What Happened to America's Electronics Stores?

Mar 31, 2021
333 899 Views

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  • There has literally never been a real electronics store in Utah. The only places that exist carry almost nothing and charge 3x prices.

  • @the 8-bit guy Biggest problem is cheap chinese disposable junk...there is little of high quality to buy ..eventually people will miss brick and mortar stores because you cant see touch and try the products ...when you buy online quality is a crap shoot you often times lose.

    horseathalthorseathalt22 minutes ago
  • You have possibly the best USworlds intro I’ve ever seen!

    Marc W.Marc W.25 minutes ago
  • Oh David. This is the first time I've had the opportunity to see the new background in the studio. It is so distracting. I hope you decide to change it at some point. But I don't want to just 🤬post, either, so I will go on to say that I do truly enjoy your videos. One of my first jobs in high school was at Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs, Florida, which is a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. I worked for Fun and Games, a video arcade, back in 1986. It was one of the most memorable, fun, exciting jobs I've ever had. But even more exciting was that while I was going to college in 1990, I graduated up to working for the local Electronics Boutique in the very same Mall! Holy cow that was the best of the best. Each EB had its own shrink wrap machine, so it was an open secret that all of the staff used to open the software, make a copy for themselves, and then re-shrink wrap it. A dear friend from high school worked at Camelot Reords in the same mall, and we would often break together at the food court. I miss those old mall jobs so much. I would give anything to Tinker with video games these days for a living. Keep up the good work and please change out that crazy-ass set!

    Gregory PiusGregory Pius48 minutes ago
  • Cool! you still have your Vic20 in the box it came in! I still have my C-64 in the box it came in along with the sticker and price from Toys R Us. I saved up all my summer money to buy that thing.

    John WayneJohn WayneHour ago
  • I loved Incredible Universe

    Hendry SudjatmikoHendry SudjatmikoHour ago
  • No idea

    Haruhi SuzumiyaHaruhi SuzumiyaHour ago
  • I would go to Radio Shack for electronic components: resistors, caps, inductors, chips...

    Don EricksonDon Erickson2 hours ago
  • Sad 😔

    Sam SalhiSam Salhi2 hours ago
  • Very nice video 👍

    DJNeiloSFDJNeiloSF2 hours ago
  • I used to work at Camelot Music back in the late 90s when I was in high school. Good times, we were more knowledgeable than Record Town lol.

    neoasuraneoasura3 hours ago
  • BEST....I'm the only one in my family that remembers it! You'd get a card corresponding to the item, hand it in, and it would come down a roller table/chute thing kind of like a baggage claim! I remember that as being the first time I played really NICE keyboards (not just your usual Yamaha/Casio beginner stuff). I still have my TRS80 model 3, and my TRS-80 handheld computer... haven't gotten them out in years. That photo from Radio Shack was from 2002-3, as I worked there at the time, and remember all those R/C cars specifically. They would typically get all new models every year or so. I was more into the R/C and electronics hobbies than computers themselves (still am), but this was a really cool walk down memory lane.

    GuerrillaRadioGuerrillaRadio3 hours ago
  • Does Electronics Boutique sound familiar? It should........ Read more for a hint! They are still around today.

    Jeffrey DelmonicoJeffrey Delmonico3 hours ago
  • We still have a Tilt like an hour away from where I live in I think Altoona Mall

    Deathslayerpro 370Deathslayerpro 3703 hours ago
  • Throwaway designs and rapid obsolescence. It got more expensive for most people to repair obsolete things than to replace with something more up to date anyway.

    SirBudrickSirBudrick4 hours ago
  • What movies capture that nostalgic time?

    kieron kjarkieron kjar4 hours ago
  • All I know is I hated working there. The management was terrible and it was poorly run. Employees weren’t treated well either.

    Michael HallMichael Hall5 hours ago
  • 7:35 or papered over

    Johnny LongfeatherJohnny Longfeather5 hours ago
  • Anyone else remember the free battery club at radioshack?

