What Happened to America's Electronics Stores?

31 Mär 2021
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  • Wow, what a trip down memory lane.

  • What Happened to America's Electronics Stores? Capitalism happened, that incentivised capitalists to bugger off to nations where labor and production costs were cheaper, both selling out their originator nations and destroying millions of lives and communities of those left behind, capitalism is the reason you lost all those stores and so many more, it is the very reason America has a rust belt, that the idiot Trump was ever elected, and it the reason your streets will continue to catch fire with ever greater frequency as its ever compounding failures slam into the lives of an ever growing number being made to pay the price for capitalism failures so that 20 people can have more wealth and resources than the bottom 4 billion people combined. All while the media across the political landscape that is owned by the same handful of capitalists tell y'all to blame "insert minority/other of choice" top keep the masses divided against each other rather than united against what capitalism has incentivises capitalists to do all workers and their communities.

    ArmyOfAllArmyOfAllVor 51 Minute
  • Radio shack still sold some electronic components in Pittsburgh when I was in college in 99. I miss that RadioShack.

    Eric HartmanEric HartmanVor Stunde
  • Suncoast was where I went for anime back then.

    Pete BrownPete BrownVor Stunde
  • Hello! I'm a big fan of this channel and was hoping you could help me out with a mystery! My Yamaha PSS-590 seems to activate and off-the-chart sound when I use program change number 100 on any channel but the 16... Could you (or any of you guys) help me figure out if there are more hidden sounds on this classic AWM little gem?

    Pedro FreirePedro FreireVor Stunde
  • RIP Fry's...I loved wandering around there on a Sunday afternoon just to kill time : (

    Jason BillingsleyJason BillingsleyVor Stunde
  • Holy triangles batman, what is that wall.

    Color Me TwistedColor Me TwistedVor 2 Stunden
  • I stop my patreon for this guy. He barely produce two video per month. Always trying to find some excuses and quality of content become sloppy to say at least

    Alexandre IteonAlexandre IteonVor 3 Stunden
  • Technically, Babbages and Electronics Boutique still exist. They are called GameStop now. Babbage's by nature of mergers and acquisitions (Software Etc., and Funco got acquired by Barnes and Noble and merged) became GameStop who then bought out Electronic Boutique (EB Games at that point).

    ChazerChazerVor 4 Stunden
  • You should do an episode about 70s-80s forgotten video media, like the VHD, CED, Laserdisk. Would be cool to hear you talk about them.

    Splandrocity8000Splandrocity8000Vor 4 Stunden
  • I agree on almost every point, but I won't miss buying that full priced game, for your hard earned paperboy money, boot it up just to realize it sucks.

    JoliieJoliieVor 4 Stunden
  • My guess as why they didn't want pictures taken? They wanted to thwart reporters to gaining information on their operation, or wanted to reduce the potential for the generation of evidence admissible in court for anything the store was trying to get away with. Edit: Ahoy and Compute's Gazette!

    John HarrisJohn HarrisVor 4 Stunden
  • I was going to make an sophomoric joke but this isn't that kind of DEhave comment section

    ewrooneyewrooneyVor 4 Stunden
  • Another big reason these stores have failed is they're stuck in the 90s. You can't get Arduino or modern "hacker" stuff. And if they do sell the stuff, it's very limited and overpriced. Better off buying online.

    Andrew SaturnAndrew SaturnVor 5 Stunden
  • Micro Center still exists!

    Andrew SaturnAndrew SaturnVor 5 Stunden
  • I miss going into Maplin (in the UK) and just browsing! That probably didn't help, I rarely bought anything of value! Also, big book stores with aisles of computing books, also mostly obsoleted by stack overflow, msdn, etc!

