manager, store, radioshack
Comments: 243 • Responses: 72 • Date: 2013-01-12 22:13:48 UTCsource
punkerror54 karma2013-01-13 04:16:51 UTC
As a former Circuit City employee, I give you my sincere apologies for sending you all of the whackjobs looking for crazy-ass adapters. I knew damn well there wasn't an HDMI to RCA adapter, nor a parallel to USB one, yet it was kind of a running gag to tell people they could find it at Radioshack
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Vypir50060 karma2013-01-13 04:18:00 UTC
IT WAS YOU!
lPFreeIy18 karma2013-01-13 05:56:30 UTC
Former Autozone employee here, sent you guys plenty of people looking for random electrical connectors and all. I have no idea what Radioshack actually stocks, so I assume at least 75% of the people I sent there were for no reason
Vypir50019 karma2013-01-13 06:06:36 UTC
Former Radioshack employee here. I've done the same.
Snuffy171733 karma2013-01-12 22:32:02 UTC
So... How do you really stay in business?
Vypir50031 karma2013-01-12 22:40:09 UTC
I was someone who could see a direct loss and profit report, I sometimes wonder myself. The profit of phone sales is pretty much non existent unless you are the only business in town. Their profit stems from the bits and pieces. However it's not much vs the rent space cost for most of their establishments. In my district, about 12 of 15 stores operated in loss.
azd914 karma2013-01-12 23:27:07 UTC
Why do radioshack franchises stay open if they are loosing money? Why does corporate not change their model if it is loosing so much money? It seems like they would benefit from some sort of rebranding. People want to buy cell phones from their cell phone company usually and thats the only high margin market radioshack is in.
Vypir50023 karma2013-01-12 23:38:12 UTC
Radioshack re-branded about 3 years ago to "the shack" and it failed. That marketing company is no longer employed. (recently hired the company responsible for the e-trade commercials). Old radioshack customers had the "know how" to fix their electronics. In today's age is almost as cheap to buy it new rather than waste time fixing it. (most electronics). Radioshack saw the new trend towards mobile electronics and tried to dive in with the big boys. Their stock price is result of how well they're fairing, and how ill prepared I believe they were. I always had ideas how radioshack should transform to make money but I'm just a manager at one of thousands of locations.
EDIT: Also, if you google deep enough they operate on revolving cash flow (top line sales), and a new loan for $100 million.
mehughes1245 karma2013-01-13 10:44:40 UTC
Who the heck loaned them $100 million?
Vypir5005 karma2013-01-13 15:57:44 UTC
If I remember correctly it was wells fargo
amosjones14 karma2013-01-12 22:27:10 UTC
I don't go to Radioshack anymore because the salesmen are so pushy, I can't be the only one. Does Radioshack feel the sales they make using this kind of technique make up for the customers they lose?
Vypir50021 karma2013-01-12 22:44:35 UTC
During the days of ceo Julian Day and the recent push into the cell phone market, the employees are held to strict goals to sell cell phones . When i hired new employees, I made sure they knew this. If they sold nothing but cell phones, radioshack would be happy.
bluegreenredmage11 karma2013-01-12 22:16:15 UTC
How much do you make from drug dealers/ shady characters/ regular prepaid phone buyers? is this a thing?
Vypir50021 karma2013-01-12 22:48:55 UTC
I worked in a top ten violent city in the u.s. and anything from prostitues buying prepaid joe phones to prepaid burners for drug dealers was my bulk business. Many stories to tell there lol. Most customers were shady, however not harmful. Other stores had a high volume prepaid phone sales to illegal imigrants who wont pass credit check.
The_One_Above_All6 karma2013-01-13 02:10:19 UTC
And none of that matters, because money is money.
Vypir5007 karma2013-01-13 02:31:22 UTC
money is money because its not much of a lively-hood otherwise.
bluegreenredmage3 karma2013-01-12 23:00:09 UTC
how much are they?
Vypir5006 karma2013-01-12 23:13:03 UTC
Phones as low as $5. Usually around $20.
bluegreenredmage3 karma2013-01-12 23:15:16 UTC
much less than i thought. how much is airtime?