    Jim StokesJim Stokes5 hours ago
  • CB radio is still alive and kicking.

    lostngone2007lostngone20075 hours ago
  • Ain't many pure appliance stores anymore, either

    Jim StokesJim Stokes5 hours ago
  • there was a day you walked into radio shack, walked out, and never walked back in.

    KoKoKenKoKoKen5 hours ago
  • wow now make fell old i had K.B toys and Suncoast we had that too but it went out of business

    Evil_eyegaming dEvil_eyegaming d6 hours ago
  • My friend Brad has a lot of answering machines....

    VTwin BuilderVTwin Builder7 hours ago
  • I worked at Babbages. It became GameStop.

    Drake LacyDrake Lacy7 hours ago
  • Welcome back. What, no followup on the flood repairs?

    richardwernstrichardwernst7 hours ago
  • This video made me super nostalgic for the 90s and made me sad that generations won't experience going to Malls after school on a Friday, then to dinner and movie. Felt like little adults for a few hours while we explored around.

    SoCloseToToastSoCloseToToast7 hours ago
  • the fish thing is a bit disturbing. The rest was very enjoyable.

    Rob ElliottRob Elliott8 hours ago
  • They just don't crowds gathered in any one spot.

    Vance McCarthyVance McCarthy8 hours ago
  • lots of stores that once existed as brick and mortar still exist online like radioshack. some of these stores like radioshack killed themselves off cause when I was young they had lots of parts then they slowly started their demise with cellphones and other products and slowly seeing less and less of the electronic parts I was used to seeing.

    Sajan GeorgeSajan George8 hours ago
  • Amazon

    Team 974Team 9748 hours ago
  • Don't miss a single one of these with their bait and switch tactics; rebate scams; poor inventory; poor customer service; I could go on. The amount of time I wasted with these places was colossal enough to have made an indentation in my life.

    oldtwins naoldtwins na8 hours ago
  • I had a flashback when he was browsing the old RadioShack catalog (4:25) and the old rechargeable purple NiCd batteries appeared in the back page (I remember a bulk multi cherger with a transparent lid covering AA AAA D and 9V charger they sold with a very odd smell) funny memory. Nice to see a lot of familiar stores back in the day, I'm sorry about Fry's, I went once in CA back in 2012.

    Luiz DuqueLuiz Duque8 hours ago
  • I live in Washington DC. My stores: Food: Safeway Giant Electronics: BestBuy Target Appliances: Home Deport BestBuy

    Jimfundercover2Jimfundercover28 hours ago
  • Flipping Amazing killed them all off. Thanks Jeff

    AC Milan 1899AC Milan 18998 hours ago
  • LOL, just found out you had another YT channel where you shot A REAL gun at several spam cans :DDDDDD

    Los DaniellosLos Daniellos8 hours ago
  • 4:25 I had the kit pictured at the top left.

    Stanley HuntStanley Hunt8 hours ago
  • With the difference that a 5000$ TV barely would have been sold, so that profit was basically zero, nowadays 400$ tv's are selled like bread, so there is more opportunity to gain money today than in the days... on that tv size*. Just to say, you choosed the worst possible example

    IvanIvan9 hours ago
  • Gone are the days where you could turn up the volume dial all the way on a display stereo and wait for someone to turn it on at some point and hear it on the other side of the store.

    Matthew WynneMatthew Wynne10 hours ago
  • 4. COVID-19 I was thinking AMAZON & EBAY when I started the video.

    KyBlueJediKyBlueJedi10 hours ago
  • Before the pandemic, I ordered an SSD for pickup at Best Buy. I went to customer service, showed them my order no. and ID, and they handed me my new SSD. As I walked out the front doors, the security nazi demanded to see my receipt. I replied, "No thank you," and kept walking. He screamed, "SUSPICION OF SHOPLIFTING!!!" Why would anyone want to put up with that crap when we can order it online and not be falsely accused of committing a crime?

