The Castro RadioShack will be closing, we've confirmed. Signs have gone up on the windows announcing the closure and liquidation sale of the all-purpose electronics chain's location. Store manager John Robbins, who's been with RadioShack for over 15 years, he tells us that the store was notified of the closure last week by its corporate parent, and that the liquidation sale should last for the next two months.
After that, the store will officially be gone.
When RadioShack filed for bankruptcy back in February, it seemed like the Castro location might become one of Sprint's "stores within a store." As first reported by the Castro Bubble, the Castro location had been told that it was safe from closure and was not on the potential store closure list. At the time, Robbins was waiting for the details of how the new store would look. Even last month, it looked like it might hold on, per this in-depth story in the Castro Courier.
But the location did not survive a second round of corporate-driven closures.
For some who might not be aware, the Castro location had recently been remodeled and turned in to a RadioShack concept store. According to the RadioShack website, concept stores "feature bright, completely redesigned interiors and new exterior signage displaying the company’s new look, incorporating interactive areas designed to help shoppers improve their technology profile."
The remodeled store offered a wide selection of Beats by Dre headphones, tablet computers, smart phones and they even had a 3D printer. They also had a 'Fix It Here' station that would repair the broken screen of your smart phone or tablet.
RadioShack, for years now, has been trying to shake off an outdated image. Instead of going in to a brick and mortar store to buy electronics, customers have switched to making their purchasing online. Robbins tells us that he sees many people come in and browse items to probably then buy them online. To combat this issue RadioShack had begun offering competitive pricing along with, as Robbins tells us, "an enhanced in-store experience and expert associates who can equip consumers with the right product and know-how based on their needs."
And yet, with the rising popularity of the makers movement, 3D printing, do-it-yourself hardware kits like Raspberry Pi, drones, Internet of Things gadgets, and the rest of the electronic devices filling up the world – along with the success of electronics retail outlets like Apple Stores – many tech types saw a place for a store like RadioShack.
Maybe one day a new sort of electronics store will make it into the neighborhood? For now, Castro-area electronics tinkerers and DIYers will need to travel a little further if they want to shop in-person for the parts they need.
There's no word yet on who will be taking over the space once RadioShack vacates but we will keep you up-to-date with any news. In the meantime, stop in to say goodbye and pick up that remote control car you've been eying or stock up on large packs of batteries.