Radio Shack’s 4/40 suicide.

It’s so sad to see my beloved Radio Shack reduced to this, but it was inevitable.  The powers that be, who manage the Inventory and image, made a lot of poor choices.  When online retailers started to offer more innovation, better quality, and lower prices, it was the perfect storm.  Radio Shack is like a middle age man, dying of years of self abuse and poor decisions, given a gun, a bullet, and a bottle of whiskey.

I am a huge fan of Spark Fun electronics and order all my components from their web store.  Their products far outclass anything that radio shack has ever produced. That said, I went into Radio Shack last weekend. The only reason I even went into Radio Shack was because I needed 4/40 bolts quick, and Ace Hardware didn’t have any for less than 45 cents each.  Don’t get me started on Ace Hardware.

Anyway, I went in and found that every component was on sale for 60% off.  Twenty years ago I would have wet myself.  I honestly looked for stuff to buy, and I couldn’t find anything that I wasn’t willing to pay just a little bit more from Spark Fun.  But I did find the 4/40 bolts.  25 each in various lengths for $3.49 so after my 60% discount it came to about $1.50 I went home and opened the package, I needed to use one of these bolts on a project.  It was then that I noticed that the whole package of bolts were common button head.  Screwed by my bolts.

Anyone who uses small fasteners knows that a common head bolt, that small, is next to impossible to use.  Common head anything should be banned from the earth.  Radio Shack is the only store besides Ace that sells common head 4/40 screws.  Test it your self.  Do a google search for common head screws 4/40.  Here are the first images you get:

Common 440

None are Common.  Everything but Common, is common.

After scrolling down I finally find an image of Common 4/40 screws.  One image.

RS screw

Yes, the only image of common 4/40 screws is from Radio Shack.

This is explains why Radio Shack is failing. An example that can literally fit in a nutshell.  The only rational reason I can think of, is that the Radio Shack senior management must have bought an astronomical amount of crap back in the 70s.  There must be a warehouse full of crappy circuit boards, 7400 series TTL logic ICs, Archer Stereos, Replacement Vacuum tubes, Book shelf speakers, Ham radio antenna connectors, $2.99 packs of 5 resistors, and CBs.

And 4/40 bolts.

Good-bye Radio Shack.  I have had many fond memories, I hate to see you go.  But it’s time.

Now I understand why the coroner is reluctant to allow people to view the body of a loved one who died in a horrible accident.  It would be better if radio shack simply sold off its stock of crap, and quietly shut its doors.  But who would buy their crap?  Ace?

I ordered 4/40 bolts Fastenal.


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