Vypir5003 karma2013-01-12 23:16:51 UTC
Radioshack sells as low as $10. Rates vary with carrier/provider
bluegreenredmage2 karma2013-01-12 23:16:18 UTC
hang on i pay sixty a month for a super basic prepaid service. too much?
Vypir5005 karma2013-01-12 23:32:53 UTC
If you're only talking maybe. It depends on what you do with a phone?
azd91 karma2013-01-12 23:23:33 UTC
Have you ever rejected selling to anyone because you knew they would use it illegally?
Vypir50010 karma2013-01-12 23:33:46 UTC
No, If I did that, my store would have gone under a long time ago. My job is to ask how often you talk, not why you're talking. (just an example)
benjibobism8 karma2013-01-12 22:58:19 UTC
Vypir50026 karma2013-01-12 23:13:24 UTC
Yes, but I like bacon more.
fanboyvalor7 karma2013-01-12 22:26:00 UTC
How many people do you see in one day? At work?
Vypir50012 karma2013-01-12 22:46:25 UTC
Slow stores see as little as thirty transactions however the store I worked at saw around 100. Mind you, most stores see about triple the traffic vs their transactions. (Estimating). In short, not much but its crazy traffic when only 2 people work at one time. Rarely 3.
blackweasel307 karma2013-01-13 03:47:59 UTC
Just wanted to say hi, I am an associate at a radioshack :)
Vypir50016 karma2013-01-13 03:51:28 UTC
You're probably on the clock too lol :) hi!
Topicale5 karma2013-01-13 02:24:51 UTC
I remember, and this was probably in the late 1990's when pushing service contracts was all the rage, going into Radio Shack and buying some "thing" (forget what) for $9.95. The salesman tried to offer me a service contract on it. The cost of the contract? The lowest cost contract RadioShack offered - $9.95. I looked at him and asked if he was serious. He just shrugged. He had to offer it.
Vypir5006 karma2013-01-13 02:29:37 UTC
I've told customers who gave me the same blank stare, "I gotta say it."
We are pizza?
We are Pizza, I gotta say it - RickyBobby
X_RatShacker1 karma2013-01-13 07:55:27 UTC
Number one time of occurrence, until they ended it: "Name & address, please...gotta ask it..."
Vypir5005 karma2013-01-13 08:00:32 UTC
I had to do this...and the customer refused...i fudged all the info. I now have $11 in settlement because of it.
X_RatShacker1 karma2013-01-13 08:21:32 UTC
I got that $11 because they made me go to the bank after I clocked out.
Not good to do in California, but a settlement changes nothing. They can continue as is.
TL;DR IANAL, but managers (several) told me a settlement changes nothing.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 10:10:29 UTC
settlements rarely change anything... it's only money in california
novalsi5 karma2013-01-13 07:35:00 UTC
As a former shack manager, I have to say it doesn't surprise me how little seems to have changed. Other than the faces in the boardroom, of course. That place is fucking Kodak 2.0.
X_RatShacker3 karma2013-01-13 09:34:57 UTC
To their credit, they didn't scrap the subway cars they used to get from the parking lot to the tower: http://slashdot.org/story/03/05/12/1359255/radio-shack-selling-subway-cars-on-ebay
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 10:22:28 UTC
wow I did not know that lol
TLinden315 karma2013-01-13 03:41:25 UTC
You mention your stores weren't necessarily profitable. Can you give us some idea of the numbers? I feel like there are usually 2 people working there, so if they work for 10 hrs at $10 an hr, that's already $100 a day in profit just to cover those employees. It feels like that's impossible based on how many Shacks there are, how few people ever are in there, and the kind of stuff people buy there (low margin, low cost stuff). What do you think?
Vypir5003 karma2013-01-13 03:50:06 UTC
If I sold 10 contract phones in one day (our store average was 2-4) , that might have covered the cost of labor. Radioshack sells phones like the Iphone at almost a loss. However, each contract phone cost about 30 minutes upgrade and 1 hour for new activation on average. Its tough to squeeze in the high margin items when HQ wants you to sell phones.
