What Happened to America's Electronics Stores?

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  • marc hayes
    marc hayes4 godzin temu

    Babbage's man i forgot about that store spent a lot of money there. i live in Indiana didnt know they where a chain store.

  • rjc0234
    rjc02345 godzin temu

    Almost Ironic. These stores kickstarted an electronic revolution in the USA, and that revolution ended up killing the need to have electronics stores :/

  • ojbeez
    ojbeez8 godzin temu

    Same in UK - Maplins is now no more. Malls just have clothes and coffeee shops and cinemas/bowling alleys nowdays

  • Eagleoneradiogod
    Eagleoneradiogod8 godzin temu

    The 99 cent store is selling nes and super Nintendo remakes so iam gonna go look at them and see if there worth making a video on.

  • Don H
    Don H13 godzin temu

    I miss the days when my buddies an I would do the mall.. I enjoyed searching for a favored 45... (A 45 was a small single play, double sided vinyl record)

  • Lauren Cunningham
    Lauren Cunningham14 godzin temu

    THANK YOU so much for reminding me of Tilt! We had one in Eureka, CA, but I moved over a decade ago. Such good memories

  • Raven
    Raven16 godzin temu

    2:06 former Circuit City employee here from the early 2000s.. The real reason why we did not allow any photography or recording inside of the store is for loss prevention/robbery reasons. The theory is someone can come in, pretend to be taking photos or filming for personal/private reasons, but in reality is "casing the joint", so now the potential thieves have photos or video of the complete layout of the store, where and what kind of security devices or locks are in place, where cameras are positioned/located, and more importantly, where the items of interest/value are exactly located to optimize a planned future robbery. Essentially someone comes inside, takes video of the inside of the store and now this footage allows an organized theft ring to research and familiarize themselves with the layout of store without the risk of each individual thief having to physically case the joint in person before a planned robbery and as a result there now being plenty of security footage of them casing the joint beforehand for police to discover during an investigation or being spotted and deemed suspicious by employees or loss prevention and taken note of

  • TV4Fun2
    TV4Fun222 godzin temu

    RadioShack was always full of cool 80s electronics gadgets. This just started to become a problem in the 2000s and 2010s when they still had exactly the same gadgets.

  • Victor Oro
    Victor Oro22 godzin temu

    Number 4 Nail: PLtoolss Video Reviews! Now a REAL PERSON will make a video on what you're thinking if buying and give you REAL LIFE reviews. There are so many big ticket items that I would have only bought if I was able to watch a real people such as myself, reviewing the item! I probably NEVER would have bought half of them if there wasn't a PLtoolss review.

  • shuppy100
    shuppy10023 godzin temu

    I still tell my boys to go hang out at the mall on boring Saturdays, there like why

    AUDIO MANDzień temu

    *_I missed all the stores you mentioned. You forgot to mention Woolco, K-Mart, and Montgomery Wards_*

  • Tammany Fields
    Tammany FieldsDzień temu

    Recall Circuit City?

  • XonX
    XonXDzień temu

    Used to drool over the pocket computer from radio shack.

  • Patrick Stingley
    Patrick StingleyDzień temu

    It’s a shame all the places where a kid could buy a pack of transistors, resistors and LEDs have gone out of business. Where will our next generation learn about such things?

  • Rick Sadler
    Rick SadlerDzień temu

    The good old days

  • MrPicaso72
    MrPicaso72Dzień temu

    @The 8-Bit Guy Do you happen to remember the name of the arcade that was in Tandy Center?

  • Joe O'Bryant
    Joe O'Bryant2 dni temu

    Most of these sites died before smartphones became widely used. I think online shopping was more the cause than anything else.

  • Jorge Pais
    Jorge Pais2 dni temu

    Same thing happened here in Portugal (and in Europe, I presume). As a teen I always wanted to go shopping with my parents, only to visit the electronic section while they were in grocery section. Today it is awfull to enter in a place where you see nothing more than smarthphones and TVs.

  • Frank Garrett
    Frank Garrett2 dni temu

    I'd give up my cell phone and Amazon if i could go back to the '80s. What a great time it was. Too bad i didn't realize or fully appreciate it at the time.

  • AlwaysLearning
    AlwaysLearning2 dni temu

    CompUSA was great if you wanted to build your own computer. I was sorry to see them go, but online stores put an end to them. Radio Shack was good for everything down to individual resisters and capacitors. Another one I miss is a catalog company called Lafayette Electronics. You could buy a kit and build your own stereo or many other electronic projects. and Heathkit was similar for project kits.

