In the pre-Internet days, Tandy was the local place to go for specialist electronic parts like circuit boards, capacitors, resistors, and larger items like CB radios, and remote controlled cars.
I remember visiting regulatory to admire their range of disco equipment, which was their own brand “Realistic”.
It was also the place to go for consumables like batteries and C45 and C90 blank cassette tapes.
Through the 80’s and 90’s Tandy’s UK network of shops grew steadily to a total of 269, giving a presence in most towns and cities including York, Sittingbourne, Loughborough, and Barrow-in-Furness.
However, the profit margins were small, and Tandy wa struggling by the late 1990s. In 1998 BBC Business reported…
The electrical retailer Tandy is to close 69 of its UK stores with the loss of around 230 jobs. The US-owned chain said the loss-making stores were being closed in a “restructuring programme.” Managing Director, Andrew Fryatt, said even after the closures, the chain of 269 remaining stores would be the second-largest high street electrical retail chain in the UK. The move is to protect the profitability of its remaining stores, which employ around 1,600 people. Mr Fryatt said a substantial amount of money had been invested in the chain in the past two years. He blamed changes in the retail environment for the ongoing loss-making of the 69 stores selected for closure.
The chain was bought by Carphone Warehouse in 1999, and they spent the following few years converting them to phone shops.