    George HGeorge H10 hours ago
  • i love to go to stores and touch and look and test it instead of wasting hours with reading reviews about a product which if its cool then sold out

    Markus SteinbacherMarkus Steinbacher10 hours ago
  • Are you guys still recovering from the disaster in texas?

    Jack Game BlogsJack Game Blogs10 hours ago
  • They wouldn't let you film because people would scout security systems for breakins in the 70's and 80's. It was for security reasons.

    Televicious GooberTelevicious Goober11 hours ago
  • I shopped at all of those stores. I miss the 80s.

    Dean SDean S11 hours ago
  • Sun tv

    tatito rodrigueztatito rodriguez11 hours ago
  • Back in the day I used to be a supervisor at the best in Cleveland ohio before the company went out of business,,..I remember the first shipments of the original Nintendo games boy’s,...good memories.

    tatito rodrigueztatito rodriguez11 hours ago
  • Gets to bookstores... looses enthusiasm when saying “while we stile have a bookstore its a barnes n noble “... lol. Yea, Barnes n noble whatta let down ! 😂

    Kraftaculous Greek God of CraftingKraftaculous Greek God of Crafting11 hours ago
  • OG Gen-X computer guy here. It's good to see you back. Really enjoyed the video.

    Johnnie Houston PhotographyJohnnie Houston Photography11 hours ago
  • I really miss being able to "physically" seeing what Im going to buy! I used to go to a store at Tyrone Mall in Florida called "Olsons Electronics" which had a myriad of speakers and componentry. I miss the 80's!

    J TayJ Tay12 hours ago
  • The Frys in Arlington TX is closing on April 8. I used to get all of my parts from there. I went there for a HDD a few weeks ago and the person working the counter didn't even know what a hard drive was. Sad times... 😥

    RichardRichard13 hours ago
  • Kinda sucks for a new tinkerer like me. Online shopping for small bits and pieces in small numbers online sucks, to be honest. I really wish there were a RadioShack or a Micro Center near me.

    Jimmy SotoJimmy Soto13 hours ago
  • Nothing like to hear 4 or 5 different speakers before choose one. How can be that replaced by any online shopping? From the description? " The sound of this model is soft but strong, the bass are deep nad the highs are crispy and clear"...well, all the speakers are described ib the same way😂. The sound is something you need to hear to feel the diffences. Same with the tv sets.

    Polo GameroPolo Gamero13 hours ago
  • i have a feeling that in twenty years time, as the population explodes, we'll see a return of shops.

    Jacob BarrowJacob Barrow13 hours ago
  • Yeah but taco bell removed my Grilled Stuffed Steak Burrito!!

    Wrex's Game FilesWrex's Game Files13 hours ago
  • Love your channel David. So much nostalgia, education and fun. Appreciate you man. Every single store you mentioned I fondly remember.. even the oddball ones like Best. Not gonna lie.. this one hit me hard in the feels man.

    robertd1965robertd196514 hours ago
  • Frys never got with the times. They did ok in some areas, but never seem to have decent hardware always seemed to be behind the game with what they have in stock. Whereas Microcenter rocks this aspect. They generally have what you are looking for. Frys should of consolidated into just an electronics store, i think trying to do appliances hurt them and most likely best buy too, like just be a good electronics store and stay up to date. Notice microcenter doesn't sell non-nerd stuff. You can get parts and pre-builds and a small area for TVs, etc. That's it and it's all up to date. That's why microcenter works. Plus Microcenter pricing is decent and price matches amazon. Frys did this too, but again, you have to stay up to date with what you are selling. I think the store being massive also hurt frys, i mean if I need a cpu and ram it was a 2 mile walk.

    bBrainbBrain14 hours ago
  • I know what happened to all the American electronic stores, Amazon is taking over everything. We live in a advanced digital age that everybody is shopping online from the comforts of their own home.

