A 60-Second History of RadioShackby
RadioShack's bankruptcy filing caps a nearly century-old history of supplying useful and sometimes strange things to America. Over the decades, the brand became one of the most famous in retail, dotting shopping centers across the country. Along the way came a parade of slogans, from "America's Electronic Shopping Center" to "You’ve Got Questions. We've Got Answers."
The retailer gets its start as a small shop in Boston that sells ham radios. A radio shack was the wooden structure on ships that held the radio equipment.
It's the golden age of radio, and the company jazzes up its logo to reflect the times.
OK, enough of that nonsense. The store now has a room to showcase audio equipment such as amplifiers and speakers. The company begins omitting the definite article from its logo. Cool, at the time.
The chain's '60s makeover gives the logo a twist.
Tandy Corp., which got its start as a supplier of leather-shoe parts in Texas, buys Radio Shack. The combined company would go by Tandy until 2000, when it switched to RadioShack.
RadioShack sells its first fully electronic calculator.
The company offers the first mass-marketed, fully assembled PC—you didn't have to build it yourself from a kit. The TRS-80 sported a Level II BASIC operating system created by a young man named Bill Gates.
The new logo screams the '80s as loud as shoulder pads and red leather jackets.
It's a laptop! Radio Shack brings us the TRS-80 Model 100, which the company calls "the first of its kind in the computer industry."
Three years before Wall Street would come out, Radio Shack starts selling mobile phones.
You can now buy satellite TV from the Shack.
The off-center R is here, with a cool, crisp logo. The '80s are over.
Tandy changes its name to RadioShack and begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange as RSH. The NYSE delisted the ticker this week.
What's going on with that R?
In a natural pairing, Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal does ads promoting the retailer's small gadgets. It's funny because Shaq is large.
With Shaq as its celebrity spokesman, RadioShack becomes the official consumer electronics retailer of the NBA.
The company starts referring to itself as the Shack.
More fussing. What else was there to do?
New York City is home to the first RadioShack "concept store," part of an effort to modernize the chain. More stores are converted to the new format, which showcases the latest technology in an Apple-ier atmosphere.
The company makes a final effort at rebranding itself with the slogan "It Can Be Done, When We Do It Together."
It can't be done.