Numbers: A store I worked at made about $600,000 in top line sales for an entire year. The next year, the company pushed phones and raised our top dollar to nearly $1 million. The difference in profitability? ZERO
we've yet to take into account our non-controllables (if that's a word) such as lease cost, heating and cooling, waste, etc... so the cost of operations per day is higher than you might expect.
Vypir5004 karma2013-01-13 00:59:39 UTC
Does anybody need verification? If so, How would one do so?
julesasner-dt4 karma2013-01-13 03:10:32 UTC
Radioshack seems like the type of store that will fail eventually. Are you seeking another job on the side once in awhile. Or just gonna ride it into the ground than look for another one?
Vypir5006 karma2013-01-13 03:17:48 UTC
I've recently moved on (3 - 4 months ago) to other management when I felt the ship was sinking. I currently manage an office supply store.
cooked234 karma2013-01-13 02:30:07 UTC
Do you think you guys will ever offer kits/merchandise based around raspberry pi projects?
Vypir5005 karma2013-01-13 02:37:14 UTC
Almost good news here
They started bringing back these kits like arduino in select markets via new action from interim CEO Dorvin Lively. Jim Gooch (previous CEO) was "all-in" on cell phones and never got the hint after a 75% slaughter in stock price, but Lively in recent Fort Worth meetings has shown signs of reversing some damage and bringing back old product to help improve their signature category.
rabidstoat3 karma2013-01-13 02:33:07 UTC
I have been to Radio Shack twice in the past five years. Once was to look for a replacement power cord to a piece of electronics, and once was to look for some odd adapter to a really old monitor. Both times I did not find what I needed.
I just wanted to convey my disappointment. I still like you as a person, though!
Vypir5003 karma2013-01-13 02:43:26 UTC
Appreciated, and I share the disappointment. I think I speak for my coworkers and maybe other current RadioShack employee's feel bad to have to turn you away. I don't know of any other place after RadioShack to look, other than private owned shops. (online of course).
classiczach3 karma2013-01-12 23:20:04 UTC
How is RadioShack still in business?
Vypir5007 karma2013-01-12 23:54:08 UTC
phones and technology to drive the traffic; accessories and parts to keep the lights on.
X_RatShacker2 karma2013-01-13 07:56:14 UTC
Plus: By definition, 49% of the population has below average intelligence.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 08:01:02 UTC
berticus3 karma2013-01-13 00:17:17 UTC
You say you have ideas what The Shack(R) should do to turn around business. Could you give some examples?
Vypir5008 karma2013-01-13 00:41:29 UTC
Sure, Most people would say go the way of old. Stick to what worked in the past. Those days are gone. I say stay in the mobile electronics, but get rid of the selling electronics business. Radioshack's strengths I see lie in its sheer number and coverage of its locations and lastly (certainly not least) the talent in who they employ. Change to a service depot. The most expensive part of this idea is hiring and retraining staff to fix electronics again. People do not go to Radioshack first to buy phones, but to ask for help. Charge customers a reasonable price for specialized help and repair of their mobile products. IE tablets, laptops, PC's, cell phones. Stock only accessories and parts as physical (sell-able) inventory. Countless times, at multiple locations, I've experienced people are still looking for a less expensive way to get the most life out of their electronics. This is where accessories come in. Aside from offering timely repairs, offer accessories to help the customer get the most out of their current mobile device. "but vypir500, accessories are cheaper on a certain website retailer, how will you compete?". You can't directly compete on price but you can combat the show-rooming effect. Offer a price point much cheaper than other retailers, but only slightly higher after shipping compared to online retailers. This way the customer decides if a couple dollars more today is worth having it then and now. In my experience its incredible mark up that drives customers online to buy.