    Deanna EarleyDeanna EarleyVor 5 Stunden
  • I didn't like this video one bit!!! All it did was depress me for times long gone by. I miss every single bit of what this video is about. I miss going into Sam Goody and pulling CD's off the rack and they were in long cardboard sleeves. Remember when they then went to long plastic carriers after that?! Then they got rid of external paper sleeves and then it was just CD's in jewel cases. I could go on for days. Incredible Universe!!! Holy crap that was a pilgrimage for us. We would plan it for weeks and take the hour drive just to see everything and buy nothing cause we couldn't afford it. But we could touch it all! I still have fond memories from those journeys. I'd give anything to head to the mall again and get an Orange Julius, hang out at the arcade, buy a $10 Transformer from Kay-Bee, and then drool over an SNES at SEARS. So, this video ruined my day and I am riddled with depression. Wait,............maybe I am feeling the opposite?! (Great video!)

    CO OCDCO OCDVor 5 Stunden
  • What I see is the major loss of the availability of components (resistors, capacitors, etc), available from RadioShack (the name derived from amateur radio usage) and Fry's. I think a lot of the 'hobby' interest in electronics has been lost to history. As an aside, I don't think I ever visited a Radio Shack where the employees had any real electronics knowledge.

    Stan .RarickStan .RarickVor 6 Stunden
  • The parks mall also had a Circuit City where the Nordstrom Rack is currently in the early 2000s! I remember going there a lot when I was younger! I also went to the KB Toys in the early 2000s and I fondly remember buying each of the spyro PS1 games there!

    HanicIzKanioHanicIzKanioVor 6 Stunden
  • I have trouble finding a radio app that actually works like a real radio so I still have plenty of radios around my house that I use

    Zen4real fight manZen4real fight manVor 6 Stunden
  • There is still a block buster in Oregon

    Zen4real fight manZen4real fight manVor 6 Stunden
  • I dont know if its true in your area but in mine in all the malls most of the stores are closed

    Zen4real fight manZen4real fight manVor 7 Stunden
  • As someone who quit a stable job with Fry's Electronics because of verbally abusive management, I'm swimming in schadenfreude seeing it went under. My only regret is knowing some lifers who had to job hunt in our rough economy.

    GenericDPSGenericDPSVor 7 Stunden
  • Great video!! I have seen some old videos from AT&T around 1984. Showing there stores with all the phone accessories

    Steven JasonSteven JasonVor 8 Stunden
  • Hey, I'm from Arlington too.

    Mr Fantastic710Mr Fantastic710Vor 8 Stunden
  • I sold electronics at Sears from 2009-2013 before moving to home appliances. It was an amazing first job in high school through college. Electronics was paid hourly and had commission on top. I moved to appliances because it was full commission. I left in 2016, and shortly after home electronics went away. I’ll always have a soft spot for Sears, Craftsman and Kenmore.

    Alex MartensAlex MartensVor 8 Stunden
  • I worked at electronics boutique (not to be mistaken for electric boutique 😍). I miss this era of social interaction. I spent every single Saturday at one of these stores looking at games, phones, car stereos, computers, and anything electronic. Things were revolutionary for every update to them and you felt you got your money’s worth. I find nothing nowadays interesting I guess due to limited ability to interact with them now and now we literally just window shop for products.

    venom74799venom74799Vor 8 Stunden
  • Went to the Fry's in Downers Grove, Illinois just before the curtains closed. Just seeing the empty store was sad. It used to be thriving and had interesting products. The place where you could sit and eat was nice also. The store that was on the strip in Vegas was the first Fry's store that I ever visited. Most other stores these days are not even interesting. Michigan Avenue and State Street in Chicago is just plain boring. I'm glad that I can get to ABT Electronics in Glenview, Illinois. They are the best electronics store in America and #1 in Consumer Reports. Pretty good for a company with just the one store and a website.

    June MarshallJune MarshallVor 9 Stunden
  • I would stlll rather shop at a store i love ebay and amazon but why wait

    Bennett JosephBennett JosephVor 9 Stunden
  • Can i play your game on a del 2009 computer?

    Gaming JesusGaming JesusVor 9 Stunden
  • Pretty weak excuse for not allowing a camera.

    J.L. AveyJ.L. AveyVor 9 Stunden
  • Sooo... you dumped a live animal into a box and let it die a slow agonising suffocation death. Hmm....

    David CDavid CVor 10 Stunden
  • Here in Canada my understanding of our stores (Future Shop and other large retail chains) not wanting photography and videoing was to prevent competitors / "corporate spies" from having footage of the inside and how things are laid out / setup.

