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History[ edit ] The first 40 years[ edit ] The company was started as "Radio Shack" in by two brothers, Theodore and Milton Deutschmann, who wanted to provide equipment for the then-nascent field of amateur, or ham radio.
The brothers opened a one-store retail and mail-order operation in the heart of downtown Boston at 46 Brattle Street.
They chose the name " Radio Shack ", which was the term for a small, wooden structure that housed a ship's radio equipment. The Deutschmanns thought the name was appropriate for a store that would supply the needs of radio officers aboard ships, as well as hams amateur radio operators.
InRadio Shack began selling its own private-label products under the brand name Realistchanging the brand name to Realistic after being sued by Stereo Realist. After expanding to nine stores plus an extensive mail-order business,  the company fell on hard times in the s. Radio Shack was essentially bankrupt, but Charles D.
Tandy Corporation Former RadioShack logo — The Tandy Corporation, a leather goods corporation, was looking for other hobbyist-related businesses into which it could expand. It created small stores that were staffed by people who knew electronics, and sold mainly private brands.
Private-label brands from lower-cost manufacturers displaced name brands to raise Radio Shack profit margins;  [ citation needed ] non-electronic lines from go-carts to musical instruments were abandoned entirely.
As an incentive for them to work long hours and remain profitable, store managers were required to take an ownership stake in their stores. Tandywho had guided the firm through a period of growth in the s and s, died of a heart attack at age 60 in November The company manufactured everything from store fixtures to computer software to wire and cable, TV antennas, audio and video tape.
House-brand products, which Radio Shack had long marked up heavily, were replaced with third-party brands already readily available from competitors. This reduced profit margins. Its six profitable stores were sold to Fry's Electronics in ; the others were closed. Inthe company introduced a service known as "The Repair Shop at Radio Shack", through which it provided inexpensive out-of-warranty repairs for more than 45 different brands of electronic equipment.
InRadioShack successfully petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission to allocate frequencies for the Family Radio Servicea short-range walkie-talkie system that proved popular.
The cards also served as generic business cards for the salespeople. Allied Radio[ edit ] InTandy Corporation bought Allied Radio Corporation both retail and industrial divisionsmerging the brands into Allied Radio Shack and closing duplicate locations.
After a federal government review, the company sold off the few remaining Allied retail stores and resumed using the Radio Shack name.
Allied Electronicsthe firm's industrial component operation, continued as a Tandy division until it was sold to Spartan Manufacturing in This also made the Flavoradio the longest production run in radio history.
Originally released in 6 colors or flavors, strawberry, orange, lemon, avocado, blueberry and grape, the line grew to eleven flavors. They were made in Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
The Flavoradio carried the Realistic name until about when it switched to "Radio Shack" then finally "Optimus". When the Flavoradio was dropped from the catalog init was the last AM-only radio on the market. Tandy also inspired the Tandy Computer Whiz Kidsa comic-book duo of teen calculator enthusiasts who teamed up with the likes of Archie and Superman.
Poor compatibility, shrinking margins and a lack of economies of scale led Radio Shack to exit the computer-manufacturing market in the s after losing much of the desktop PC market to newer, price-competitive rivals like Dell.
This logo is similar to the logo they used from In the mids, the company attempted to move out of small components and into more mainstream consumer markets, focusing on marketing wireless phones.
This placed the chain, long accustomed to charging wide margins on specialized products not readily available from other local retailers, into direct competition against vendors such as Best Buy and Walmart. The leather operating assets were sold to The Leather Factory on November 30, ;  that business remains profitable.
Enercella house brand for dry cell batteries, remained in use until approximately RadioShack tape recorder Most of the RadioShack house brands had been dropped when Tandy divested its manufacturing facilities in the early s; the original list included: Realistic stereo, hi-fi and radioArcher antenna rotors and boostersMicronta test equipmentTandy computersTRS proprietary computerScienceFair kitsDuoFone landline telephonyConcertmate music synthesizerEnercell cells and batteriesRoad Patrol radar detectors, bicycle radiosPatrolman Realistic radio scannerDeskmate softwareKitchenMate, Stereo Shack, Mach One, Supertape recording tapeOptimus speakers and turntablesFlavoradio pocket AM radios in various coloursWeatheradio, Portavision small televisions and Minimus speakers.
InRadioShack was one of multiple backers of the CueCat barcode reader, a marketing failure. Name and mailing address were requested for special orders RadioShack Unlimited parts and accessories, Direc2U items not stocked locallyreturns, check payments, RadioShack Answers Plus credit card applications, service plan purchases and carrier activations of cellular telephones.
RadioShack had not made products under the Realistic name since the early s.How to Write a Great Business Plan for Your Small Business in 60 Minutes or Less – With Companion CD-ROM by Sharon Fullen and by John Mullins (Paperback – Jan 25, ) Business Plans Kit For Dummies (For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance)) by Steven D The Ernst & Young Business Plan Guide by Brian R.
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This one-stop resource offers a painless, fun-and-easy way to create a winning plan that will help you lead your business to success. RadioShack, formerly RadioShack Corporation, is the trade name of an American retailer founded in Since , General Wireless Operations, Inc.
has leased the name from Kensington Capital Holdings and operates primarily as an e-commerce website, a network of approximately independently owned authorized dealer stores, and as a supplier of parts for HobbyTown.
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