In short, be a place where customers can go for help and repair. We are close by, we aren't there to sell you, but help you. Offer a price that's much lower than outright replacement. Reduce overhead by cutting out tv's, laptops, cell phones that you barely make 5% on, and use that towards paying your employees more than minimum. It's not a perfect plan, but I think its worth a shot at this point.
monkeyman806 karma2013-01-13 02:29:03 UTC
IMO that model isn't going to work especially with a franchise fee + any advertising costs required of a franchise. that doesn't get the traffic to justify going to radio shack instead of operating a mom and pop style store.
operating costs are high (fixed cost of salary + benefits) and customer base is very hit and miss.
Vypir5004 karma2013-01-13 03:10:27 UTC
You bring a valid point. Like I said, not a perfect plan.
TLinden311 karma2013-01-13 03:35:06 UTC
Also, geeksquad.com is already a thing.
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 03:39:02 UTC
I was merely pointing out a company take out the ".com" but monkeyman80 brings up a good financial point. It's expensive without the ".com"
rsound3 karma2013-01-13 08:33:07 UTC
Former Sales and then Repair employee: All sorts of problems with this (1) Competent repair people and tools are expensive, and electronics are so cheap as to be throwaway. (2) Liability: Any attempt to fix it means you broke it and owe the customer a free replacement. (3) High margin parts is logical, but but Wall Street pins its metrics on gross sales, not net margin, so that's what we would optimize for.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 10:11:13 UTC
sound comment, makes me rethink my previous comment.
junksaver13 karma2013-01-12 22:40:57 UTC
Is your customer base mostly older generations or younger generations?
Vypir5007 karma2013-01-12 22:49:25 UTC
Depends on the store. My store was all over the age spectrum. Older generation is either batteries or parts. Younger customers are usually mainstream product.
MattARC2 karma2013-01-13 00:05:53 UTC
A phrase I used to share with a tech buddy of mine is " If you need anything to fix anything electronic, your best bet is RadioShack". How true does that still hold nowadays?
Note: I haven't been in the US for 5 1/2 years
Vypir5005 karma2013-01-13 00:11:02 UTC
people used to fix circuit boards and tv's, radios, etc. Now... customers want to fix ipads, phone screens, and so on. They simply do not carry those things to fix the newest electronics and of the pieces they do carry, its too expensive. (1/3 the cost of a new electronic).
In short, you're phrase no longer holds true unfortunately. I miss those days.
Mdcastle3 karma2013-01-13 00:19:47 UTC
I'm old enough to remember those day. Heathkits and the like were a littlle before my time, but I still remember tinkering with stuff in the days before computers and iPhones soaked up every last bit of free time. Nowdays if I need a couple of 50K resistors it's best just to Buy it Now on eBay unless I have enough to justify ordering from Mouser. In my experience if you try to buy anything but a phone from Radio Shack you get terrible to nonexistant service.
Vypir5004 karma2013-01-13 00:44:59 UTC
The incentive from the spiff program was cut from parts and reorganized to offer commission to employees who sell phones. That's where the lack of service and knowledge comes from.
jonschro1 karma2013-01-13 05:17:50 UTC
I was shopping at a local RS and another customer came in looking for a transistor. The employee was obviously clueless so I pointed out the drawers of electronic parts. The worst part was this was a tiny mall shop so there was no reason not to know where it was... I was told I should apply for an open position.
I know this is not typical, I have been to other Radio Shacks where the employees know what I am talking about, but it is hit or miss.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 05:36:37 UTC
Its hit or miss. Turnover roght now might be high so it could be a new associate
dampew1 karma2013-01-13 04:41:59 UTC
Interesting that modern products are less easily repaired than older ones. Is this really a technological trend, or is it a problem with the product? Maybe iphone screens should be more easily replaceable...
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 05:32:20 UTC
I think the tools are being specialized by samsung apple etc.. so in turn yes...new electronics are harder to repair
KindaViking2 karma2013-01-12 22:27:37 UTC
How do you and your co-workers spend your time when there are no customers?
Vypir50010 karma2013-01-12 22:42:51 UTC
Depends on the store, busy stores try to catch up on the awful amount of planogram changes, while i know others to ICST (store transfer) these clearance toys known as PENBO. (Guilty)
ASchway8 karma2013-01-13 01:03:32 UTC
Just wanted to state that those Planograms are a bitch.
