Fry's Electronics permanently closing Feb 24, 2021

MavericK

Zero Cool
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Sep 2, 2004
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I got every single rebate I mailed off for, even the one time where I made a mistake though that did require contacting the rebate house. Hard drive rebates? check. Mother Board rebates? Check. Ram rebate? Check. AV rebates that resulted in free software? Yes...did that at least 6-12 times. I'm not sure when the last time I paid for a license, but it was before 2007.

This was my experience as well. If I ever not got one, it was maybe once or twice ever, out of many. Sure, they did take forever to process, though.
 

pfc_m_drake

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Hmm, I don't think that is it. I will have to think on it. There was also a place in the Atlanta area that sold a good deal of stuff in their retail store and online. I bought several AMD64 CPUs from them when those first came out and they sent out t-shirts with each one - albeit all large or smaller. We bought tens of thousands of $ worth of stuff from mwave back in that time period. I don't remember ever buying anything from googlegear/zipzoomfly. Lots of good memories from that timeframe.
The place near Atlanta that you're referring to may have been Monarch Computer.
 

vegeta535

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That was my biggest pet peeve with Circuit City, just want to look at TVs, or something and you catch them out of the corner of your eye they see a potential commission and make a bee line for you and you're like "damnit I just want to look, stop trying to sell me!"
Oh God I remember buying a TV at CC long time ago. The warranty upsell was ridiculous. The sales guy basically wouldn't let me buy the TV unless I brought the warranty. I literally said fuck you and started towards the door before he gave up on the warranty.
 

nilepez

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They were but they were way way way behind everyone else. Problem is majority of the people didn't want to walk the who damn store to get somewhere. Times were changing. Microcenter didn't change much but they benefited from being smaller store but they did carry inventory to the point.

Everything they did was slow and behind time. When they didn't have the foot traffic they should have moved faster. They wasted so many man hours on mounting and cutting shit it was crazy lol.
Not me. I’d go there and walk through the store just to walk through the store. Sometimes I bought something, often I didn’t. First stop was always the ads (though I think those went away, since they didn’t seem to advertise in the paper in the past 5 or more years).

But there’s no doubt they should have shrunk the stores a long time ago. Even in 2015 the store in Garland TX had very little traffic. The one in Plano did better. I don’t recall going to the Arlington store or the one near the airport, so I have no idea what they looked like back then.

That said, the last MB combo I bought was from Microcenter. They just had a better deal and the MB was a good MB, so i didn’t have to ebay, as I did with the ECS I got with an 860 in 2010.
 

swetmore

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I was excited when Frys opened stores in DFW in the late 90's, and scouting Frys ads weekly.... Bought alot of stuff (not just computer components).. After about 2007, I pretty much stopped going for PC components.. Alot of this had to do with my overclocked Q6600 being such a huge jump in performance that I was no longer upgrading every 18 months, and online / other options were really taking off and/or more appealing (than Fry's mostly ECS board combos). Every combo since the Q6600 (last combo I bought from Frys), I bought from MicroCenter. For everything else, there are tons of alternate options and of course slickdeals if you are shopping for price. Really surprised they held on as long as they did.. If they would have radically altered their business model around 2012 or so to be online only, sell off / lease their real estate holdings, they would have had a fighting chance IMHO.. but I guess they were blinded by their previous successes and the Fry brothers just got old and unwilling to change.

I remember this story too:

Fry’s Electronics executive accused of embezzling $65 million​


https://www.seattletimes.com/business/frys-electronics-executive-accused-of-embezzling-65-million/#:~:text=Ausaf Umar Siddiqui is accused,31 percent of the total
 
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TXE36

Weaksauce
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Jun 14, 2018
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Go to Costco and get an actually good hot dog and drink for a buck fitty fifty.
FIFY. (sorry, couldn't resist)

The first time I went into a Fry's there was a big banner "Welcome Technical Professionals". When I announced to the team I currently work for that Fry's bit the dust, my boss, a leader of over a dozen technical professionals and sharp engineer in his own right, asked "What's Fry's?" <-- Fry's marketing fail, as we are 3 miles from a Fry's store.

