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milnoc

join:2001-03-05
H3B
kudos:2
reply to vue666

Re: Futureshop/Bestbuy abruptly shut down a dozen stores

Do remember that Radio Shack in the US and Canada were originally two entirely different companies that shared both business models and brands until Circuit City bought out the Canadian company and changed the name to "The Source by Circuit City".

Later, Bell bought out the chain, and renamed it simply "The Source".

As for the fall of the electronic components department, that's not surprising. Today's consumer electronics are made with tiny SMT components that are close to impossible to service without highly specialized equipment. These aren't your granddad's resistors, capacitors and transistors we're talking about here. Heck, I rarely ever saw anyone browse through those sections before they were pulled.
--
Watch my future television channel's public test broadcast!
»thecanadianpublic.com/live



vue666
I love Lanny Barbie
Premium
join:2007-12-07
Halifax, NS
kudos:1
reply to Guspaz

I remember when there was an Heathkit store in HRM... LOL

Yeah... I used to purchase some of those components from the local RS store...



dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to milnoc

said by milnoc:

Today's consumer electronics are made with tiny SMT components that are close to impossible to service without highly specialized equipment.

in most cases, modern boards aren't repairable at all, they are disposable...that is why on things like flat panel TVs, appliances, etc, the repair costs are quite high as the need to replace a "main board" is likely over 50% of the cost of the entire unit.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
reply to milnoc

said by milnoc:

Do remember that Radio Shack in the US and Canada were originally two entirely different companies that shared both business models and brands until Circuit City bought out the Canadian company and changed the name to "The Source by Circuit City".

Later, Bell bought out the chain, and renamed it simply "The Source".

As for the fall of the electronic components department, that's not surprising. Today's consumer electronics are made with tiny SMT components that are close to impossible to service without highly specialized equipment. These aren't your granddad's resistors, capacitors and transistors we're talking about here. Heck, I rarely ever saw anyone browse through those sections before they were pulled.

They were and they weren't. Tandy, who owns the Radio Shack name, spun off all their international holdings into a company called Intertan, which they took public.

Slowly but surely all international holdings, except for Canada were shut down or liquidated (always liked getting Foreign catalogues). When Circuit City bought Intertan, Tandy pulled the license to use the Radio Shack Name, after all, you don't want your biggest rival in the US using your corporate name in a different country, thus the name change.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
reply to dirtyjeffer

said by dirtyjeffer:

said by milnoc:

Today's consumer electronics are made with tiny SMT components that are close to impossible to service without highly specialized equipment.

in most cases, modern boards aren't repairable at all, they are disposable...that is why on things like flat panel TVs, appliances, etc, the repair costs are quite high as the need to replace a "main board" is likely over 50% of the cost of the entire unit.

From a consumer perspective yes,everything is surface mount, just swap it (assuming it's under warranty) however they can be repaired after the fact. with sophisticated equipment, hell they had those machines back in the day when I worked at the shack.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......


vue666
I love Lanny Barbie
Premium
join:2007-12-07
Halifax, NS
kudos:1
reply to elwoodblues

I remember years ago I had a Radio Shack credit card which I did use on occasion in the American RS....



FaxCap

join:2002-05-25
Surrey, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw
reply to Guspaz

The only thing I used Radio Shack for was a quick source of parts.
Rather than a 30 minute drive to buy 3 resistors and a couple of
capacitors from a wholesale supplier I only had to run up to the local
mall. The Source still has parts but a MUCH reduced selection than
RS carried.

FaxCap



sm5w2
Premium
join:2004-10-13
St Thomas, ON
reply to Guspaz

I've never understood how or why a big-box electronics store needs to have 75 - 100 employees (how many do you ever really see at any one time?). How much is it costing them to manage so many part-time employees vs having fewer full-time ones?

As for "show-rooming" and competition from Amazon, I think there's more competition from ebay (you can buy a lot of the same stuff, new or used, from ebay these days, and ebay is less expensive because of their business model compared to Amazon).

But in the US, shipping is dirt-cheap/free, but not in Canada.

But products weigh a lot less these days vs 10 years ago. If we still had tube-type TV's, there would be no e-commerce in TV's because they weigh so friggen much and would cost a fortune to ship to your home.

Something else that's killing FS/BB is the chronic over-production of flat-panel TV's and monitors. When you start having drug stores selling TV's, you know you should get out of that retail end of the business.


dragonfly

join:2012-09-04

If you have a core of full-time employees, you run the risk of having them unionize on you and demand wage increases. With a whole bunch of part-timers, turnover is higher and that's less likely to happen.



elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
reply to FaxCap

said by FaxCap:

The only thing I used Radio Shack for was a quick source of parts.
Rather than a 30 minute drive to buy 3 resistors and a couple of
capacitors from a wholesale supplier I only had to run up to the local
mall. The Source still has parts but a MUCH reduced selection than
RS carried.

