Before we get into the full list of stores like Radio Shack, we should pause to note that for a full century now – really, a century! – Radio Shack has been an absolute staple for DIY-ers and folks who like to geek out on tech.
Since opening its doors back in 1921, the store’s offerings have expanded as technology has grown, from the eponymous radios to every manner of consumer electronics.
But just as technology has expanded, so have Radio Shack’s competitors, and today there’s no shortage of affordable Radio Shack alternatives offering comparable products at similar prices.
In this post I’ll round up 15 of the best electronic stores like Radio Shack that offer a wide range of consumer electronics, components and digital gear.
The Best Radio Shack Alternatives
Rounding Up 15 Electronic Stores Like Radio Shack
Arguably Radio Shack’s biggest competitor, Best Buy carries a wide selection of consumer electronics that ranges all the way from big-ticket items like home appliances and home theater equipment to wearables, gaming consoles and pretty much everything in between.
If it has circuitry and requires electricity to power it, Best Buy probably sells it.
Fry’s is another close competitor and alternative to Radio Shack, which offers everything from big-ticket consumer goods to smaller computer components and accessories.
Fry’s hasn’t been selling consumer electronics for quite as long as Radio Shack (it only started in 1985, making it a relative whipper snapper compared to RS), but it’s been in the game for decades now and has a pretty strong selection of goods.
Amazon makes the list of stores like Radio Shack for the simple reason that they sell basically everything.
When it comes to electronics, they carry both the popular consumer goods that everyone has in their homes (TVs, computers, smart phones, etc.) and the more technical components that DIYers have long loved about Radio Shack.
Walmart is another Radio Shack alternative that’s very much in the Amazon mould.
At this point they’re so big, and so ubiquitous, that they could be included on almost every list of “stores like…” And as with Amazon, they sell pretty much every electronics category (and damn near every product) imaginable.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Target is a huge department store with a extremely well stocked website that sells both electronics, and basically everything else.
Sounds familiar, right? Target differs slightly from the two above in that their electronics selection isn’t quite as wide, but they still offer all the main categories of popular electronic consumer goods.
Another online-only outlet, Overstock is a lot like Amazon in that they’re an online-only retailer, though obviously not quite as big.
Like Target, their selection of consumer electronics isn’t quite as big as some of the other massive players on this list, but they earn their place the list of stores like Radio Shack thanks to their respectable offerings in all the main consumer electronics categories.
Remember Sears? Probably the only company on this list that’s older than Radio Shack, Sears first opened its doors back in 1892, and while the road has certainly been rocky, they’ve been selling a wide range of consumer goods ever since.
Today they offer a decent selection of electronics that focuses mostly on mainstream consumer goods and big-ticket items like appliances, along with other smart-home devices.
eBay’s lost a lot of ground since it helped usher in the era of e-commerce back in the mid-90s, but it’s still a viable option for anyone who wants to avoid paying full price for electronics (and doesn’t mind if they’re gently used).
While they do have a pretty wide selection of brand new devices and products, eBay is still best known as a place where you can buy used electronics (and used everything else), often for much better prices than you’ll find elsewhere.
Office Depot’s selection of electronics is admittedly much smaller than some of the other stores like Radio Shack on this list, but it deserves inclusion thanks to its strong selection of (you guessed it) office-specific devices.
They’ve also branched out well beyond that though, so in addition to computers and office stuff, it’s also a good place to pick up audio visual equipment and smart-home devices.
While Apple’s selection of products is obviously limited to the electronic devices they make, let’s be honest: they’re some of the best in the business.
Radio Shack doesn’t actually sell Apple products, so this isn’t a direct Radio Shack alternative, but any list of stores that sells stuff like headphones and computer monitors just wouldn’t be complete without it.
And of course, where goes Apple, so goes Samsung.
Samsung actually offers a wider range of electronic devices and components, making it slightly more like Radio Shack than Apple, but like its famous competitor, the selection you’ll find when shopping on their website is limited to their own products.
Speaking of electronics websites with limited offerings…
Microsoft isn’t really a huge player in the physical electronics space, having decided long ago to focus more on software than hardware. But their Surface line of devices is quite respectable, and includes everything from tablet/laptop hybrids to headphones.
Micro Center is a store that’s similar to Radio Shack in a lot of ways, but they put less of an emphasis on radios and AV equipment and much more on computers.
They sell everything from super commercial products like iPods to super technical stuff like small computer components, and offer computer servicing and repair services as well.
Costco is another Radio Shack alternative that’s comparable to Walmart, Target and (to a lesser extent) Amazon, but with Costco there’s a twist: you have to be a member.
Fortunately membership is pretty cheap, and if you’re someone who buys a lot of consumer electronics goods, it might pay for itself after only a couple of purchases, especially if you score a deal on a big-ticket item like a TV or smart appliance.
Sony’s not as big a player in the consumer electronics good space as it used to be, having lost a lot of ground to both Apple and Samsung.
But they still offer a pretty wide range of consumer electronics products, and like Radio Shack they have a pretty wide selection of audio visual equipment (though of course they only sell products manufactured by them, rather than other companies).
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Banner image: Mike Mozart via Wikimedia