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RadioShack Trying To Return To Its DIY Roots 413

Posted by timothy
from the ghost-of-christmas-past dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In what seems to be a desperate attempt to keep the company afloat, RadioShack has made a video appeal to the DIY community that helped the retail chain grow into what it is today. The days of amateur radio operators and tinkerers flocking to the store are long gone, but it seems that the company wants to issue a mea culpa and move forward."
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RadioShack Trying To Return To Its DIY Roots

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  • by russ_allegro (444120) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @02:53AM (#36271410) Homepage

    They don't do that anymore, in fact when they changed their policy it was posted on slashdot.

    RadioShack stops being nosy [slashdot.org]

  • by gordguide (307383) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @08:27AM (#36272458)

    the ones that have been rebranded 'The Source by Circuit City' in Canada still sell a modest range of components and miscellaneous useful adapters and cables and so on at decent prices. Nothing like as decent a range as Maplins in the UK, but better than the big box electronics stores.

    Actually, they're neither Radio Shack or Circuit City operations in Canada.

    They're owned by Bell Canada; Circuit City USA went bankrupt and in 2009 Bell bought the Canadian assets of The Source from Circuit City, which were still profitable and a viable operation, and operated by a Circuit City subsidiary, a company called InterTAN.

    InterTAN was formed from the former Canadian operations of Tandy/Radio Shack ... don't know the exact date, but think 20 years or so, when Tandy USA spun off and sold them to Canadian investors. If you dig through your parts bin, you definitely have to go a long way back to find the Tandy Radio Shack name in the small print on the back of the package if you bought it in Canada; for many people, all they will have will be marked InterTAN instead, even if it says Radio Shack on the front.

    There was a licensing agreement to use the Radio Shack name, however, as part of the deal. When Circuit City bought InterTAN in 2004, that licensing agreement was declared invalid (after a lawsuit, by Radio Shack USA, of course) in 2005. Thus the rename to "The Source by Circuit City".

    Technically now they're called "The Source (Bell Electronics, Inc)". Some stores, however, to this day retain the old branding with the "The Source by Circuit City" name on the outside signage. You could probably chalk that up to Bell being cheap more than anything else.

    InterTAN, which is still based in Barrie, Ontario, was created out of a big part of the "old" Radio Shack operation in Barrie, which was responsible for sourcing components offshore and commissioning the Radio Shack branded parts, like Archer, Realistic, etc, and warehousing and distributing stock for North America. It was sold by Radio Shack's parent company, I believe which is Tandy, and renamed InterTAN at that time.

    So, there hasn't been a true Radio Shack in Canada for many years, and although the two companies have been independent for a very long time, there was some relationship that saw the same products in both stores, but also they differed with each offering unique products not available to the other. Although there is some relevance because there are similarities between the two national companies product mix and target customers, for the most part this /. submission has nothing to do with the Canadian situation.

    Since they're now owned by one of Canada's largest cellular phone networks, it's hardly surprising that the phones are prominently marketed in the stores in Canada.

  • by viridari (1138635) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @09:22AM (#36272786)

    Now, there's no choice but to go to DigiKey and Mouser, and figure out how I'm going to meet their minimum order requirements, when all I wanted was $5 worth of stuff.

    Poo to that! There are a ton of small shops on the 'net that cater to enthusiasts and will sell small quantities of components to you quite happily.

    • http://www.sparkfun.com/
    • http://www.makershed.com/
    • http://store.fungizmos.com/
    • http://www.adafruit.com/

    Though for bread & butter components that I am going to use pretty regularly, I'll buy those on eBay. Mostly from Chinese sellers but sometimes there are some stateside sellers competing for your business. Most of the time I get my components in from China within a week or two. I've actually had them beat Sparkfun to my mailbox when I place orders on the same day. Sometimes things get held up and you can wait a few weeks. So don't be in a rush if you go the eBay/China route.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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