    Chris BaileyChris Bailey14 hours ago
    • I won't buy from Amazon. I do not like their politics.

      Paul FrederickPaul Frederick6 hours ago
  • I lived in Dallas starting 1989 to 2012, so I remember a lot of those malls and stores. I got into PCs about early 1992. My favorite stores where I'd spend at least some time every weekend were CompUSA and Fry Electronics. CompUSA I was at the giant street party they had to launch Windows 95. Drinks, food, music. Then the doors opened at midnight and there was a mad rush to get the first copies of Win 95 and Office 95. I remember being so happy when I walked out with my copies. Fry Electronics had a huge selection of computer parts as well as pre-builts. Pretty much anything you needed if you wanted to build or upgrade a PC, and you had a chance to check out most things before buying. Spent tons of money there. Fry's, I remember the first Plasma TV I'd ever seen was there and it was impressive, for over $14000. But within 6 years there were very few tube TVs available in the rapid changeover to flat-screens, and it was where I bought my first LCD TV and monitor. Great memories, but as much as I liked it, Newegg and Amazon became increasingly competitive, and often has as larger or larger selection of computer parts, monitors, TVs, etc., and their return policy was generally great if you got bad parts, wrong parts, or decided to go with something else. Plus, you didn't have to scout for a parking place and then be confronted by crowds. By about 2006 I was doing most shopping online for everything, and it's probably been at least 20 years since I stepped inside a mall.

    John BalesJohn Bales14 hours ago
  • Don't forget about the HeathKit store in Dallas. I believe it was on Ross Ave. Back in the 60's & 70's, I was a young electronic nerd and was into building my electronics. It was OK to see their products offered in the catalog. But in the store, you could actually see and touch the finished products. HeathKit had all kinds of test equipment & consumer electronics. I built and used an oscilloscope, bar-dot generator (used for TV alignment), digital voltmeter, tube tester (remember vacuum tubes). I always wanted to build their Hero-1 Robot kit, but never had to dollars to buy it. My pride & joy was the 24" Color TV kit that I built in the late 70's. It had an ultrasonic remote with not just channel change & volume controls, but you could adjust the color & tint as well. I used that TV for over 15 years. Back in the day, Radio Shack was the place to purchase electronic components and vacuum tubes. Oh, and forget their "Battery of the Month Club".

    R KR K14 hours ago
  • Bud, that background has to go. No...no no

    The-Mike_DThe-Mike_D14 hours ago
  • Clocks, Televisions, Calculators in my opinion are still relevant. It that people's way of life change in a way that many companies didn't realize. Cool vid tho!

    Panagiotis GavrasPanagiotis Gavras14 hours ago
  • Same story in Europe. Lots of shopping centres and malls are gone or only have clothing stores left. All the electronic stores and bigger toy stores with consoles and modeltrains are gone. It's sad :(

    metro2002metro200214 hours ago
  • The magic of being a teen in the 80s, going to the mall with friends, hanging out at Aladdin's Castle arcade and just wandering the mall... my kids never got to experience that... and my kids were pretty much the last kids that got to stroll the aisles of Toys R Us as kids... at least they got that.

    Mithrennon of AegwynnMithrennon of Aegwynn15 hours ago
  • Wow talking about trolling down memory lane. I remember growing up in Tyler Tx Back then we had Service Merchandise, Montgomery Wards and I would always bolt to the electronics section. We also had both Circuit City & Bestbuy.

    MoeJae86MoeJae8615 hours ago
  • hi I Just found your interesting video. Im in Uk, we used to have a Electronics Parts Store Called Tandy in the UK, where they Part of Radioshack thanks ?