  • Gregg Weber
    Gregg Weber2 dni temu

    IMHO 4 is going away from do/make it yourself. Lazy, lack of confidence, knowledge, no Elmer, and other things needed to get up and go and continue.

  • TalkingGIJoe
    TalkingGIJoe2 dni temu

    computers and video games destroyed the diy electronics stores...

  • Jani Sulaiman
    Jani Sulaiman2 dni temu

    Thanks for this nostalgic experience..... Stunned with items (toys) on Radio Shacks, Sears, Lafayette Radio, even only on catalog when I was a kid....(not in USA)

  • r sprockets
    r sprockets2 dni temu

    The art store he talked about was called the BELL STORE PRIOR TO 1984. When they broke up. Ours was in mall packed all the time and popular seller was. The Mickey mouse phones. A horror box phone. Wrapped in faux leather and the candlestick phones..neighbor worked in one... Must have been 50 plus phones in all styles and colors. Laid out

  • r sprockets
    r sprockets2 dni temu

    We had the wiz and of course CRAZZZY. EDDDIE WHOSE PRICES WERE.....INSANE!!

  • Daniel Ortiz
    Daniel Ortiz2 dni temu

    Nice documentary about that nostalgic era and places.

  • rahb1
    rahb12 dni temu

    I remember many of these places from my trips to the US, mostly in the SF Bay Area. Also Egghead Software & Electric Avenue at Montgomery Ward. Fortunately Brookstone is still going, but has fewer electronics gadgets. I seriously miss Frys; I could spend hours in there!

  • Kim Kevan
    Kim Kevan2 dni temu


  • End Level
    End Level3 dni temu

    14:08 This is where nerds were Born ♥️

  • Justin
    Justin3 dni temu

    The Parks and Grapevine Mills are the two I always went to. Redbird mall had to close a lot of stores because they kept getting robbed I guess.

  • triobros 9824
    triobros 98243 dni temu

    The internet

  • RhythmicBliss
    RhythmicBliss3 dni temu

    I got Verbot for Christmas from Wilbros.

  • Tau
    Tau3 dni temu

    Reminds me of dick smith. Same thing happened to them.

  • Mark Zabriskie
    Mark Zabriskie3 dni temu

    This video perfectly captures what it was like back then. I completely agree with your factors for failure, but it's still so unfortunate.

  • Daniel Williams
    Daniel Williams3 dni temu

    I'd love an explanation of Best Buy. They seem to practically have a monopoly on the in-store experience now.

  • flip
    flip3 dni temu

    i remember radio shack as Tandy (what it got called in Australia) so many good memories of going in to buy resisters and the like

  • Randomnoone
    Randomnoone3 dni temu

    Houston - Frys was dead for the last 2 years before it closed. Writing was on the wall. Microcenter .... absolutely hopping every time I went in.

  • Stephen Stapleton
    Stephen Stapleton3 dni temu


  • teejaynumber13
    teejaynumber134 dni temu

    I worked as mall security for a brief time. The reason they dont allow photos is basically to keep potential criminals from "casing" the joint. Location of merchandise they want to steal, store layout, best escape routes, security camera placement, etc.

  • DEZERVED-420
    DEZERVED-4204 dni temu

    They sucked.

  • Chris Elzinga
    Chris Elzinga4 dni temu

    I miss the old Radio Shack catalogs. Would brouse them for hours. I even worked there while in college in the late 80s. In Canada we still have "The Source" which used to be RS. But it's not the same.

  • DIY Projects With Chuxxsss
    DIY Projects With Chuxxsss4 dni temu

    Our electronic stores in Australia have drop down to one main electronic components store.

  • chris s
    chris s4 dni temu

    We have a Best Buy here in Grove City Ohio. Giant box store for electronics. Where I go to compare products to the online prices. About 45% of the time the prices are the same to even cheaper. We also have Staples. In the 80" there was a store called Spencer's. They had mostly gage gifts. But there was a selection of electronics. We also had what was called Sun TV. Which carried all kinds of electronic devices and appliances. If you want pictures like of AT&T Stores. why not contact AT&T. They must have an Archive of photo's. Tell them you are doing a then and now story. I heard Toys R Us is making a come back. I think the one in New York City reopened. I heard that somewhere.

  • Michael Nolan
    Michael Nolan4 dni temu

    The place I go to is called Micro Center on Highway 75.