    MattMattVor 10 Stunden
  • DFW has seriously gone down hill the last 20 years...

    BaTTaNBaTTaNVor 10 Stunden
  • Funny, I was an electronics nerd too and I hardly ever bought anything at all from such places.. guess I was more into constructing than consuming.

    Soren KuulaSoren KuulaVor 11 Stunden
  • I used to work at that incredible universe and then fry's shown on your video i was there when tandy gave way to fry's.

    Nick MillerNick MillerVor 12 Stunden
  • Micro center is one of the only ones left near me, but an amazing store for anything nerdy and fun!

    Dirk DyksonDirk DyksonVor 12 Stunden
  • Is this guys nose blocked ?

    marxist googlemarxist googleVor 14 Stunden
  • 2:00 Hahahaha like a security guy is gonna know the reason behind a corporate decision, he's there making minimal wage because he didn't listen and did drugs at school. It's like asking a cat to explain quantum physics.

    Robo CopRobo CopVor 14 Stunden
  • I went inside a Best Buy for the first time in AGESSSSSSSS and I felt like I was walking into a dead mall

    Ugly like CaillouUgly like CaillouVor 15 Stunden
  • Another good thing about RadioShack is that you can also buy different type of chips and parts if you wanted to build or repair things.

    Bouki MaliceBouki MaliceVor 15 Stunden
  • In the UK Radio Shack was called Tandy and guess what? Carphone Warehouse swallowed it up (Mobile phone shop!)

    mhoobag1mhoobag1Vor 15 Stunden
  • I used to buy transformer/wwf toys from toys r us and put 2 action figures up each sleeve in my sweater. Then I would walk 3 miles back home to the neighborhood and sell it to other kids for double the price. Then I would take that money and buy gap side clip backpacks and hats 😂 sears also had nice jerseys 🤫 I was 10. Now you will probably get shot in stockton walking like that 🤣

    King Bora BeatsKing Bora BeatsVor 15 Stunden
  • This is funny, because something similar happens in Germany. Up to this date Software and hardware stores came and went. But the stores, existing to this day are actually those, who sell hard AND software. These include "Saturn", "Conrad", "Mediamarkt" and many more. But they are slowly fading away. Some of them due to really bad customer service (especially Mediamarkt and Saturn, both of which are actually the same company under different names) and Conrad was always known for overpricing with huge mark-ups. But it's quite interesting to see this change happening way earlier in the USA than in Germany. I wasn't aware of that. Today in Germany the electronics stores mostly focus on consumer-hardware (Alexa, Google home, security cameras, gardening electronics, TVs), Software (mostly Games to be honest) and enthusiasts-stuff (PC parts, gaming eqipment, style upgrades or bundles for consoles). But they could never sustain themselves with only one of those departments. Covid, I think, might not be the final - but definitely one of the - nails in the coffin, as it shows the struggles of the stores with customer support and advice validity as well as revealing some shady buisness practices.

    FFVor 16 Stunden
  • omg im old!

    martinmartinVor 16 Stunden
  • I am old enough to remember KB Toys and how exciting it was to go there and see all the new products. Consuming these days hits different. It's faster, impersonal, but ultimately convenient.

    shaolintiger1shaolintiger1Vor 17 Stunden
  • Camelot Music is where I bought most of my Laserdiscs since they had a $9.99 and below bin. Suncoast seemed to never have sales so I never bought a disc from them.

    Zaphod BeeblebroxZaphod BeeblebroxVor 17 Stunden
  • Great nostalgia. Thank you! I, too, miss the experience of stores - especially when you've saved up to buy that latest game or what not. Now that movie theaters are being replaced by home theaters, the new generations really have no reason to go to a mall and be social. We are social creatures and we are becoming less so, despite the claim of social media apps. Truly disappointing.