Vypir50017 karma2013-01-13 01:16:16 UTC
AMA REQUEST: the bastards who design these things.
ASchway1 karma2013-01-13 05:28:04 UTC
They obviously have never been to a store, nor do they have any idea that products don't fit the way they want them. Is it safe to assume that they haven't changed since I have worked there? Surely there are people out there making a decent buck, when all they have to do is click/drag photos of products onto a blank wall space.
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 05:43:04 UTC
Some things never change...even for other companies
dancingrobot3 karma2013-01-13 06:31:23 UTC
My Anheiswer-Busch(sp?) Planogram guy is fucking awesome. Just tell him prospective stock and he's got the answer.
I should probably ask a question... What kind of phone do you have?
Vypir5003 karma2013-01-13 06:39:59 UTC
It was a rooted evo LTE but i broke the port. Back to evo4G
jakeryan912 karma2013-01-13 07:00:20 UTC
As the son of a current District Manager for Radio Shack (being on the inside of everything, the conference calls, looking up the profit and sales reports, ticket lookups, all that jazz and much more), it is sobering to see a manager who knows what he/she talks about. On that note, how is your relationship with your particular DM/what is/was their strategy on leading your team?
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 07:19:51 UTC
Strategy at the time was improve phone sales in a district that was historically low. Contract push in a district with no consultants... no payroll obviously...i pushed sales by hispanic music in the parking lot and using my free time to help do so.
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 07:11:48 UTC
Oh man... if the relationship was still there it would be professional...the only advice I can give to your father is dont forget to be human every once in a while...and appreciate the wins..don't dwell on loss. The economy is rough..everyone one is losing.. and he's probably getting it worse from regional...more so than I can realize.
mrsquares2 karma2013-01-13 02:05:54 UTC
Can you tell us about your educational background?
Vypir5006 karma2013-01-13 02:28:02 UTC
It's not pretty, couple of years at a local junior college. Couple of years at a university for computer engineering on scholarship for football that didn't pan out, and a nice shiny certification that says I can handle prescriptions. Other than that I worked my way up in RadioShack from a part time sales associate.
mab3oos2 karma2013-01-13 04:03:42 UTC
do you think Radio Shack could be the 7-Eleven of grocery stores? they get away with charging more by being really convenient. long hours, neighborhood locations, stable items,... Not always that I can afford to wait for items to be shipped.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 04:06:32 UTC
Radioshack would have to be bought out by someone willing to do that. No company comes to mind that can take that risk financially. Seems like a good idea, maybe not the open late idea. I only say that because I worked in the worst kinds of neighborhoods.
Polymathic2 karma2013-01-13 03:09:56 UTC
Old time RS alumnus here. Do they still have different classes of stores? When I worked for the Shack and they had their own computers (when dinosaurs roamed the earth), there were X, Y, and Z stores. The classification determined how many of the high-end items you could stock and sell. I think "Z" stores might have been the old "Computer Centers."
These days, I figure it might be who gets to sell which phones or something.
One other question - are the mobile carrier relationships all done via HQ, or do individual stores get to choose which carriers they resell?
Vypir5003 karma2013-01-13 03:16:22 UTC
There are still classes (tiers) of stores as you pointed out. Mine if I remember rights is a Y store. Radioshack wised up a bit and let store managers control inventory a little bit. IE: if your store doesn't carry laptops, you can order them. If they sell within a time period, you can move up in tier for that category. Mobile Carrer is still done via HQ unless you are franchised aside from Corporate.
Polymathic2 karma2013-01-13 04:10:39 UTC
Ok, now it makes sense why I see different mobile phones in different stores. If it's a franchise store, it sounds like they get to make their own agreements.
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 04:12:57 UTC
likely yes, but also take into account some stores won't carry certain carriers because there is no coverage in the area either.
notathr0waway12 karma2013-01-13 04:44:33 UTC
How much did you make (yearly)? How many hours a week did you work?
Vypir5003 karma2013-01-13 05:38:04 UTC
Was on pace for 45k but it was all bonuses. Only 13.60 base hourly.