    Mr BMr B16 hours ago
  • Thanks for making this video. I was born 85, so I remember the mall. Nowadays you can still find electronics in drug stores, walmart, Barnes and nobles, etc, and best buy is still around, but its definitely not the same. Thrift stores and garage sales, mostly for that nostalgic shopping experience, lol! There are some stubborn ppl tho, who still prefer to use calculators or wrist watches. The worst thing now is that there's no place to go locally to get electrical components to FIX the old stuff anymore, with places like radioshack gone.

    Dank LineDank Line16 hours ago
  • I worked at a Radio Shack in Aberdeen Wa in the 70's and my favorite store is Frys Electronics , it is truly sad that they are out of business

    Duane ParkerDuane Parker16 hours ago
  • this video is sort of a coverup to cover moving chip manufacturing factories to china, bigest american mistake ever made in history, not being able to keep the prices low and production up compared to the chinese for electronics, and failing to support local business owners by the americans themselves, otherwise in a local electronics store in 2021 you could find smartwatches, tablets, smartphones, smarthouse technology, smartclothing, digital music instruments, cameras, and vintage unsold electronics for enthusiasts alongside electronic components to repair the 2021 technology. i got 2 such shops in my city from the 90's. It also hides the laziness of people to go to a local electronic store but order the parts online, laziness and globalisation at its best.complete lack of care for american trademarks and companies = bancrupcy and failure

    8 bit Romania8 bit Romania16 hours ago
  • Well done

    rudolfo gorgodrudolfo gorgod17 hours ago
  • Ironically, Taco Bell has begun to shrink their menu! :/ at least in my area.

    Robert PowellRobert Powell17 hours ago
  • This should be like 5 seconds long " the internet " lol

    win one soonwin one soon17 hours ago
  • i am quiet happy that i grew up in the 80s, so many good memories, and i still can handle my life without my cellphone in my hand 24/7 (but i have to admid it gets more and more difficult)

    breakshot74breakshot7417 hours ago
  • instead of browsing the store we browse the Internet. The upside is the selection is incredible, the downside is that for most of us, except in a very select number of cities in Japan and China that I know of where you can go to upscale swapmeets and buy anything you need by the bucket. When I want to build something now, I have to order and wait at least several days for deliveries before I can start prototyping.

    Douglas GoodallDouglas Goodall18 hours ago
  • Back in the days when the world was not divided between only a few multinational corporations. This is the living proof that capitalism doesn't mean diversity. Today every shopping zone in every western country looks the same.

    SxSxGSxSxG18 hours ago
  • 12:54 I have a plasma TV and i would not buy it if i didnt have it. I mean look at the pixels.

    Mr.Fox81 der YoutuberMr.Fox81 der Youtuber18 hours ago
  • Such a walk into the past...I remember going to all those places as a child...I'm only 100 miles south, so we always headed to Dallas to shop!!! Couldn't agree more about the smartphone killing all other devices...I hadn't built a gaming PC for anyone in years before Covid, nobody needed them at home and didn't have the time to game...at least we got that back for a short time to offset the misery incurred.

    1st World Problems SOLVED1st World Problems SOLVED18 hours ago
  • Really great video, really interesting, I always watch your stuff, keep up the good work.

    Mac FlexMac Flex19 hours ago
  • Think you about nailed the 3 points of reason for failure. Great video altogether.

    Datriax SondorDatriax Sondor20 hours ago
  • Omg it's true even my malls here no electronic stores. Also looking at that mall brochure i was around in the 90s still remember Mervyn's, Waldenbooks...RIP. I remember going to Fry's during the last months, super empty, I asked the guy if they're going to close the store, he said no at that time. (Then we got the news months later). I don't think I know any other electronic stores in my area tbh fry's was it.

    emptyspotlightemptyspotlight21 hour ago
  • Hi, you commented on my dads yt channel Now I’m speechless that my dad is more famous than meeeee

    ___Bøba Tëa______Bøba Tëa___21 hour ago
  • I really like that your channel does not ask people to subscribe, like and share at the end of each video. People who like watching your videos will surely do that even if you don't tell them to do so.

    ilikemtrainilikemtrain21 hour ago
  • That experience you are talking about David, is a reason I love the vinyl revival.