  • John Barbuto
    John Barbuto4 dni temu

    I really appreciate this look back. I grew up in this era. In fact, when I was a child my next door neighbor was the first person to have a television in our neighborhood (a big box with a small, round, black and white, screen). I remember going to the store to buy vacuum tubes for a radio, or even our earliest TV. I remember my dad bought me a portable radio with three (3!) transistors, made by an unknown, not American, company (Sony). It's not as if I wish to live in that era again. I love the net and relish the new developments in AI. But, this is the kind of video which makes me think about "the journey" - the path that life takes, the path we take in our individual lives. Young people today will - in their time - look back to wonder what happened to books, libraries, brick and mortar universities, and even doctors who diagnose you (this having been taken over by "always up to date" AI). Yet, through all of this change is us - largely unchanged during the last many thousands of years. Only a few decades ago most of what we made was mechanical and we could (if we wanted) understand it. Now, most of what we make is only really understood by those who make it. We relish our new toys. Yet, it won't be long until we are outsmarted by our toys. Then things will really get interesting.

  • Terry Sutherland
    Terry Sutherland4 dni temu

    So, your video just popped up on my feed. Coincidentally, I wrote this yesterday. I'm still working on the title. Linkedin's Electronicsburg Address Four stores, and over seventy years ago, our retail fathers brought forth on this continent, a nerd nation, conceived in puberty, and dedicated to the supposition that all nerds are motivated equal. Now we are engaged in a great retail war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. Gone are Radio Shacks, Circuit Cities, Comp USA and Fry's. Now are we consigned to commemorate those days in electronics departments of other stores, and a few remaining Best Buys. It is altogether fitting that we should do this, to memorialize our great centers of electronics. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate,- we cannot consecrate , we cannot hallow -- that ground. The brave nerds, living and dead, who shopped there, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they bought there. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unending work which they who bought there have thus far so nerdly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored stores we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these stores shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that electronics of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

  • Quixote
    Quixote4 dni temu

    I remember BEST

  • SilverSlayer23
    SilverSlayer234 dni temu

    Pepsi Bottle Radio.... Wow, the 80s was such an interesting time.

  • Joseph X
    Joseph X5 dni temu

    This is almost depressing. I dearly miss the 80's and 90's. =(

  • american
    american5 dni temu

    Thumbs up for a walk down memory lane. I used to walk the mall for a couple of hours every couple of weeks or so just looking. Sharper image was one of the newest stores you mentioned and they had very odd-neat stuff.

    ALRIGHTY THEN5 dni temu

    Even if that experience hadn't gone away, it wouldn't be the same because you're not a kid anymore. We grow used to things and they lose their luster and mystique.

  • JTheTsunami
    JTheTsunami5 dni temu

    I miss places like Incredible Universe

  • Ethan Cowdell
    Ethan Cowdell5 dni temu

    Also, my local hobby shop went out of business, that was depressing, but I found the slot car track that they had that I used to race on all the time as a kid in a slot car shop downtown I took my date to on prom.

  • Ethan Cowdell
    Ethan Cowdell5 dni temu

    My local mall is still thriving somehow. Just underwent a huge remodel.

  • Ethan Cowdell
    Ethan Cowdell5 dni temu

    We had a radioshack in a strip mall near my house growing up. It was sick, you could go stare at electronics, see a 5$ movie at the movie theater next door, then circle to the back and go to the nicklecade. The movie theater and nicklecade are still there, but the radioshack has been replaced by a series of gyms that keep going out of business because no one goes to that strip mall anymore.

  • John H
    John H5 dni temu

    i only stopped going to my local Fry's (Burbank and Woodland Hills) when they stopped stocking new components (Computer and electrical) ... I'd much rather purchase in-person to have it "NOW" and to be able to exchange ... I'm a engineer by trade so I'm def in the minority of "hard core tech customer" but like others have stated .... when fry's stocked new product .. the parking lot and stores were always packed! It was def a combination of thing including "blunders" inside their corporate structure

  • kaeptnkrunch
    kaeptnkrunch5 dni temu

    In germany we had not as much as stores than the US. But still we have Conrad, the last electronic store i know here in germany. They sell a lot like computers, electronic components, RC cars etc. But they reduced the stores in germany and started a very good online shop and this seems to work.

  • Ralph Brown
    Ralph Brown5 dni temu

    There's still a Ritz Camera in Houston....

  • Kevin Anderson
    Kevin Anderson5 dni temu

    Hey, we have a digital answering machine. It was cheaper than voicemail at the time. (My wife still likes a land line)

  • John Massaglia
    John Massaglia5 dni temu

    The Robie Junior is a rebadged Omnibot Junior by Tomy.

  • anthony ev
    anthony ev5 dni temu

    You coudlnt take videos or pictures because of trade secrets. Secret ways they put stuff on shelves and making sure competing products didnt know where the where on the shelves and stuff like that.

