Incredible Universe

Do you remember Incredible Universe?

Incredible Universe was a chain of stores operated by the Tandy Corporation. Well known throughout the world by the mid-20th century, The Tandy Corporation was an electronics company based out of Fort Worth, Texas. They started by selling pre-assembled microcomputers to home consumers and became a huge name in the electronics industry. The company would eventually purchase a mail order company called Radio Shack which they would expand as a distribution network including retail locations. During the 1980s electronics superstores began to take off through the success of companies like Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s. Tandy was having great success through their Radio Shack stores but wanted to expand into the superstore market.  The decision was made to open a chain called Incredible Universe. The stores were huge in comparison to other super stores averaging around 185,000 square feet. The stores almost resembled IKEA locations with a huge space being dedicated to an interactive showroom. They also had McDonald’s, daycare facilities for shoppers with children, and huge presentation spaces for displaying and demonstrating products. Two test locations were opened, one in Arlington, Texas the other in Wilsonville, Oregon. These two stores were very profitable and helped Tandy make the decision to expand the chain. Eventually opening a total of 17 total locations.

The Rise & Fall of Incredible Universe

Incredible Universe was Founded

Initially, two stores were opened in Arlington, Texas, and Wilsonville, Oregon. When these proved profitable, parent company Tandy, an electronics company, decided to expand quickly, opening an additional 15 stores.

The End of Incredible Universe

Ultimately, the company was forced to close or sell all 17 of its locations by 1997.

Click through the gallery above for some of the most popular forgotten retail spots that are now gone, but never forgotten. Did we miss one of your favorites? Share your memories in the comments.

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