good this i found it cause i have been working on a sw radio that this will come handy with.

    it did really tic me off when rs went to selling cell phones and more employees — as soon as i would walk in i would be asked if i needed any cellphone or cell accessories — i would reply that i was going to the components and needed this or that — about 2 minutes later another employee asked if i needed any help — again i told them i was here for the components and was asked if i needed any cell phone accessories– again i said no !! by the time i finished gathering my parts went to the counter to find a different employee asking if i had found everything — oh but of course i did — what do you think happened next — a cell phone questions again!!! ooohh i had it i went off the manager came over and i told him this is outrageous 3 or 4 people asking if i wanted cell phones to they not get the hint or talk with one or the other to tell them selves hay this guy doesnt want cell phones much apologies from the manager and a discount on my purchase

    i still like rs im sure that the cell sells make them more money than the .99 cent resistor pack i just bought, i just cring when i go in there at times when im the only customer ( do i have a stamp on my forehead telling i want a cell phone!!)

    i did find another local rs the other day that had tons of components and the employee was real helpful on finding that missing rotary switch that was in another bin

    rs stay strong!!! ill still buy from you — just not a cell phone or accessories for a cell phone!!

  13. greyfade says:

    Radio Shack stopped being relevant to me over 10 years ago. I hope the company collapses under its own weight.

    I have no love for a company that alienates the very hobbyist community it helped foster.

  14. alandove says:

    As usual, The Onion hit this one on the head before anyone (see “Even CEO Can’t Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business,” in the April 23, 2007 issue). Changing the name is a last-ditch effort to churn up more interest, but it’s pretty clear they’re headed the way of Circuit City.

  15. Anonymous says:

    they should change the name to “Phone Shack” as they haven’t carried a decent radio in years….
    “Radio Shack: you got questions? we’ve got confused looks”….

  16. Nate the Great says:

    I regret to inform you guys that I have never had the chance to really mess around with resistors and radios and all that cool stuff, but I am sad about it because the very company that made my grandfathers a lot of money is turning its back on them. But maybe there will be some other company that would be more than happy to sell you guys some parts, components, etc etc etc.

    I am so disgusted at these cowards they make me wanna spit. I hope the entire company comes under not new power but a better power. But if RadioShack isn’t going to be a RadioShack then it will be a NoShack. If we need help we will ask. I may be a novice at that stuff but it is good to know that there are some that like to keep the candle lit!

  17. Drew says:

    I go into radio shack all the time for components. Sorry that I don’t want to buy a cellphone and/or cellphone charger. If they go under and/or reduce part availability, then I’m screwed. Then again, maybe a local business would take over, which honestly might not be that bad, considering their prices on components.

  18. says:

    The local Radio Shack parts dept. was one of my hang-outs when I was in high school (early 80’s); the clerks knew me by name. One day they expressed surprise when I put a TTL data book on the counter to purchase; they had seen me carrying it around in the store and assumed it was my own copy and had simply brought it in with me that day!

    In recent years I have been increasingly disappointed on my visits to Radio Shack – they rarely seem to have what I’m looking for anymore. Worst of all was the recent incident when I was desperate for a CPU cooler for an older CPU on a Sunday afternoon and their web site listed a suitable one, but as I called around town I learned the sad truth. Not only did the stores not stock it, one didn’t even know what a CPU cooler was and seemed genuinely puzzled as to why I would be calling them to look for one. I honestly don’t know what their core business is anymore, unless it is cell phone and MP3 player accessories.

  19. Foo says:

    I’m glad they are changing their name. They are NOT Radio Shack anymore. When I was a kid I’d go there for piles of capacitors and transistors and the guys working there could actually help me decipher schematics. Now, its pimply faced morons trying to sell me overpriced TVs and cellphones. Their “parts” section is extremely limited and overpriced. Sometimes I’m in the middle of a project and realize I’m out of .22 uf caps or whatever and run over to Radio Shack… they don’t stock that stuff anymore. Only 1 uf or .1 uf and they are like a dollar a piece. I can get 100 of them from ebay for 2 bucks! I think the only thing I’ve bought there in a year is a 5 pack of plastic knobs. So the name NEEDs to be changed as they no longer (and haven’t for some time now) represent what Radio Shack was.

  20. alexandre dumar says:

    like Foo says, they should get back to what made them successful in the first place. i’m not sure how a rename is going to help them. here’s the best article i’ve seen on the subject so far, “the shack goes the way of the hut.”

  21. nick says:

    I wonder if they’ll still give you a ten foot receipt every time you buy something.

    1. sean says:

      Heh, had to double over twice the last one to get it in my wallet. If I’d bought 10 items, I probably would have to go for four folds. I know that thermal paper is quite expensive, having to buy it for our own retail counter. Not sure what they gain by using it by the foot.

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