Radio Shack to Kill 500 Stores–Stock Fallen -68% in 12mths

This is a story that hits close to me and is worth the slight departure from normal blogging that I do here.
Its another in a string of sad days for this once great and thriving company. I have very fond and deep feelings for this company that allowed me to earn my stripes as a Mgr and helped me grow so much as a person.

A RS store

But RS is dying a horrible slow death. A 68% drop in share price in a yr. A yr that saw most stks rise 10-20%. Once thought of as a main cog in retail electronics, RS is now a seldom thought of store of last resort.
Instead of kids saying “Neat a cool gift” now you see they say to themselves, “You got me something from Radio Shack?”

Production identification and the brand has been a double edged sword for RS. Like most box stores (Circuit City, Best Buy, Sears, JCP) they have been dealt devastating blows by Amazon and other online retailers.
I still think of the possibility of running another store, but then I remember the ‘other’ parts of managing that come with the title.

They have Mgr positions open locally but I am hesitant to invest time and a future with a company that is flailing about and in its death throes. I long for the days that I could help a customer and know that they were happy when they left and, most importantly, had the right product for their needs. As Mgr. I was able to help employees and future managers grow. That gave me great satisfaction. A person is no better than their worst day, and I tried very hard to have as few of those as possible.

I learned many things while with RS. Perseverance, dedication, loyalty, cooperation, mentoring, patience, and teamwork. I learned to motivate student-employees, motivate parttimers, motivate crusty old vets, and motivate myself. I learned what a P/L was, I learned the glory of profit and “love them parts”. I learned to hate shoplifters and loved shrinking “Shrink”. RS taught me to be a better ME, and in turn make a better RadioShack.
It was worth it then in the 90’s however, but I’m glad I left when I did right before the tech bubble burst in 2000. If I was any closer to the situation than I am now, I am sure I would be truly heartbroken instead of merely nostalgically tearful.

I’ll always be a Shacker. I just wish they were doing better and hope they can find some sort of lightening in a bottle again. If I could help in some small way I would.Writing all of this conjures up some deep emotions much like an old retired ballplayer looking for one more chance for glory.
I really want to manage one again, and am unemployed so the timing is as right as it could be but even now I hear stories that I just can’t relay. It saddens me to see good people either misused or tossed aside.

You don’t get rid of GOOD people when the Macro-problem is the essence of the very business you are in.

But for now I just am sad that a once proud company is contracting and having a terrible time of it.

Old glory