“It’s as if a thousand stores cried out in terror.” This was the case February when RadioShack filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced plans to sell between 1,500 and 2,400 of its stores. For anybody with an affinity for technology, this announcement is sad news. Let’s honor the passing of an American institution by taking a look back at the Shack.
Fact: RadioShack has been around for as long as you can remember. The founding of RadioShack dates back to 19-before-electricity-was-everywhere-21 by two Boston brothers, Theodore and Milton Deutschmann. The name “Radio Shack” was a relevant choice for back then, seeing that they primarily sold radio equipment to ships off the Boston port and the average boat housed its radio equipment in a wooden, shack-like structure.
As you’re well aware, RadioShack went on to sell much more than radio equipment for boats. The store expanded to specialize in virtually every piece of consumer electronics one could ever need or want, like computers, cameras, portable telephones, televisions, remote control cars, and much, much more. The height of the RadioShack empire saw 4,297 stores open for business and RadioShack’s stock prices peaked in 1999.
The demise of RadioShack can be attributed to a host of different factors, such as the Internet cutting into the sales of brick and mortar retail stores, poor management, and the ever-changing needs of consumers. We could spend all day analyzing what went wrong with RadioShack, but that’s not for today. Instead, we want to pay homage to the Shack by taking a look back at its glory days, and nothing captures the essence of RadioShack better than four decades worth of television commercials, many of which are available on YouTube. Here’s to you, RadioShack!
1976: Back When Catalogues Where All the Rage
Do you have fond memories of spending time down at the Shack? Which one of these commercials did you enjoy the most? Express your love for RadioShack in the comments!