    M VM VVor 17 Stunden
  • The Wiz

    A FA FVor 17 Stunden
  • Also what’s interesting is that due to how Radio Shack was closely related to Tandy a lot of Radio Shack products were also sold outside of the US in Europe and Australia but were rebranded with Tandy electronics due to how they were sold in Tandy stores outside of the US! However some electronics stores in other countries like Australia are still doing extremely well together like JB-HIFI for example that have adapted to not only sell modern smartphones and computers but to also sell stuff like video games/consoles, TVs, cameras and electronic audio/music equipment/instruments! :)

    Techno UniversalTechno UniversalVor 18 Stunden
  • Oh yeah, what was with malls and shops being such Nazis about filming inside? Like damn, pretty sure terrorists aren't taking pictures for a meticulous strike on your food court!

    Frosted ButtsFrosted ButtsVor 19 Stunden
  • “GameStop, which doesn’t exactly have a bright future.” How DARE you!

    DavidDavidVor 19 Stunden
    • lol...sad but true..

      martinmartinVor 16 Stunden
  • Love these type of videos looking back at stores from years ago....depressing but still very interesting.

    Richard RicoRichard RicoVor 20 Stunden
  • Electronics Boutique still exists (EB Games)

    SilentServiceCodeSilentServiceCodeVor 20 Stunden
  • Fry's was extremely expensive... sometimes they were more than double the prices of anywhere else.

    Steve AustinSteve AustinVor 20 Stunden
  • Did you have a Waldensoftware?

    ACCSSIACCSSIVor 21 Stunde
  • This is shocking to me. I'm too young to have dealt much with any of the experiences you've described, but having recently gotten into ham radio, I certainly feel the pain of these locations simply no longer existing locally. It's beyond disappointing to see, because as convenient as online shopping is, the reality of not being able to pick out the parts you need by hand is much, much worse!

    gregdan3gregdan3Vor 21 Stunde
  • The same thing happened as in Australia: point-to-point wiring is obsolete, and surface mount is too difficult.

    Doug LaidlawDoug LaidlawVor 22 Stunden
  • Oh man wait til i tell Reddit what you said about GameStop

    Joe McPlumberJoe McPlumberVor 22 Stunden
  • Say goodbye to commercial real estate with "Today" plus everyone working from home due to covid.

    Dan FitzpatrickDan FitzpatrickVor 22 Stunden
  • Well, about hobby electronics to build your own stuff? That also dissapeared. But it's also a sign of the really DUMBED down population of millenials who can't even tie their shoes or pick up their pants, and can't process anything in their pathetic brains outside of skin color and genitals. The diy nerds i grew up with were far more interesting individuals.

    C TC TVor 22 Stunden
  • Incredible Universe by Tandy lasted a little more than a year at Potomac Mills Mall in Virginia. Sigh.

    Kris R.Kris R.Vor 22 Stunden
  • The fact that Best Buy is still around and going strong is just mind blowing 🤯.

    Chris_The_PotatoChris_The_PotatoVor 22 Stunden
  • I bought a four-function Sears calculator in 1972 for $100.

    Jim WJim WVor 22 Stunden
  • Ha I know that area really well!

    Reggie MReggie MVor 22 Stunden
  • The kits were awesome

    E BoogieE BoogieVor 23 Stunden
  • They did not allow people to film inside their stores back then, so now when they are bankrupt and gone, and nobody will remember them, I must say that I have no sympathy for them. They wen't bankrupt because they chose not to evolve. Boo hoo. I especially hate Fry's Electronics for that. I used to work there back in the day and some of the stuff they implemented was absolute nonsense.

    Mohammad MursalinMohammad MursalinVor 23 Stunden
  • Babbage's became GameStop. Same company.

    Patrick RayPatrick RayVor 23 Stunden
  • The 1960's when you would actually build something from components. Popular Electronics, and other electronic magazines often had article of thigs that you could build I would see something I wanted to build and as a 12 ye4ar-old in Chicago I would make a parts list and take the bus (alone for about a 2 hour bus ride on two lines) to Allied Electronics at 100 N. Western, buy the parts, and return home. Then I would build it and enjoy it. I had test equipment built for their Knight Kits. Now you need printed circuit boards and micro miniature soldering equipment to build something. All that fascination as a kid is gone now, heck back the radio hams built almost all their gear, even antennas, while today they buy .all of it already done .