Anybody else miss a place in CA called Computer Geeks? Great deals on somewhat older, but useful hardware. Picked up PCI ATSC digital tuners from there for 30 bucks way back in 2006 when these were $150+ items - got 6 for $180 and they are still running in my MythTV system today. In the late 90's it was S3 based Number Nine video cards. A neat thing they did was trade-ins from retail customers with reasonable trade-in values.

Then there was this place called The Chip Merchant in CA, which was awesome for memory that was pre-WWW. I recall scoring a whopping 8MB 72 pin SIMM for $300 (memory prices in the mid 1990s were obscene) ordering over the phone.

Sad that so many of these places are gone. I too miss the classic Radio Shack, or Rat Shack as we called it.
 

TXE36

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Oh God I remember buying a TV at CC long time ago. The warranty upsell was ridiculous. The sales guy basically wouldn't let me buy the TV unless I brought the warranty. I literally said fuck you and started towards the door before he gave up on the warranty.
I had nearly the same thing happen with my fridge. Only difference is the con worked because even with the warranty, they beat everybody else out on price. I recall thinking how can this business make money this way -- a few years later they were gone.

A funnier story is I bought a display model Sony VCR and asked if it came with a remote. The sales guy just grabbed one that didn't look like it belonged, but I tested it and it worked, sealed the deal, and paid. As I was walking out of the store another salesman was going nuts yelling "you can't give him that remote!!!" Ah, commission sales...

I recall buying a SoundBlaster and an 8800 GTS from there as well over the years. Sure, I'd go to CC for price, but never particularly enjoyed the experience. Had a friend that worked there for a time and his stories were all about management trying to screw sales out of commissions.
 

RazorWind

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Last time i drove halfway across dallas to go to fry's, it's this massive giant store, with nothing in it. Completely empty. This has been coming for 2 years.
The one in Austin is just a few miles from me, but same thing. I can't remember when the last time I actually bought something there was, but it had to be at least a couple of years ago.

Such a bummer - Fry's was great. :(
 

undertaker2k8

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Sadly never saw a CompUSA, most in the Chi-town region had closed by the time I came stateside and the one in Anaheim closed a few months before I moved to Cali...wasted a lot of money I absolutely didn't have at Circuit City though, I used to think of BB as the lesser of the two for some reason. Now here we are almost 2 decades later, how would I have gotten my precious 3090 FE without BB :)
 

nilepez

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This was my experience as well. If I ever not got one, it was maybe once or twice ever, out of many. Sure, they did take forever to process, though.
It took a bit of time, but generally within the period that they said it’d take. I did, however, always take photos of everything i sent in, including the addressed envelope, so that if there was a problem, i had documents of everything.

I think the only rebate I didn’t get was something from Newegg, but I can’t remember what it was...probably Nero Burning Rom....fortunately that’s a piece of software I will never need to replace, but still occasionally use.
 

Bassman99

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I had nearly the same thing happen with my fridge. Only difference is the con worked because even with the warranty, they beat everybody else out on price. I recall thinking how can this business make money this way -- a few years later they were gone.

A funnier story is I bought a display model Sony VCR and asked if it came with a remote. The sales guy just grabbed one that didn't look like it belonged, but I tested it and it worked, sealed the deal, and paid. As I was walking out of the store another salesman was going nuts yelling "you can't give him that remote!!!" Ah, commission sales...