FaxCap

And that's where all the money was. It wasn't unheard of to have 1000% margins (I kid you not) on a resistor pack. Hell a phone splitter cost the store 75c and they retailed it for $6.95.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to elwoodblues

said by elwoodblues:

said by milnoc:

Do remember that Radio Shack in the US and Canada were originally two entirely different companies that shared both business models and brands until Circuit City bought out the Canadian company and changed the name to "The Source by Circuit City".

Later, Bell bought out the chain, and renamed it simply "The Source".

As for the fall of the electronic components department, that's not surprising. Today's consumer electronics are made with tiny SMT components that are close to impossible to service without highly specialized equipment. These aren't your granddad's resistors, capacitors and transistors we're talking about here. Heck, I rarely ever saw anyone browse through those sections before they were pulled.

They were and they weren't. Tandy, who owns the Radio Shack name, spun off all their international holdings into a company called Intertan, which they took public.

Slowly but surely all international holdings, except for Canada were shut down or liquidated (always liked getting Foreign catalogues). When Circuit City bought Intertan, Tandy pulled the license to use the Radio Shack Name, after all, you don't want your biggest rival in the US using your corporate name in a different country, thus the name change.

Left the purchase and integration of Batteries+ into the InterTan umbrella...

The Canadian (and, for some reason, Australian?) HQ was in Barrie; combined with their main Canadian warehouse. The ex (who was the current wife, at the time) worked there in the store attached to the warehouse...

The business relationships with the US entity was odd at the best of times, and downright weird in some aspects. But it was functional enough to get by, until the CC take-over... Circuit City ran it pretty much into the ground; and Bell took it over for pennies on the dollar, mostly to:

a) take away a big part of Rogers distribution chain (at the time, InterTan was in bed with Rogers)

and

b) increase Bell's retail presence almost instantaneously...


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON

said by LazMan:

The Canadian (and, for some reason, Australian?) HQ was in Barrie; combined with their main Canadian warehouse. The ex (who was the current wife, at the time) worked there in the store attached to the warehouse...

It has been also UK, France, West Germany, and either Belgium or the Netherlands at one point. InterTan = International Tandy when they spun off the international divisions they put the head office in the largest subsidiary, Canada. Barrie was the head office because back when Tandy had the leather business (where they started) they bought a leather goods company in Barrie. They just always stayed. They even had plans to build a big head office right about where the Leon's is now.
--
The irony of common sense, it is not that common.
I cannot deny anything I did not say.
A kitten dies every time someone uses "then" and "than" incorrectly.
I mock people who give their children odd spelling of names.

gnumantsc

join:2003-07-23
reply to Guspaz

said by Guspaz:

I tried to buy a powered USB hub last week from the Futureshop that closed here.

The cheapest powered hub they sold was a 7-port Dynex model. For $49.

I bought a 7-port powered hub from Monoprice instead for $13. It'll take me longer to get, but at a fraction the price.

Ironically, the Monoprice brand-name products are generally higher quality than the Dynex house brand.

Well you could always ask me as I'm currently launching my store on Teksolution but I could get you parts.
--
Teksolution - Sales, support, consulting - The Solution for all your computer problems!


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to Guspaz

Macleans has an alternative viewpoint to the common claim that it's "Amazon" that's stealing their business (which I don't buy), and suggests it's customer service that influenced the closures of Best Buy and Sears:

quote:
But Best Buy and Sears wouldn’t be vulnerable to these threats if not for a more fundamental problem: Lousy customer service. The big story in Canadian retail right now isn’t really about the rise of e-commerce or a new competitor. It’s that one of the central tenets of shopping—the customer is always right—is once again a life or death commandment.
quote:
But shopping at a Best Buy, or one of the company’s Future Shop locations, is most often an exercise in annoyance rather than respect. Customers complain that sales staff were difficult to find and unknowledgeable or pushy when they did materialize. Sears suffered similar problems; in some locations, you are more likely to spot a Yeti than a sales associate. Both Best Buy and Sears trailed far behind competitors like Costco and Sam’s Club in pleasing their patrons, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an annual survey of 70,000 shoppers.
»www2.macleans.ca/2013/02/01/jame···est-buy/


The bolded part is so true, especially at my local Future Shop where a couple of these little fuckers say shit that's outright wrong and swindle people into buying stuff they don't need.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to milnoc

said by milnoc:

As for the fall of the electronic components department, that's not surprising. Today's consumer electronics are made with tiny SMT components that are close to impossible to service without highly specialized equipment. These aren't your granddad's resistors, capacitors and transistors we're talking about here. Heck, I rarely ever saw anyone browse through those sections before they were pulled.

