Tandy (Australia)

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Tandy Electronics
Industry Retail
Founded 1950 USA, 1973 Australia
Key people
Debra Singh, Former General Manager
Products Electronic kits, electronic components, alarm systems, landline and mobile telephones, electronic test equipment, tools, speakers, car audio, personal computers, books, antennas
Parent Woolworths Limited
Website www.tandy.com.au

Tandy was an electronics retailer in Australia, owned by Woolworths Limited.


Tandy was originally founded in the United States in 1950 as Tandy Leather Company. In 1963, Tandy changed its business to electronics when it acquired control of RadioShack, a forty-year-old electronics business with nine stores and a mail-order arm. From 1963 to 1986, RadioShack grew to more than 6900 stores and dealers in the US, with a further 2100 stores and dealers in Canada, England, Europe and Australia.

In November 1973, the first RadioShack-style Tandy stores in Australia opened for business. They were administered from a rented office and warehouse in the Sydney suburb of Rydalmere. Tandy quickly established stores in major towns and suburbs across Australia and had a major presence by 1980. Many independent electrical businesses in smaller towns added Tandy products to their range.

Tandy in Australia were especially well known for their audio and radio products, most of which carried their Realistic home brand label. Their business expanded rapidly during the CB radio boom of the mid-1970s and the personal computer boom later. Their TRS-80 series of computers was particularly well-known.

Tandy's position in the market had some similarities with its local competitor, Dick Smith Electronics. Both companies produced a substantial annual catalogue, though Tandy's was more consumer-oriented with no data section. Its CB radio ranges were similar to DSE but it never carried much amateur radio gear, preferring to focus on scanners and shortwave radio.

Acquisition by Woolworths[edit]

In 2001, Woolworths Limited acquired Tandy and despite also owning Dick Smith Electronics, the Tandy stores continued to trade as separate entities.

Brand Retirement[edit]

Beginning in 2009, the Tandy brand was retired, with some stores closed, others converted to 'Dick Smith' branded stores and a few retained due to local loyalty to the brand.


Tandy stores have been converted to Dick Smith stores and the tandy.com.au website has been closed down ending the Tandy era in Australia. Some 'Tandy' branded products are still sold in Dick Smith stores, however.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]