    Patrick ChambersPatrick ChambersVor 23 Stunden
  • I think the last thing I bought in stores that marked the end of this era for me were a couple of Zune's.

    Jeff ValentineJeff ValentineVor 23 Stunden
  • wow , this dude had rich parents

    Joe YorkJoe YorkVor Tag

    GeonidasGeonidasVor Tag
  • 2020 kids: what is a mall?

    M:TronautM:TronautVor Tag
  • TIL me and my dad used to go to the same mall you did!

  • cool video, but not loving the casual animal cruelty with the live fish

    karota1334karota1334Vor Tag
  • Thanks for showing us inside the decline of shopping malls in the US! Shopping malls likely are able to thrive in Singapore due to the limited land space. The defunct 'Incredible Universe' reminds me of the defunct 'SAFE Superstore' that existed in Singapore.

    Kevin BhasiKevin BhasiVor Tag
  • My first job was at Ritz Camera. I haven't really been to a shopping since all these stores still existed

    Charles CoulonCharles CoulonVor Tag
  • The real reason they didn't let you use the camera was because they didn't want you video taping their layout. The floor plan of a store can change a business entirely.

    Kurt NeumannKurt NeumannVor Tag
  • So there are lots of reasons given for why filming was not allowed, and most of it was either a direct obsfucation or not understanding. This is stupid obscure knowledge, so feel free to skip. So back in the day, when shopping at malls was a thing, an insane amount of money went into research on the store layout, as well as the look and feel. And I mean insane amounts, like 60-70% of marketing budgets. There were huge companies dedicated to provide retail experience consulting with research and design and building. Equally, there were competitive research people who would go see what everyone was doing and try to tease out details. Everyone was doing it to everyone, and everyone knew it because they would see it. So to try and stop competitors from doing it, they should kick out everyone with a video camera. So it would all just get a bit more Cloak and Dagger. Cameras hidden in bags and what not. It's still done today. Hotels and restaurants get touchy when it comes to filming for the first year or so. Also, reception centers are the same way. It's stupid because the reality is no one copied outright, they just borrowed here and there and you didn't need video or pictures to do that.

    Stephen SteeleStephen SteeleVor Tag
  • Surely you must be Mrmb733!!!

    HappyQuailsHappyQuailsVor Tag
  • I'd like to introduce you to Best Buy and MicroCenter.

    Antonio Montana Zapata ChavezAntonio Montana Zapata ChavezVor Tag
  • I think they were referring to the sale and promotional pricing that they were protecting.

    HappyQuailsHappyQuailsVor Tag
  • Amazon

    themonolithianthemonolithianVor Tag
  • I remember Rick Mccrank doing a tv series called abandoned and he visited some malls and a theme park called six flags do not know if they are connected but it was sad to see them empty

    Paul ThompsonPaul ThompsonVor Tag
  • For those of you in Dallas, check out Microcenter and Altex. I loathe Fry’s. I swore I’d never return 2 years ago. With these 2 stores, I’ve kept my word. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Aaron JohnsonAaron JohnsonVor Tag
  • It's amazing to think back to as recently as the late 2000s and consider how different certain things were before smartphones existed. If you just walk outside, you wouldn't notice; it's how we *do* things that has changed - culturally, logistically, and customarily. The smartphone was most impactful thing since personal computers and the Web. Consider the differences between the early 1990s and the late 1990s, and now compare it to the early 2000s as it differs from the late 2000s and 2010s.