Last time I was at a The Source a few months ago, they still had that section.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

1 edit
reply to urbanriot

You nailed it - the future shop that closed in Barrie was newer, bigger, and in a better location. And their service sucked...

I went into the 'new' future shop this summer to buy an iPad... Cash in hand, knew what I wanted... Could have been the easiest $750 someone made all afternoon... Couldn't find a sales person... The one seemed to be actively avoiding customers; the other was actually sitting on a counter, popping bubble wrap... After 15 unsuccessful minutes, I left... On the way out, I stopped at the front desk, and told the supervisor that they just lost an iPad, case, and accessories sale... She didn't really seem to care.

I went to the 'old' store, and had the exact opposite experience; a young man (Deep was his name) was very helpful, without being pushy in the slightest... He apologized for the other store, even... Spent about a grand with him in maybe 20 minutes, and probably less...


Warez_Zealot

join:2006-04-19
Vancouver
reply to Guspaz

IMO this company is a loser corporate culture.

-Loser management
-Losers on competition
-Loser customer service
-Loser on [insert word here]

I just feel bad for the employees even if they were contributing to the loser culture and pushing those damn warantees and looking out for their sales figure/commissions (if that even applied at FS anymore. I'm sure the loser management axed it during their race to the bottom)

Funny thing is that they think their smaller shops are the way to go? I'd rather buy from Craigslist or Redflagdeals whenever possible. The only time I buy from BestBuy/FS is when I can either price gouge them on a price match, or buy something where they have razor sharp profit margins on their rare as hen's teeth sales.
--
"You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it."-Malcolm X



elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
reply to LazMan

said by LazMan:

You nailed it - the future shop that closed in Barrie was newer, bigger, and in a better location. And their service sucked...

I went into the 'new' future shop this summer to buy an iPad... Cash in hand, knew what I wanted... Could have been the easiest $750 someone made all afternoon... Couldn't find a sales person... The one seemed to be actively avoiding customers; the other was actually sitting on a counter, popping bubble wrap... After 15 unsuccessful minutes, I left... On the way out, I stopped at the front desk, and told the supervisor that they just lost an iPad, case, and accessories sale... She didn't really seem to care.

I went to the 'old' store, and had the exact opposite experience; a young man (Deep was his name) was very helpful, without being pushy in the slightest... He apologized for the other store, even... Spent about a grand with him in maybe 20 minutes, and probably less...

I'm not surprised, there is no margin in idevices, and thus a commissioned sales person who is paid on profit, is not going to spend time with you, with the potential loss of a larger margin item to someone else.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......

LastDon

join:2002-08-13
reply to Guspaz

I wouldn't be surprised if more store closures happen.

I saw this coming personally.

I have stopped shopping at FS and BB for three years now. I hated dealing with FS mostly with warranty related issues.

They would give you terms and conditions and when it came to honour those terms, they would make terms up on the spot, and than you would have to escalate your case etc etc and it would take days or a week or two to get it resolved until the "manager" would admit he was wrong.

I'd say a lot of managers and staff lost the aspect of respecting the customer and actually listening. I had two LCD type tvs that both went un-repairable according to them, and my gosh I HATED with a passion dealing with them for warranty related issues.

Their stores become to big, and very open, etc and started selling to many items .. i mean now online they even sell vitamins etc.

I liked FS in in 1993 when I bought my first PC ! nice smaller type stores.



capdjq
Premium
join:2000-11-01
Vancouver

I like FS and BB. Never had a problem but, then again, never had Warranty related issues. I've never purchased an extended warranty so, before the satisfaction period expired, if I wasn't happy, I returned the product.
I hate purchasing a product without seeing it first no matter how cheap.
The problem with on line buys its a hassle if you encounter any defects to mail back.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to elwoodblues

There may be no margin on the devices, but the accessories and cases are HIGH margin items... And I wanted the full deal.

Plus wasn't even able to talk to either salesperson to tell them what I was looking for...



sm5w2
Premium
join:2004-10-13
St Thomas, ON
reply to urbanriot

> > But shopping at a Best Buy, or one of the company's Future Shop locations,
> > is most often an exercise in annoyance rather than respect. Customers complain
> > that sales staff were difficult to find and unknowledgeable or pushy when they did
> > materialize. Sears suffered similar problems; in some locations, you are more likely
> > to spot a Yeti than a sales associate. Both Best Buy and Sears trailed far
> > behind competitors like Costco and Sam's Club in pleasing their patrons,
> > according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an annual survey of
> > 70,000 shoppers.

Again, this aspect of customer service is exactly what you get when you staff a big-box electronics store with 75 - 100 part-time, high turnover employees, instead of say 20 full-time employees.

I don't buy the fact that the fear of unionization is why the retailers go with part-time staff. By now, everyone in Ontario is aware that if you go on strike in a private-sector business, that business isin't going to mess around with you - they will close and kick your ass out on the road. Ask the people that used to work at the Caterpillar plant (formerly GM Diesel) in London if their union experience worked out for them.

