RadioShack Has Deep Roots
As part of the American retail landscape for more than 90 years, the iconic RadioShack brand is widely recognized by consumers around the globe. We credit our staying power to RadioShack's customer-oriented approach, which combines a carefully selected product assortment with a convenient, small-store format and highly personalized service. Over the years, this approach has enabled RadioShack to stay at the forefront of the rapidly evolving consumer electronics market and to remain relevant to consumers in every era. What's more, it has fueled RadioShack's evolution from a humble startup company into a multifaceted, multibillion-dollar electronics retailer with more than 27,000 associates, and a vast retail network that includes more than 4,000 company-operated stores in the United States, over 270 company-operated stores in Mexico, and approximately 950 dealer and other outlets worldwide.
Our ability to anticipate consumer needs has made RadioShack a trailblazer in the consumer electronics arena, responsible for several industry "firsts" that include opening the nation's first "audio showroom" in 1947 and introducing the first mass-produced personal computer, the TRS-80, in 1977.
In 1986, we began offering mobile telephones, becoming one of the first retailers to enter the wireless market. Since then, RadioShack has become an established wireless authority, selling more than 73 million mobile phones. In more recent years, our commitment to breaking new ground has included introducing the first affordably priced stereo receiver with digital technology, the first consumer mobile/portable cellular telephone and the first high-performance satellite television system for installation by "do-it-yourselfers."
AN UNEXPECTED BEGINNING
RadioShack traces its roots to two separate and very different entrepreneurial ventures: The Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company, a supplier of leather shoe parts to shoe repair shops founded in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1919; and RadioShack, a retail store and mail-order operation that was established in Boston in 1921 to serve the needs of radio officers aboard ships. RadioShack quickly grew to encompass a handful of stores in the Northeast, as well as a successful electronics mail-order business. The Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company also prospered, and in 1954, it sold its flagship leather business to expand its scope of operations. In 1959, the company shortened its name to Tandy Corporation, and in 1963, Tandy Corporation acquired RadioShack, marking the company's start as a personal electronics retailer. In 2000, Tandy Corporation changed its name to RadioShack Corp., listing on the NYSE under ticker symbol RSH.
Amidst the break-neck innovations in consumer electronics and personal technology, RadioShack has steadfastly maintained its position as an enduring American brand, combining the personal touch of a neighborhood merchant with the purchasing power of an international retailer. Read the adjacent Timeline to take a closer look at RadioShack’s evolution through the years.