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 05:40:35 UTC
Worked way too much. Close to 50hrs a week
is_not_chicago2 karma2013-01-13 00:38:23 UTC
are you aware that your "protection plan" is a bunch of bullshit?
Vypir5006 karma2013-01-13 00:49:04 UTC
Are you aware that most retailers offer the exact same bullshit?
Yes I know it's complete BS. Do NOT buy the "protection plan" on phones. ** EVER**.
However, this experience varies on store. There is a way to actually get replacements for your products if the manager is willing. I was always one to replace instead of deny. It was less trouble and time. Saved me and you the hassle. Phones are tough to deal with. Buy your monthly insurance through your provider. They can instruct better for shipping and returning a replacement phone. Still not a great experience that way. Hence my idea for radioshack's new direction.
is_not_chicago7 karma2013-01-13 00:50:14 UTC
Thanks for the honest answer and I didn't mean to be a douche, I just had a horrible protection plan experience.
Vypir5007 karma2013-01-13 00:52:45 UTC
Your experience is shared by many others. I can only console you with upvote.
The_One_Above_All3 karma2013-01-13 02:12:22 UTC
Please, do tell...
Vypir5005 karma2013-01-13 03:06:32 UTC
For Example: (besides cell phones) There are 3 categories when a product comes back. Return to Manufacturer, Scrap, Repair. If the return item can be scrapped, a simple swap beyond 30 days is fine (assuming you bought the plan). This can also apply to certain RMA items. Repair is a SOB for us but I still swapped for customers. If its a phone, you can pretty much throw a swap out the window, RadioShack gets charged the entire price of the phone which hits the paycheck of the manager and everyone going up.
Man walks in with flip phone (sanyo vero) he bought a few months ago, claims its broken. He slams the phone on the glass counter, demands a new one. At this point I have a huge F**K YOU written on my face. So I took a step back and said, "Let's start over, what is wrong with your phone?" He starts to yell saying the small flap that covers the charging port doesn't fit. I pick up the phone off the glass and push the flap into the micro usb port and low and behold it fit! BUT... its pops up slightly to stay flush to the edge of the phone. "SEE IT'S BROKEN!" he continues to shout, now attracting my staff and customers to the scene. I smiled, tried not to sound offensive, and explained this is on purpose. I continued to say that not all phones have covered ports, (took out my phone to show him), and continued to explain how its not broken. He cuts me off, and demands a new replacement. I giving up at this point find his receipt is about 90 days out, and simply reply, "No." He says why not, and I explain ANY contract phone outside 30 days is dealt through Manufacturer or Carrier. (I could have helped him but he was a walking male genital.) He then continues to threaten violence in which I promptly point to the door and say get out. He exclaims "OR WHAT!" I reminded him he is now trespassing and law enforcement will see his way out. He threatens violence once more in which I get a kick out of this (smiling feeling not so threatened). He gets more irate, grabs his phone and motions as if he's going to throw it. I'm fed up at this point and feel like trolling, ask him why he goes around picking fights at local retailers. He looks stunned to hear this... and does nothing but get visibly more angry, cursing, spitting his way out my front door. Last words said...
" HAVE A NICE DAY :) "
X_RatShacker2 karma2013-01-13 08:15:27 UTC
I had an experience like that.
Customer told her kid to steal stuff as she left the store, grabbing stuff.
Was told never to call cops on a customer.
One of the big factors in causing me to change districts.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 10:12:35 UTC
Had a "mother" divert our attention while here (couldn't have been older than 7) son wondered into our back inventory room to rummage through purses and steal a phone. All caught on camera, was confronted oustide the store. Nothing came of the incident :(
Mdcastle2 karma2013-01-13 05:45:16 UTC
That goes for "protection plans" from Best Buy or anywhere too. They're pushed heavily because they're hugely profitable and thus terrible deals for consumers. Just say no. Maybe your widget breaks, but if you put all the money you'd spend buying protection plans into the bank you could buy a new widget and a bunch of other nice things.
