Print 21 comment(s) - last by Dorkyman.. on Aug 9 at 4:03 PM

Radio Shack changes its name

As long as I can remember, Radio Shack has been around. In fact, my first real computer came from Radio Shack. That machine that started my love of things geeky and digital. Radio Shack was once a place to go to get radios I guess. As long as I can remember, you could get all sorts of odd electronic components and questionably useful toys there.

Apparently most consumers are like me and have no idea why the company is called Radio Shack so the company is rebranding itself to something different. The store will reportedly be called The Shack. That name is questionable in my book. The Shack doesn't sound like a place I want to go and hang out and worse, it makes me think of the B-52's (damn it Love Shack is stuck in my head now).

Engadget reports that the company will continue to be called Radio Shack corporately. One thing that is likely is that the rebranding has a lot to do with the fact that Radio shack is becoming more of a mobile phone and computer place today than it ever has been. Radio shack was the first in America to offer a subsidized netbook and the company recently signed an agreement to offer T-Mobile phones in its stores.

Supposedly, The Shack will be having a celebration to kick off the new name in San Francisco and New York with 14-foot tall laptops to stream images from webcams to and from each city. Sounds like a shindig.

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whats amazing
By kattanna on 8/3/2009 2:01:16 PM , Rating: 4
is that they are still in business.

with todays places like best buy or frys for parts and such, im honestly amazed they are still in business.

they are all so small and limited in what they can carry.

RE: whats amazing
By troysavary on 8/4/2009 4:46:48 AM , Rating: 5
Sometimes being small and specialized is a good thing. Here, in Canada, Radio Shack was bought buy Circuit City and renamed The Source. It now sucks as a place to go buy component.All they have in stock are computers, consumer electronics, and common cables like RCA and USB. I went looking for a SATA cable and a PATA-SATA power adapter, and not only did they not have them, them sales kid looked at me blankly when I asked for them.

RE: whats amazing
By PitViper007 on 8/5/2009 12:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
That's not just Canada, but here in the US as well. I also was looking for a SATA power adapter and the guy actually asked me, "What's it used for?". I still get some components there, resistors, fuses, batteries, etc. but anything "modern" forget it.

RE: whats amazing
By Dorkyman on 8/9/2009 3:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
The Radio Shacks here in Oregon stock tons of connectors, such as RCA-to-phono plugs; stuff like that. Never cared that much for their branded electronics stuff like walkie-talkies (boy, am I dating myself!) but I've bought plenty of stuff like that from them over the years. They are still famous for their inexpensive sound level meter.

The BIG warehouse store around here is Fry's Electronics, and that's the place to go for PCs, TVs, DIY PC cases and components, ink, printers, phones, and so forth. I could live without Radio Shack. I couldn't live without Fry's.

RE: whats amazing
By Dorkyman on 8/9/2009 4:03:37 PM , Rating: 2
I mention Fry's, but forgot to mention that they bought many of their humongous warehouse stores from--surprise!--Incredible Universe, which was started by Tandy back in the early 1990's. After a promising start the stores faltered and many of them were sold to Fry's.

Why it is called Radio Shack
By Hugmup on 8/3/2009 12:45:58 PM , Rating: 3
Radio Shack began as chain of electronic stores that catered to ham radio operators who built their own radios. They sold resisters, capacitors, cables, and other such electronic stuff. A ham radio operator often has his radio equipment and his huge antenna in a small building in the back yard, and that building is called a radio shack. Hence the name of the chain. Radio Shack and Lafayette were the two major chains that addressed this market.

Today, the ham radio market is a very small part of their business and the name "Radio Shack" is a puzzle to most of their customers. However, I don't think "The Shack" is an improvement, because it hardly connotes sturdiness and substance.

RE: Why it is called Radio Shack
By gshowe1 on 8/3/2009 1:16:18 PM , Rating: 2
Close but no cigar. As a 33 year veteran of RadioShack believe me I know my history. The name is derived from the Navy nomenclature. But you are accurate about it catering to the Hamsters when it started. In additon it was effectively the first retail outlet where a consumer could expect to find a significant selection of component level electronics.

RE: Why it is called Radio Shack
By TheEinstein on 8/3/09, Rating: -1
RE: Why it is called Radio Shack
By tmouse on 8/4/2009 8:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
Not really seeing the difference between your definition and the other one. Radio shack is a generic term for a place where ham equipment is kept. I kind of doubt any naval personnel would refer to any part of their ship as a shack. A radio shack is usually just that, some form of temporary base housing for the radio equipment. The army and marines also used the term. Maybe you see a major discrepancy, but it seems like mouse milking.