I recall buying a SoundBlaster and an 8800 GTS from there as well over the years. Sure, I'd go to CC for price, but never particularly enjoyed the experience. Had a friend that worked there for a time and his stories were all about management trying to screw sales out of commissions.
I still have the SoundBlaster external I bought from them yrs ago. I should probably sell it...lol.
Long ago I was a commissioned car salesman, and it was terrible when I worked for Cal Worthington....scumbag! Toyota was a cool job as a commissioned salesman though.
 

toast0

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Long ago I was a commissioned car salesman, and it was terrible when I worked for Cal Worthington....scumbag! Toyota was a cool job as a commissioned salesman though.
Would love to hear stories about Cal; I grew up watching commercials with him and his dog, Spot.
 

sfsuphysics

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Oh God I remember buying a TV at CC long time ago. The warranty upsell was ridiculous. The sales guy basically wouldn't let me buy the TV unless I brought the warranty. I literally said fuck you and started towards the door before he gave up on the warranty.
Yeah I was looking at a 53" rear projection, man those were fun to have back in the day before flat screen LCDs came out, and it was the floor model so was heavily marked down, and I could see why there was a fat scratch across the front. Guy saw his commission in his sights and came at me, and I was like "yeah but there's a fat scratch in it!" this was before Google was really a thing, because in hindsight the outer screen probably could have been replaced for fairly cheap, guy said "Warranty?" and I was like "Will warranty cover this considering this is the 'original' condition I'm buying the TV at?" and he paused for just too long, like he was wondering if a straight up lie would work or not but it gave me a moment to realize that he was about to lie to me, and I was gone.

Ironically I went to Fry's for that same TV, and man two guys were bumbling over each other right in front of me talking about how to split the commission, and I'm like "I don't care about your commission I want the TV" the deal breaker was a $50 delivery fee though, so out I was of another store. I think I got that TV at Sears too, which had free delivery which is really what was needed because of how big and heavy those were and it had to go up a flight of stairs.
 

Bassman99

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Would love to hear stories about Cal; I grew up watching commercials with him and his dog, Spot.
I only met him once.
His daughter was the finance manaager there though.
She had a pot belly pig in her office.
I think her name was Courtney... I cant remember for sure, but she was hot though
 

tangoseal

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Ok I wasnt sure, thank for clarifying!

I used to frequent Radio Shack a lot too.
Then then went downhill with less diy stuff and more Munster cable and other crap.
But Id sttill go there sometimes for solder and thermal paste.
But they are gone now too
Yup had they never abnsoned the hobbyist and DIY they may still be in business. They went best buy mini and that killed them.
 

Eshelmen

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Yup had they never abnsoned the hobbyist and DIY they may still be in business. They went best buy mini and that killed them.

I've chit chatted with Randy Fry on multiple occasions over the years; his family friends were clients of ours.

He always told me that they spend WAY too much on bulk purchasing of ALL items in their stores, not just hot sellers.
He also hinted that his analyst team wasn't the very best either.
 

Ikasu

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I've chit chatted with Randy Fry on multiple occasions over the years; his family friends were clients of ours.

He always told me that they spend WAY too much on bulk purchasing of ALL items in their stores, not just hot sellers.
He also hinted that his analyst team wasn't the very best either.

Use to work there, also know a bunch of managers/store managers till the very end. I worked there for many years. Honestly, just pure mismanagement at the home office level. The Fry's bros literally ran their own business into the ground unfortunately. Didn't pay vendors, lost contracts, big names refused to work with them anymore (HP, LG, Samsung, etc...Some they got back, most refused to work with them again), hired nothing but yes men (which resulted in a complete lack of awareness in what new items to bring to the store, etc). Would never get items on time to meet client needs or shifting markets. Heck, during the first crypto boom, never stocked mining boards, risers, cases, etc...Got them in literally as the first bitcoin crash down to 3k. Which ended up with so much inventory that couldn't be moved and had to be discounted heavily. I remember seeing a 50 stack of Asus B250 mining expert boards, that sold for a ludicrous amount during the crypto market. Only to get them several months late, and had to be discounted to literally 25 a pop to move them out of the store. When they eventually moved to a consignment model, it was too late, they couldn't get any big name manufacturers...Hence why at the end it was all just no name bs.

