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Radio Shack Closings Hit Close To Home

Radio Shack Closings Hit Close To Home

It seems as if every week, we read about more retail store closings. Over the last 12-18 months, Macy’s, Sears, JC Penny, K-Mart, HH Gregg, Aeropostal and countless other retailers have announced wide spread store closings.  I have posted about how malls are re-inventing themselves because of these closures (see post Here). As a real estate attorney, I have worked with clients, landlords, tenants and developers, in a dispassionate manner to lease, re-let and re-develop space that has become available because of store closings.  But recently, the store closing sign went up at my neighborhood Radio Shack and I had a flood of memories.  Of course, Radio Shack has been in the news for well over a year, announcing bankruptcy and store closings.

If you were a kid in the 70’s and early 80’s, Radio Shack was Brookstone and Sharper Image before there was a Brookstone or Sharper Image. It was the place where you would go when you outgrew the local toy store with your father or grandfather to hang out and maybe spend a few dollars.  If you were into music, Radio Shack was the place to go.  We got our clock radios and portable FM radios there.  Later, we got portable AM/FM/Cassette decks and then boom boxes that we brought to the beach.  And, the gadgets and toys were the coolest.  It was the place to get radio controlled cars.  My brother and I convinced our parents to get us an intercom system that we connected between our rooms – the wire hung down the hallway above our heads.  It was the first place where we bought hand held digital calculators that we used in middle school math and algebra 1.

My parents bought my brother and me the first TV we had for our bedroom at Radio Shack – a 9 inch black and white. For college, I upgraded to a 12 inch color TV from Radio Shack!

Later, when cable TV first came out, it was the place to go to buy “CO-AX” cable. Then, before Office Depot and Best Buy became huge and as the home computer industry was beginning, we went there to buy the equipment that we needed, but didn’t understand why, like routers and cables.  My first DVR’s – Tivos – came from Radio Shack.

Sadly, over the last 15 years or so, I only go to Radio Shack to stock up on batteries at the beginning of hurricane season and to buy the odd size batteries you have a hard time finding. I also go there to buy cordless telephones for our land line (yes, we still have a land line).  Unfortunately, Radio Shack hasn’t been able to keep up with the times.  But what great times we had there.  What great products we bought there.  So, as my neighborhood Radio Shack closes, I will have to take one last trip.  Maybe they have a radio controlled helicopter left that I never got around to buying!

David Blattner

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