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 05:49:25 UTC
Couldn't have said it better myself.
rsound2 karma2013-01-13 09:06:02 UTC
Radio Shack provided me with a career all through college, but it was a nightmare. (1) Free overtime; all end-of-day daily reports and the bi-monthly inventories were done off the clock if you valued your job. And in those days, daily reports took at least an hour, and inventories were a 12-hour marathon. (2) Fraud: many stories here, but the best was being told by the DM to add to customer's income on a Citiline application so they would be approved. That DM was promoted for his great Citiline approval numbers. (3) Commission was cut in half during the Christmas season because it was easier to make sales then. (4) Mangers made minimum wage with the promise of bonus to make up the difference, but something ALWAYS went wrong to cancel the bonus, and the promise was always "you'll get it next year". Managers stayed until they discovered they would never get a bonus. (4) I was an engineering student, and so knew my shit. People would drive to my store to buy things from me. Finally I was told I was being too helpful, and to stop. The mantra was "get them in, get their money, and get them out".
On the other hand, back in those days they made GREAT shit. Ok, to be exact, the had great shit made for them. I'm sitting here at my computer listening to a Realistic STA-2280 receiver I bought in the late 1980's, and it is still running great and is the bee's-knees.
It would be tempting to say "go back to the old days" to save Radio Shack. But things aren't like they used to be. People don't build things or fix things anymore. I got my start in Electronics by building a Science-Fair RK-110 AM radio kit, and wearing the shit out of my 100 in 1 electronics project lab (maybe the wrong name there). I still have that radio; it is playing at the moment.
You may sense both my affection for Radio Shack and sadness for what it has become. I LOVED working there; I was like a boozer swimming in beer. It's sad to see what has become of the old girl. If I had my suggestions (and they are worth what you paid for them; zero) here they are: (1) Quit selling low margin items. You are not going to make it up in volume because Best Buy and Amazon have you beat already (2) And I'm not sure you can do this... Bring back house brands. People would pay extra for Realistic Receivers because they were great quality and you could always get them fixed. But then again, we are a throwaway society and quality don't mean shit anymore. (3) Pay employees the same commission all year. Yes it is easier to make money at Christmas, but we work harder too. (4) Quit finding creative ways to screw managers out of bonus. Your success depends on competent managers in the stores, and you can't keep good people by fucking them, and the "90 day wonders" can't manage their own bowel movements.
Someday I'll write an Ode to Radio Shack, that grand old lady that I remember and was thrilled to work for so many years ago.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 10:19:33 UTC
Bonuses... ya I can see that. I always paid my employees when they worked no excuses, no working off the clock even if it meant my own write up. Inventories where terrible, but the hours where shifted and I was always paid. I do miss the days of the realistic brands. We all see the big picture with margins, the problem I'm still unclear on is the solution itself. the "how" to get out.
elgallote2 karma2013-01-12 23:56:52 UTC
Have you ever hinted at a customer not to buy a certain product because you knew it wasn't very good?
Vypir5007 karma2013-01-13 00:00:10 UTC
I was never the pushy salesman (tried, resulted in too many returns). I was always straight forward. If a certain phone or phone batch was defective or had known issues, I brought it to light, and let the customer decide if it was a make or break deal.
matt3141597 karma2013-01-13 02:44:40 UTC
In university, I interviewed there, and found I just couldn't do it. This was around 2006 I guess. It would just make me sick to sell a 57 year old housewife who doesn't know any better an $89 monster cable, when she can get much the same thing on monoprice for $5
Does selling that kind of stuff (think Monster, Bose, whatever) bother you at all?
Vypir5006 karma2013-01-13 03:12:49 UTC
It doesn't bother me considering I don't sell those overpriced name brands instead I sell the overpriced radioshack brand lol. I do my best to educate the customer, however some are so convinced that the name brand is some how far superior.
EDIT: Happy belated Cake Day
matt3141594 karma2013-01-13 03:20:22 UTC
ah--when I was interviewing, the manager made it a point to tell me the spiffs that the Monster brand products had, I think it was like 10% kickback or something at the time.