  • CanonFirefly
    CanonFirefly5 dni temu

    You can get that experience, kind of, in places like Shenzhen, if we can ever travel again!

  • 1001Hobbies
    1001Hobbies5 dni temu

    I have stopped shopping at my local Best Buy because they never seem to have what I need, today. I go to the store to buy something because most of the time I don't have 7 to 10 days to wait for it to be shipped to my home. The store is 6 minutes from my house. The problem is, they would not carry what I need, which is stuff they used to always have. One time the clerk told me "You can just go online and order it." I told him I was in their store NOW, I need to use it tomorrow. That was why I was at the store to pick it up. Then Best Buy went to where you had to have an appointment to go in, during covid. I found that out as I was walking into the store and a clerk asked me where I was going. Then he told me I had to have an appointment, even though they were permitting people into the store. I have not been back since, and won't be. They are forcing me to buy from other companies online. It is terribly inconvenient when you are making movies.

  • pat justpat
    pat justpat5 dni temu

    That poor fish! You killed a fish just to stick through a Blockbuster Video slot. Unsubscribed. And now we're going to sue you.

  • AckzaTV
    AckzaTV5 dni temu

    electronics stores were just alien reverse engineered technology distribution center. Now we are al addicted so they dont have to have stores

  • Peaceful Raj
    Peaceful Raj5 dni temu


  • Chris Wilkerson
    Chris Wilkerson6 dni temu

    It's not the same, but when/if VR becomes more prevalent they could make an app that mimics the classic big box store experience. Imagine a vr record store that literally had every album, where you could pick it up and check out the art.

  • Rex Bentley
    Rex Bentley6 dni temu

    Seems to me all these businesses are isolating themselves from their customers and just collecting cash. Not just electronic stores. Not very often you can speak with a salesman that actually knows the product he's selling. "Convenience" has a pretty stiff price tag and not just in terms of money.

  • Josh B
    Josh B6 dni temu

    Here's the thing, we lived just fine without smart phones and the internet. Back then, family and friends were a much bigger deal than they are today. I would be happy to go back to the 80's or 90's, tech wise. Oh I was born in 1981.

  • Ray L
    Ray L6 dni temu

    I have a funny story about service merchandise. In 2008 I was doing a plumbing repair at a house. The resident told me he was between jobs and was desperate to get back to work. I asked him where his last job was... he said Service Merchandise! I asked him "haven't they been closed for a decade?".... he responded with "yea... it's been a little while"

  • Souless Deeds
    Souless Deeds6 dni temu

    My local town still has a radio shack. Every time I drive by I always look to make sure its still there. I occasionally still use it when I am looking a hard to find electronics item. The stores owner is always super helpful. But then I would be too I guess if my store could close at anytime. But they are an icon of our area for being there for decades.

  • Nick Blackburn
    Nick Blackburn6 dni temu

    Who uses vcrs anymore... I do Who uses cassette players anymore... I do Who uses a cb radio anymore.. Thousands of people who drive trucks etc Who uses a car radio cassette player.. I do. I agree with your sentiments on this video and it's so sad what has happened to all these magical places. Its the same here in the UK.

  • Calski19
    Calski196 dni temu

    Did he just say GME really doesn't have a bright future? lol.

  • modcolocko
    modcolocko6 dni temu

    8:15 They actually seem to doing some very smart moves, like switching to a model that allows them to compete with online by making shipping quicker and cheaper by having every store be a warehouse.

  • modcolocko
    modcolocko6 dni temu

    Microcenter has succeded because they didn't try and be a big company, they tried to bring a good service with a selection on some high demand devices but sprinkled in some enthusiast devices. This allowed microcenter to bring a great service, make money, and target more niche markets.

  • K K
    K K6 dni temu

    The meta thing about the obsolescence in those catalogs is the catalog itself

  • Takcci
    Takcci6 dni temu

    Maybe you should check out a microcenter

  • naviamiga
    naviamiga6 dni temu

    That thing with the fish is just so....weird, why would you do that and why would you be proud to show it now?

  • MCCrafterTV
    MCCrafterTV6 dni temu

    I do still go to the electronic store from time to time. Because I still want to look and feel the items in person before buying.

  • Rusty Gears
    Rusty Gears6 dni temu

    There’s still Best Buy. And then there is Best Buy and Best Buy. Also there’s Best Buy.

    JESUS IS CALLING YOU7 dni temu

    Wow, Electronics Boutique. I remember encountering my first one when I joined the U.S. Army. Man, this took me back to those feelings of overwhelming wonder and amazement. By the way, since I read some selfish comments, nostalgia is the name of an experience, not the description of it. Not everyone feels nostalgia the same. Thinking otherwise or minimizing the nostalgia of others is so egocentric and gate-keeperish. Let people be humans and enjoy their memories.