    Timeless CarsTimeless CarsVor Tag
  • Oh wow, those shots of the shelves full of Atari and Nintendo games hit me right in the tweener-brain dopamine receptors. =:o

    Jack HesseJack HesseVor Tag
  • I lived though that era. And though I miss certain stores like Radio Shack or Tower Records, I can say "Good Riddance" to the rest. Why? In electronics stores, you had these obnoxious, ignorant salesmen who only knew how to hustle the sale of an amplifier or a TV, but couldn't demonstrate or explain why one component was better than the other. They only wanted to sell you the most expensive possible. Some of them who knew a little, were complete snobs. Same for computer stores, with the asshole salespeople bugging you and not helping you. Some of these electronic or computer stores sold grey market crap that was reduced in price and on the verge of being obsolete by a better replacement. And stores such as Sam Goody or Musicland sold their albums at highly inflated prices . Tower did too, but at least they had an immense variety of albums to choose from. There are things to miss, but what we have now, in most cases, is better and more affordable that what we had then. Can you imaging spending $4000 in 1981 for an IBM PC or $6500 on a Mac in 1984 and in a couple of years, something much better, faster, capable comes along at half the price? Most of the products that computer stores sold went obsolete before 6 months.

    Manolo KonoskoManolo KonoskoVor Tag
  • We had a BEST at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville, WV near where I grew up. Funnily enough, it is now a Best Buy. Nearby was a Children's Palace where I got a handful of C64 games.

    Eric NearEric NearVor Tag
  • You should investigate and track down the security guard that threw you out, and once you find him and positively identify him, beat the crap out of him with a baseball bat. You need closure.

    Manolo KonoskoManolo KonoskoVor Tag
  • I still use stereos. Screw the phone, not as loud and not as good

    ron stone5ron stone5Vor Tag
  • a hifi shop here in the UK WAS AMAZED TO SEE IT,then convid finally killed it off, didnt even get a chance to walk around the place, just isnt a thing anymore we have mainline store currys and thats about it, pc shops are very very rare to. it just isnt a thing anymore

    Audie SextonAudie SextonVor Tag
  • "Imagine taking the Taco Bell menu and blotting out 80% of the menu.." Oops they actually did that.

    SteveSteveVor Tag
  • All those electronic stores are long gone.... radio shack, arrow electronics, nadisco, Lafayette, heathkit, not to mention all those software stores.... will apple and Microsoft still be around in another 25 or 50 years....

    canonguy1canonguy1Vor Tag
  • Yoooo I had that black and green monster truck RC @ 3:53 as a kid!

  • The change to online retail is a double edged sword in some respects, sure I don't have to go out and it might be a little cheaper but I can't see how something physically looks and I have to wait for it which is a pain in the neck if its something like a tool or a part of something you are working on. Probably the inner Grumpy Old Man in me but I'd rather just go get something there and then with no fuss than try and order it lol.

    SegafishySegafishyVor Tag
  • The main problem with electronic stores is not evolving with the times I'd imagine. There's plenty of different electronics you could sell, I mean, go look at something like Bestbuy. Sure they're a bigger company but they have a wide range of products you can get because they had to evolve, which is something that gamespot was a bit too slow to do and is real close to being finished

    C SC SVor Tag
  • These places provided a lot of jobs for young people. I wonder what they do these days.

    frenchustubefrenchustubeVor Tag
  • I miss Fry's already. Of course I didn't go there too terribly often but if I needed a weird battery for a retro PC or Mac or some soldering supplies, they were always there. Now I have to drive 40 minutes to get to Microcenter in Houston. I also miss physical software stores like Babagges and Electronics Boutique but they all became Gamestop like you mentioned.

    JohnnyNismoJohnnyNismoVor Tag
  • here in the UK, we had Radio Shack, but branded as Tandy. Our main high-street consumer electronics store was Dixons, where I had my first calculators and digital watches (led, lcd) mid- to late-70's. until recently the big consumer electronics store was Comet and the place for circuit boards, chips, wiring and adapters was Maplin . Comet and Maplin both gone. For TV / VHS rental we had our Thorn-EMI-Feguson stores for the JVC VHS rtange rebranded as Ferguson. so DER, Radio-Rentals & Rumbelows - all gone. in my hometown Newport, too, we had Marks - where you could by discrete components, vero board, solder, loudspeakers etc. Also, in London, it would have been Tottenham Court Road for the boutique electroncs, but now it's a pale shadow of its former glory. Carphone Warehouse and Dixons are all part of the Currys white/brown goods chain, so one stop for washing machines, TV, smartphones, PC's & tablets etc.

    David Paul MorganDavid Paul MorganVor Tag