    Azza JohnsonAzza Johnson22 hours ago
  • Great video. I'm in the same boat. Today's youth won't know what they've missed. I'm glad I grew up in the 70s and 80s.

    cybersoil100cybersoil10022 hours ago
  • I remember Radio Shack had Tandy green screen or amber screen computers and I would go and drool at them in the early 80's. As a 10-15-year-old.

    Mark ScheckMark Scheck22 hours ago
  • I loved to go to a department store in the 80s as a kid and see what games they had.

    Stephan SchmidtStephan Schmidt23 hours ago
  • Wow this is alot to digest. I remember the Christmas morning when I unwrapped the Commodore Vic 20. Suncoast was where you could buy all the anime movies and posters. Walden's what was a better book store then B.Dalton. Also waiting for the next issue of MicroTimes. In the back was all the adverts where you could find small "Mom and Pop" computer stores. Where you could buy a Pentium 166 mmx motherboard combo for $50. It was all back room deals. OEM, or course. Then pick up a Sound Blaster 16 card for $10.

    Anthony RamirezAnthony Ramirez23 hours ago
    • Between the time of 1998 till 2001. I built every computer I used for around $200. There used to even be a whole warehouse dedicated to Computer cases. You could get a ATX. Baby ATX. AT.. I was in heaven when I found it.

      Anthony RamirezAnthony Ramirez23 hours ago
  • Short answer: Walmart happened

    Beng.Beng.Day ago
  • I haven’t watched the video yet. My vote is analysts. Analysts happened.

    J JJ JDay ago
  • What a wonderful trip down memory lane.

    ShermanMR2ShermanMR2Day ago
  • Wait, CB radios and talking clocks still have their place. Love your analysis.

    TheAnimeistTheAnimeistDay ago
  • computer city was awesome.. right at the corner of cooper and 20.. .i still live in that area ;)

    Raz BlackRaz BlackDay ago
  • Electronics Boutique later changed their name to EB Games and they later merged with Game Stop. So technically they're still around. Also Federated Department stores is still around and bigger than ever as Macy's.

    cvvvvvvvvccvvvvvvvvcDay ago
  • My go-to store back in the day was Media Play! Now the only Brick and Mortar stores you can buy electronics at are Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Gamestop.

    Mark VolpeMark VolpeDay ago
  • When privacy was so valued that even the companies that benefit for the lack of it now-a-days still wanted it. I would give everything to go back to a private world.

    NkrlzNkrlzDay ago
  • Its a shame that there are not anymore this type of electronics Shopping experince. And its the same about all over the world.. I was born in 1978 and i remember how exciting it was as a child to look out for allkind of Computer stuff and fiddle gadgets in the stores. The best time to be a nerdy child, definately 😃.

    vsammy _poetvsammy _poetDay ago
  • Without radio shack and other shops I've almost fallen out of love with soldering and building circuits. I just can't get used to buying everything online.

    chistine lanechistine laneDay ago
    • Why not? Radio Shack never had a great selection and the prices were robbery. The Internet is great for electronics hobbyists.

      Paul FrederickPaul Frederick6 hours ago
  • I'd add a fourth death reason: the general public has less of an ability to comprehend details, and the suppliers are more vague about them too. Ordering online is simple because you get what you see. Looking at all of those options for calculators and video equipment, the competition required people to understand the nitty details. Now, it's a matter if you prefer Amazon, Google, or Apple when picking a streaming dongle. Or look up reviews.

    Sam HammondSam HammondDay ago
  • Maybe they didn't want to give away their merchandising techniques or sponsored retail space?

    Imran SheikhImran SheikhDay ago
  • I still remember Sears when they sold rifles, still have one my dad bought for me.

    ssjwesssjwesDay ago