Places like Costco make it a point of selling stuff that doesn't require customer assistance. A TV is a TV these days, and you don't need customer assistance to answer questions about 5-gallon pails of salad dressing.



urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to LazMan

said by LazMan:

There may be no margin on the devices, but the accessories and cases are HIGH margin items... And I wanted the full deal.

Sure, like this 10' no-name 'Dynex' USB cable for $29.99
»www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/···4a51en02

vs. 10' StarTech USB cable for $3.41
»www.ncix.com/products/?sku=48045···0DT%20SB

This isn't the cause of their demise though, as places like Staples do exactly the same thing... and people buy this stuff, without knowing better. Heck, sometimes people buy the extra cables for the new printers since they're trashing the old cables with their old printer.


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia

You are taking things out of context.

When you sell a commodity good like a TV, PC etc, there is almost no margin in it. If they sell you a $30 USB or HDMI cable , that's where the profit is.

That said, 30 bucks for a USB cable is outrageous, I've bought a ton of things from Monoprice, simply because it's so much cheaper.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......



elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
reply to sm5w2

said by sm5w2:

and you don't need customer assistance to answer questions about 5-gallon pails of salad dressing.

EWW that's alot of Salad dressing


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to elwoodblues

said by elwoodblues:

You are taking things out of context.

... You should probably re-read my post because I responded to him with direct context.

said by elwoodblues:

When you sell a commodity good like a TV, PC etc, there is almost no margin in it. If they sell you a $30 USB or HDMI cable , that's where the profit is.

Yet despite that, our area has two stores that focus on selling home theatre electronics, both of which have been around in some capacity or another since I moved to Niagara Falls and shopped for my first VCR back in the 80's.


rickardsred

join:2004-08-20
St Catharines, ON
reply to Guspaz

The crappy customer service and accessories upsell at these stores is nothing new. I remember back in the late 90's when I was shopping for a printer at the Futureshop in St. Catharines, back when it was on Ontario Street, across from the old K-Mart plaza.

Anyhow, I picked up an HP Deskjet printer that was on sale and the the sales guy says to me "Sir, you'll need a good USB printer cable to go with that?" and proceeds to grab a $60 "Belkin Deluxe-Premium, 24 Karat Gold-Plated, Oxygen-deprived, made from Unobtainum encrusted Saskatchewan Seal-Skin bindings" cable off the shelf.

Since the printer had both USB and Parallel connections, I quickly declined it with a "Heh Heh...uhm...no. I'll just use the parallel cable I already have, thank you". He proceeded to tell me that in order to get the best colour print quality that I needed to use the USB connection. Using a parallel cable would reduce the printing quality because it was only designed for black and white printing.

I laughed in his face, put the printer down and said, "On second thought, perhaps I will shop around a bit more then." And walked out the door.

I still bought a printer that day. I can't recall where....but I think I took my business to a small computer shop in town where they sold me the same printer, matched the Futureshop price, and even threw in a free USB cable. Of course, of the two stores, guess which one is still in business....



milnoc

join:2001-03-05
H3B
kudos:2

The only downside of regularly going to a small shop is that they quickly learn how to "poke" your geek factor, making you buy even more stuff! But at least it's the kind of stuff you can actually use -- most of the time.

"A water cooled system?"

"You don't really need it. Cooling fans will work just as well. But watch what happens when I add some fluorescent dye to the water and turn on the black light."

"Ooooooooo!!!"


--
Watch my future television channel's public test broadcast!
»thecanadianpublic.com/live



Hydraglass
Premium
join:2002-05-08
Kingston, ON
reply to Guspaz

What's even worse, is at least for me, Best Buy has turned into a "showroom" where I go look at the merchandise, play with it, get my hands on it, decide if it's the one I want - model, type, etc - and then I go home and buy it online from wherever I get the best price and deal. If the BestBuy price was the best, I just end up buying it online from their site anyway - same price and home delivery so I don't have to go back and stand in line or answer questions about extended warranty.

The ONLY things I've bought in store at Best Buy the last 2-3 years are 4 flat panel TV's - shipping and delivery isn't reasonable on 36-55 inch tv's.



sm5w2
Premium
join:2004-10-13
St Thomas, ON

> What's even worse, is at least for me, Best Buy has turned into a "showroom" where I go look
> at the merchandise, play with it, get my hands on it, decide if it's the one I want - model, type,
> etc - and then I go home and buy it online from wherever I get the best price and deal.

You do realize that they've coined a term for exactly that behavior - don't you?

It's called "show-rooming".

So the next time you're at a big-box store, and (by some miracle) a salesperson walks up to you and asks if he can help you, I dare you to say "No - I'm just show-rooming..."

See if slaps you upside the head.