Even though they may have told you the problem was bulk purchasing, that was hardly it. Never upgraded the systems, stayed on DOS for ever for the POS system, eventually migrated to a web based version that was 10x slower. Kept extremely antiquated systems for price changes that required massive effort on the manpower side, instead of upgrading to more modernized means of price changes, etc. Literally using systems designed for the 90's that was not efficient, and stayed with it while all other big box stores modernized. A lot more that I'm obviously leaving out, but hopefully it paints the picture.

Sad to see them go, but they paved their own demise sadly.
 
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Chimpee

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Use to work there, also know a bunch of managers/store managers till the very end. I worked there for many years. Honestly, just pure mismanagement at the home office level. The Fry's bros literally ran their own business into the ground unfortunately. Didn't pay vendors, lost contracts, big names refused to work with them anymore (HP, LG, Samsung, etc...Some they got back, most refused to work with them again), hired nothing but yes men (which resulted in a complete lack of awareness in what new items to bring to the store, etc). Would never get items on time to meet client needs or shifting markets. Heck, during the first crypto boom, never stocked mining boards, risers, cases, etc...Got them in literally as the first bitcoin crash down to 3k. Which ended up with so much inventory that couldn't be moved and had to be discounted heavily. I remember seeing a 50 stack of Asus B250 mining expert boards, that sold for a ludicrous amount during the crypto market. Only to get them several months late, and had to be discounted to literally 25 a pop to move them out of the store. When they eventually moved to a consignment model, it was too late, they couldn't get any big name manufacturers...Hence why at the end it was all just no name bs.

Even though they may have told you the problem was bulk purchasing, that was hardly it. Never upgraded the systems, stayed on DOS for ever for the POS system, eventually migrated to a web based version that was 10x slower. Kept extremely antiquated systems for price changes that required massive effort on the manpower side, instead of upgrading to more modernized means of price changes, etc. Literally using systems designed for the 90's that was not efficient, and stayed with it while all other big box stores modernized. A lot more that I'm obviously leaving out, but hopefully it paints the picture.

Sad to see them go, but they paved their own demise sadly.
Probably didn't help that their CFO embezzled over 70 million from Fry's for his gambling addiction. I was always floored just how space they have on each of their stores, especially in late 2000s, consumer were transitioning to ecommerce and Fry's found themselves with less foot traffic. I thought to myself if Fry's spend more time developing their ecommerce business, Fry's could have been in the competitive field selling electronics and computer parts online, but hearing stories of their monumental mismanagement, Fry's will find a way to screw it up.

Edit, not Fry's CFO but Fry's VP of Merchandising and Operations.
 
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Ikasu

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Probably didn't help that their CFO embezzled over 70 million from Fry's for his gambling addiction. I was always floored just how space they have on each of their stores, especially in late 2000s, consumer were transitioning to ecommerce and Fry's found themselves with less foot traffic. I thought to myself if Fry's spend more time developing their ecommerce business, Fry's could have been in the competitive field selling electronics and computer parts online, but hearing stories of their monumental mismanagement, Fry's will find a way to screw it up.
Very true. The amount of times myself, coworkers, and managers would poke fun at the online portal, if I would be paid a dollar for each instance, I'd be rich. Consistently had customers coming in stating our website shows we have something in stock, when we didn't. The search system was so poorly done, it would never really bring up what you were looking for. What I do know, is the web developer was not in house, was contracted overseas and we had little control over it. Not sure how high up the food chain things had to go to get fixed or changed, but considering how often situations that involved item/brand recommendations, Fry's website issues, internal system issues, among other miscellaneous scenarios were reported to store managers, tossed up the food chain, only to get no response....pretty much sums up Fry's....

