Circuit Specialists started out in Darrel and Leon Thorpe's garage in Scottsdale, Arizona back in 1971. By September of that year Circuit Specialists had moved into a small office and published its first mail order catalog, called "Semiconductor SuperMart," which featured resistors, capacitors, diodes, chokes, coils, and newly invented integrated circuits (ICs) as well as other products for electronics hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers.
By the Fall of 1972 Circuit Specialists expanded their business, opening a fifteen thousand square foot retail outlet in Tempe, Arizona — right next door to a Radio Shack. In addition to the legacy line from the "Semiconductor SuperMart" Circuit Specialists began offering quality stereo equipment, police scanners, and CB radios. They soon became a regional distributor.
Circuit Specialists purchased and installed its very first computer in 1987 and began offering its wares online a few years later. By that time Circuit Specialists had moved to the twelve thousand square foot retail storefront and warehouse in Mesa, Arizona where it continues to do business today. Circuit Specialists stopped printing catalogs in the early 2000s and became primarily an online retailer, though their retail storefront is still open for the convenience of local customers.
In 1986 Wayne Thorpe, the president of Circuit Specialists, made his first trip abroad to initiate direct importation of electronic equipment and supplies and by 2001 Circuit Specialists had opened its first international office, enabling them to rapidly expand into soldering equipment, power supplies, and testing/measurement equipment. Circuit Specialists manages to keep the price of their products remarkably low by cutting out the middlemen.