Vypir5005 karma2013-01-13 03:26:44 UTC
ah the good ol' days.... spiff on parts lol. This is why people hate coming to radioshack. the incentive is to sell things that HQ wants ... not what the customer wants.
X_RatShacker1 karma2013-01-13 07:56:30 UTC
It isn't sales if it's "What the customer wants."
They don't know what they want, what with all the choices.
You just make HQ's choices easy and obvious.
Hidden markups and all.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 08:17:40 UTC
There is truth to what you're saying.
z_why_z0011 karma2013-01-13 08:23:37 UTC
Where are my magnetic scanner antennas?
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 10:16:55 UTC
some stores labeled as classic stores still carry these items.
[deleted]1 karma2013-01-13 08:13:57 UTC
Where are the 5% 1/4 Watt Resistors?
X_RatShacker2 karma2013-01-13 08:42:15 UTC
Online, where everyone went....
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 10:16:32 UTC
where everyone *else went
the_phone_guy1 karma2013-01-13 04:41:18 UTC
As someone on the 01 side, how do you feel about Radioshack's foray into other retailers (Sam's back in the day, Target now, etc)?
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 05:28:02 UTC
If radioshack plans to do more like enter more stores they might dodge store fronts and avoid rent...maybe...
sledge071 karma2013-01-13 20:21:08 UTC
Have you considered looking for another job since Radioshack is obviously going nowhere?
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 22:06:53 UTC
I have found other employment
sysad471 karma2013-01-13 04:45:48 UTC
In your opinion, do you think that working at Radio Shack would be a good job for a college freshman majoring in electronic engineering?
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 05:39:27 UTC
You cant find another job closer to your profession, however its still retail.
X_RatShacker1 karma2013-01-13 08:08:57 UTC
You are in school, so they won't scrutinize your employment.
To those who want to sell for a mobile provider, RS should not be considered a stepping stone.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 10:14:26 UTC
agreed, if the mobile community is your career path, stick with direct providers. The ladder is VERY short for radioshack.
xcbeast1 karma2013-01-13 08:10:46 UTC
do you have any funny stories of costumer complaints?
Vypir5002 karma2013-01-13 10:16:13 UTC
There are too many to name off. Dumpsters on fire, mike my homeless garbage guy, meth addict claiming suicide, prostitutes as my best sales, managers caught after hours, theft incidents for days. A book, could be written about my store.
jeffhayford0 karma2013-01-13 09:09:35 UTC
I don't understand why they mark up the adapters so much when people are so very aware of how cheap they are online? It's killing the store, no?
I live in LA and I shop at small(er) stores like Ameritron and PacRad because they sell cables, adapters etc at the same price as I can buy online. Why can't RS do the same? Honestly I'd be back there tomorrow if they started doing it.
Vypir5001 karma2013-01-13 10:20:26 UTC
once you've reached a certain profit level (pre amazon.com days) you are held to that standard. Anything less is under achieving. You slash prices to compete, you might run out of support.
virtualoptim-16 karma2013-01-13 04:01:39 UTC
Your store sucks dick. I fucking went in there for a camera charger and couldnt find SHIT. I only put up with the girl at the store pretending to look for it because she had big tits and was pretty hot. But after it became clear we weren't going to hook up, nor was I going to get my camera charger, I walked the fuck out. Thanks to your store, I couldn't get pictures of my grandpa and now he's dead because he was dying of cancer. Now I have NOTHING to remember my grandpa with and it's YOUR FUCKING FAULT RADIO SHACK!!!!
Vypir5009 karma2013-01-13 04:12:06 UTC
Actual Response: Troll? Sorry?
Retailer Response: Since we couldn't find the charger, did you think about upgrading your phone so you could take pictures? even record video!?
Troll Response: While you're out and about flirting with a girl whom has big tits, you're grandpa was wondering why you couldn't send pics of that chick so he could have a decent passing.
virtualoptim-9 karma2013-01-13 04:13:25 UTC
Youre a motherfucker
Vypir5008 karma2013-01-13 04:14:56 UTC
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