If they didn't hire nothing but yes men, and actually hired knowledgeable buyers that kept up with the times, things may have ended up different. But then again, they would have to pay their vendors on time...Which doesn't seem likely. From what I heard from managers in the know, some manufacturers/vendors were in the upper 6 figures in terms money owed, HP for example. Which was one of the manufacturers that took a massive payment from Frys to clean up a majority of the debt, in hopes to continue the flow of goods, but responded by closing up shop with Fry's and refused to do business with anymore. The few times I saw Randy, or David fry in store for visits, you would literally think they were rock stars. Home office reps kissing their asses, managers and supervisors waiting on them with every whim.

But yea, got stories for days...lol.
 
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swetmore

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Man I really miss $20 returned ECS motherboards in a battered box missing backplates... LOL, just kidding.. but yeah, for most things, just grab and go.

I did wait in a Black Friday line in the cold / around the building a time or two 15-20 years ago ... it was fun.
 
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Never been to a Fry's, but feel very fortunate to have a Micro Center here. They've saved my ass so many times over the years when I forgot a fitting, or needed a PWM cable, or something. Didn't have to hold up the build for multiple day shipping.
 

toast0

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Man I really miss $20 returned ECS motherboards in a battered box missing backplates... LOL, just kidding.. but yeah, for most things, just grab and go.

I did wait in a Black Friday line in the cold / around the building a time or two 15-20 years ago ... it was fun.

Hey, some of those ECS boards were solid once you got a BIOS update in them.

I still remember the guy at Black Friday letting us in slowly and telling us not to trample anybody. Got some OK deals on a blu-ray player and a cordless phone.
 

techie81

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It would be nice to have a Frys locally (again). No microcenter anywhere within a few hours. Too bad they closed down. Some really good memories buying parts there...
 

pututu

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We would always visit Frys at least once a month. They do carry other small electronic components more than CompUSA, BestBuy and CircuitCity back then.
 

Ikasu

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It would be nice to have a Frys locally (again). No microcenter anywhere within a few hours. Too bad they closed down. Some really good memories buying parts there...
Yea, that's the one thing I do miss. Having it local for a quick shop. Although Microcenter is a wonderland to me. Can spend hours just walking around and absorbing everything. Could of been big for Fry's if they followed a similar model, but obvious to see how that turned out...lol.
 

LOCO LAPTOP

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Yea, that's the one thing I do miss. Having it local for a quick shop. Although Microcenter is a wonderland to me. Can spend hours just walking around and absorbing everything. Could of been big for Fry's if they followed a similar model, but obvious to see how that turned out...lol.
Microcenter is almost the perfect size (store square footage). Too big and you end up like Fry's. Their stores were massive, Heck most of the time I never went to the other side of the store nor did I even know what was over there.

I think Microcenter could get away with a store in each major city, surely they would do well.
 

Chimpee

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Microcenter is almost the perfect size (store square footage). Too big and you end up like Fry's. Their stores were massive, Heck most of the time I never went to the other side of the store nor did I even know what was over there.

I think Microcenter could get away with a store in each major city, surely they would do well.
Their massive retail space becomes a detriment to them in the late 2000s, you know things wasn't looking good when Fry's started selling mattress due to their diminishing electronic or computers parts inventory. Wish the Microcenter in Santa Clara remained open or at least have a replacement in the Bay Area but that never happen.
 

tangoseal

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I've chit chatted with Randy Fry on multiple occasions over the years; his family friends were clients of ours.

He always told me that they spend WAY too much on bulk purchasing of ALL items in their stores, not just hot sellers.
He also hinted that his analyst team wasn't the very best either.
I was referring to RadioShack as one other poster brought them up.
 

crazycrave

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I live in Tampa Bay, heard of them, but never been in one.
We had CompUSA tho.
That was the store that I shopped at in the early 2002, CompUSA at Four Seasons Mall in Greensboro N.C. the Mall Opened in 1974 and is still going today, still have afew items from back then.
 
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