Dear Radio Shack,
I hope that this letter finds you well, and that you take some of what I’m about to say to heart. Not only your success, but in my opinion, your survival, depends on it. You’ve lost your way. You’re failing in almost every way possible. I don’t even want to visit your store anymore. I have to say, this sucks. Let me go back a few years, and talk about our history.
I’ve always been into electronics. As a kid, I can remember scraping together a few dollars, getting on my bike, and riding across town to your Piqua store, the ‘real one’, not the one out at the mall (I’m from Ohio). I would be greeted by a familiar face, an older gentleman (not some high school kid with a seasonal job) who could answer my questions about electronics components, and I would spend literally HOURS looking through the walls of components, and sure as shit, before I left, my hands were full, and you had every dollar that I came with in your cash register. You had a well-defined product line (well before the days of trying to compete selling cell phones, and lets be honest I would NEVER buy a cell phone from Radio Shack, I’m not an idiot) and you could be sure that I’d be back a few weeks later. You had a captive audience, and a ‘customer for life’. But you’re not the same company anymore. You’ve failed me. You’ve failed us all.
You tried selling computers (I applaud you for this, although by the time the ‘clone wars started’ your success with this was pretty much over), stereos systems, toys, cell phones, and just about everything else under the sun. Did I buy any of it; not really. All this time, your components section kept getting smaller and smaller. Eventually you closed ‘the real store’ and all I had was ‘the mall store’, which never was worth a hoot. I can’t say that I ever purchased anything from your website, when that time came (fast forward 20 years), and now, I can barely bring myself to walk into your doors. That said, you’ve done a few things that have surprised me, and I think you have the opportunity to not just turn things around, but to become something that ONLY Radio Shack can be….. THE SOURCE for ELECTRONICS. And I’m talking COMPONENTS.
Companies like Adafruit, Sparkfun, and dozens of other internet retailers are keeping inventory, and selling to the masses. They’re selling the stuff that you USED to sell, and made MILLIONS on. I buy from them because they have what I need in stock, and they get it to me quick. They treat me right. They’re making money hand over fist, and focusing on what you USED to do – selling components to hobbyists. If I could go to your brick and mortar, pay 20% more, and get it today, i would do it every time. Hell, I’d even go two towns over (you don’t HAVE to have 2 stores in a town with 20,000 people) I want the 1988 Radio Shack back. When will you listen? It’s not too late. Wake up, nobody wants cell phone shack.