Some truthful info from a RadioShack employee:
RadioShack stores are easily accessible to about 95% of the population of the US, and the corporation decided to try to leverage this fact to ensure success as a consumer electronics store. They haven't done such a good job.
Yes, we ask for your name and address. No, you don't need to give it out. In fact, we're trained to drop the subject if you resist. Though some employees tend to be jerks. Especially the ones who have worked for RadioShack for a long time.
The Name and Address info is used to look up prior receipts (for 90 days at the sale location and indefinitely from the database in Fort Worth), it's used to track warranty information, to verify refund validity (to prevent employee fraud), but most of all, to send you a sales flyer. If you don't want it, don't give out your name and address. You don't have to dispense that info, but you also don't have to be an ass
about the whole thing.
RadioShack products are made for RadioShack by major manufacturers and then branded as RadioShack-brand products. Most RadioShack employees will claim that their company manufactures all its own products. The smarter employees will admit that the manufacturing is contracted to other companies but usually will not specify which.
In actual fact, the batteries are made by a major name brand (Energizer
, allegedly), the music keyboards are mostly made by Casio
, the cordless phones are made by about a half-dozen companies including GE
, and Uniden
. Or so I'm told by my boss, who has worked for the Shack for 14 years.
RadioShack does remain a good place to get a cell phone
. But don't let the salespeople talk you into buying one, make your own damn decision. A lot of "Sales Associates" will try to push cell phones because we make incentive pay, called "spiffs," sometimes up to $35 or more on a fully-accessorized cellular sale.
The last really good aspect of RadioShack is that it is a decent place to get electronic parts before 9 PM in most of the USA. But even this asset is shrinking every year as the parts shift more to special order.
Ultimately, the Shack is doomed. Online stores will be able to provide electronic parts faster and cheaper then RadioShack special order, and department stores have perfectly nice consumer electronics at better prices.
RadioShack started to suck when they took out the space between Radio and Shack.