  • DestructiveBurn
    DestructiveBurn7 dni temu

    The only real ones now are the malls in China with stacks of everything.

  • ikonix360
    ikonix3607 dni temu

    From what I understand Sears had the opportunity to put their catalog online and would have been first to do so, but they didn't do it.

  • ikonix360
    ikonix3607 dni temu

    At one time Radio Shack had a lot of more common things only they had features no one else's similar device had.

  • Mario Reviews
    Mario Reviews7 dni temu

    I really miss those stores now. My favorite stores now are Home Depot, Lowe's, and Target now. I'm focused on construction and new upgrades to my house

  • Christopher Nunyas
    Christopher Nunyas7 dni temu

    Good ol' Radio Shack. Free battery of the month club. Still have that card somewhere!

  • Scott Strang
    Scott Strang7 dni temu

    I wish I had taken pictures inside Fry's when I went in those stores. Now there are nor more. One time my wife and I were at the Columbus Circle Time Warner center mall I was taking pictures of the store fronts. A security guard asked politely not to take pictures of the store fronts. Everything else was fair game.

  • JPD White
    JPD White7 dni temu

    very nicely presented. thank you for the mental journey

  • Joe Smith
    Joe Smith7 dni temu

    It’s sad. BEST had the best selection of Casio watches and their Christmas catalogs along with Service Merchandise were awesome! As kids we would get lost in the electronic stores. Fun times.

  • american


    5 dni temu

    I so miss their watches - could never find a match again. I bought my wedding ring there too!

  • Putin Kills
    Putin Kills8 dni temu

    Boomers lost their stores lol

  • dog bone
    dog bone8 dni temu

    They haven't made the product you want, pay for it now and they will order it themselves and ship it to you. Pay the shipping fee at the same time you pay for the order, you should receive it within four to six weeks.

  • dog bone
    dog bone8 dni temu

    The stores are gone because they kept continuing to not carry products. There's no other way to buy them. The store manager caused the problem. Then add to that the price of the products is a factor. I would much rather buy from a store than order online, but we're forced to.

  • kabalu
    kabalu8 dni temu

    what happend to the dremel?

  • Trip Waller
    Trip Waller8 dni temu

    IIRC there was also an authorized Apple computer reseller on little road. The independent Apple shops were pretty cool back in the day.

  • Mario Montalvo
    Mario Montalvo8 dni temu

    Back in the day, I'd hit up the Parks Mall and Fry's on Matlock every other Friday on payday. Then maybe stop into Freebird's in the Highlands for a burrito. Also, I loved hitting up the Cinemark in the Six Flags Mall for discounted movies. Arlington's was where it was at. 😂

  • Syncopator
    Syncopator8 dni temu

    Prior to when these enclosed "malls" came about in the late 1960s or early 1970s, there were collections of stores that were built next to each other, but they were not completely enclosed. One theory as to why they moved to enclosed malls is that it made it impossible for picketers to gather in front of the store, because the entries to the individual stores were inside the malls which were all private property. I recall picketers having to stand out by the entry to the entire mall parking lot, the nearest point where there was public property-- but from there you'd have no idea *which* store they were picketing unless you stopped long enough to talk to them when you drove up to the mall to park, and no one ever bothered to stop and talk at that point. I don't know how accurate that theory is, but the options for picketing did in fact change once the malls came about. And of course, that problem is even worse now, try picketing Amazon for example...

  • JC_
    JC_8 dni temu

    I'm sure the reason why photographs and video weren't allowed was because there was a lot of research money spent on how the store was set up. What items were in the front/back and prominently on display. In addition to that, they did not want thieves to come in and "case" the place by video recording the employee habits or how the store generally was covered. Much the same reason why banks don't allow you to film inside their buildings. I know it's overkill, but imagine if you had a business and you see a stranger filming your entire store. You don't know what what their plans are, no matter what they tell you. More businesses decided to be cautious.

  • Kurafortak
    Kurafortak8 dni temu

    Nice walk down memory lane. Thank you !

  • Tom Jones
    Tom Jones8 dni temu

    A great post along with some nostalgia, we’re all living The demise Of the electronics stores simply due to the birth of the smart phone. When you flipped through the RadioShack catalog and said well we don’t need this and we don’t need that because we have all in our hand really put it into perspective.

  • KenTeel
    KenTeel9 dni temu

    No an electronics store is one that sells discrete components like individual transistors, resistors, capacitors, inductors, solder, etc. What you're mainly talking about are appliance stores.