RE: Why it is called Radio Shack
By tmouse on 8/4/2009 8:39:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'll stand corrected, some of my friends who are ex-navy say the radio room is sometimes referred to as the "radio shack". Funny; these guys go totally ape crap if you refer to a ship as a boat but are Ok with the term shack, which always means a non durable structure. Still in the 20's things were very formal in the navy and I would think on a ship the place would be more often referred to as the radio room. During WWII things got a bit more lax and many of the base radios were indeed housed in shacks.

RE: Why it is called Radio Shack
By 16nm on 8/8/2009 10:10:52 AM , Rating: 2
After the deal with one aging Lance Armstrong, I thought RS were entering into some kind of marketing deal with the aging Shaquille O'Neal to promote their crud. Nope - they just like the name "The Shack." This idea must have come from the top brass and no one had the balls to tell them how it sucked.

Ad Campaign
By 3minence on 8/3/2009 12:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
They are also going to be sponsoring Lance Armstrong's team in the Tour de France next year. This is probably an attempt by them to reinvent themselves and reverse the falling sales they've been experiencing. Rename themselves, sponsor a high vis sports team, etc.

RE: Ad Campaign
By Spacecomber on 8/3/2009 4:42:05 PM , Rating: 5
You've got questions - we've got bicycles.

Whats in a name?
By Sulphademus on 8/3/2009 11:59:02 AM , Rating: 2
I suppose the name doesnt matter but it really does sound stupid. The Shack ? It really does sound like a bar or such. I eat at a place called Shanes Rib Shack regularly. Love Shack? I hate the B52s.
Personally, I havent found anything worthwhile there in many years, with the only exception of an odd electronic component here and there.
So they want to change the name? Maybe bring back business. "We're NOT Radio Shack any more! Please come back!" Could work but Im doubtful.

Link related.

RE: Whats in a name?
By MrBlastman on 8/3/2009 12:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
Shane's Rib Shack is awesome. I love that place. It is even better now that they've started serving fried okra.

But, you ask, what's in a name? Imagine this for a moment... *dreamy music plays*

A. Dude: Hey man, I'm goin to the shack!

Horny Dude: No way! Are they hot?

A. Dude: Yeah, totally, they're gonna be crowded this weekend.

Horny Dude: Sweet! I just bought this Fleshlight and really have been looking to test it out in a live place.

A. Dude: Flesh-what? Is that some new electronic gadget they sell?

Horny Dude: Sell? No, I bought it online man. Hey, I'm gonna go grab my lube and head down to the jack shack myself!

A. Dude: ........

So there you have it folks, a name is everything. Radio Shack, now your local jack shack, or love shack, or, well, whatever - you get the point.

The Name History
By gshowe1 on 8/3/2009 12:09:16 PM , Rating: 4
The original owners of RadioShack, named it so because they were retired navy radio operators. In those days the ships communication gear was usually located high and away from the ships turbine or diesel engines which were prone to generate high levels of RFI thus rendering the radios useless if located too close. This often required the radio station to be placed in a seperate shielded cabin on the ship which was branded the "Radio Shack". Later, (then CEO) Len Roberts rebranded the corporation RadioShack (one word) for reasons that had to do more with the stock symbol and wall street than with the nature of the brand.

"A Place to go and hang out"?
By osalcido on 8/5/2009 11:16:24 AM , Rating: 2
Who the hell hangs out at Radio Shack? Some kinda new level of uber-geek Im not aware of?

By GaryJohnson on 8/7/2009 3:29:06 PM , Rating: 2
I know you are but what am I?

Dumb move on their part
By 91TTZ on 8/3/2009 1:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
"Radio Shack" had a lot of name recognition. It doesn't matter that people didn't know the origin of the name, that fact is irrelevant. Most people don't know what "IBM" stands for either, or what "Pepsi" means. But they know the name, and that's all that matters.

By changing their name they're abandoning that name recognition. I think they'll fall into obscurity if they change it. Personally I think they'll abandon the idea pretty soon since it's not going to work.

By Zedtom on 8/5/2009 2:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
They need to decide if they want to keep their loyal, long term customers or cater to a new group of consumers. They experimented with the big box concept named TechAmerica, then changed that to

I gave up on them after many years of purchases and now only browse their stores.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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