Fry's Electronics permanently closing Feb 24, 2021

toast0

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After over a year of mostly empty shelves, apparently it's over. KRON4 (SF Bay) reports that Fry's confirmed it's closing.

https://www.kron4.com/news/national/frys-electronics-permanently-closes-nationwide/

They had switched to a 'consignment model' in mid 2019, and few vendors would participate in that model, so it's been pretty sad for quite some time.

I updated the date in the title, as there is now an official message on frys.com:

After nearly 36 years in business as the one-stop-shop and online resource for high-tech professionals across nine states and 31 stores, Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s” or “Company”), has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Company will implement the shut down through an orderly wind down process that it believes will be in the best interests of the Company, its creditors, and other stakeholders.

The Company ceased regular operations and began the wind-down process on February 24, 2021. It is hoped that undertaking the wind-down through this orderly process will reduce costs, avoid additional liabilities, minimize the impact on our customers, vendors, landlords and associates, and maximize the value of the Company’s assets for its creditors and other stakeholders.
 
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Flogger23m

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Shame. But we all are wondering how long they lasted with mostly empty shelves. I'll miss Fry's. Was a good place to test peripherals and occasionally they had good prices. Even on CPU/motherboard combos.

Only local place left is Best Buy, and outside of GPUs (well obviously not now) they just have mice/keyboards for PC hardware.
 

Retsam

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Yeah. What happened to them. Frys used to be huge. I remember going to black friday shopping 10-15 years ago at frys and waiting in an endless line around the building trying to get in. I used to go there and the store was packed on a regular basis.

But in the last like 5-10 years they just have no deals, never advertise anything, and dont seem to be competitive in any way.
 
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Bassman99

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Before Frys they were Tandy I believe, then Incredible Universe.
I used to go there all the time. I still have some old parts from my 10 yrs old build left from here.
Even bought some car audio from them a few times.

And same here last time I went in person was 3 years ago and it was empty people and shelves.
I actually saw Mike Bibby there once.
I did get some closeout fans from them in their flyer a few weeks ago online.
Snagged 4 sets of these for $85 each kept 1 for myself and sold other 3 on ebay for way under retail and broke even after eBay crazy fees.
https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-LL120-120mm-Light-Lighting/dp/B075VGN4M1/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3J8GZPB38BO5Y&dchild=1&keywords=ll120+white+3+pack&qid=1614150522&sprefix=ll120,aps,225&sr=8-2

I have bought many thumb drives and HDDs over the years online also.
They will likely stay with the online sales like sears etc does/
 

Derangel

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Before Frys they were Tandy I believe, then Incredible Universe.
I used to go there all the time. I still have some old parts from my 10 yrs old build left from here.
Even bought some car audio from them a few times.

And same here last time I went in person was 3 years ago and it was empty people and shelves.
I actually saw Mike Bibby there once.
I did get some closeout fans from them in their flyer a few weeks ago online.
I bought 4 sets of these for $85 each kept 1 for myself and sold other 3 on ebay for way under retail and broke even after eBay crazy fees.
https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-LL120-120mm-Light-Lighting/dp/B075VGN4M1/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3J8GZPB38BO5Y&dchild=1&keywords=ll120+white+3+pack&qid=1614150522&sprefix=ll120,aps,225&sr=8-2

I have bought many thumb drives and HDDs over the years online also.
They will likely stay with the online sales like sears etc does/

Some of the, now former, Fry's stores used to belong to Incredible Universe, but both that company and Tandy (they were the same company) became RadioShack.
 

Bassman99

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Some of the, now former, Fry's stores used to belong to Incredible Universe, but both that company and Tandy (they were the same company) became RadioShack.
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
 

schmide

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I've had the privilege of wandering Fry's more than a few times around the turn of the century. (Palo Alto) Now that I'm on the other coast. I've gone out of my way to support my local Micro Center. Man they've come and gone. Rad Shack, CompUSSR, Frys, don't take the last one...
 

Bassman99

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I've had the privilege of wandering Fry's more than a few times around the turn of the century. (Palo Alto) Now that I'm on the other coast. I've gone out of my way to support my local Micro Center. Man they've come and gone. Rad Shack, CompUSSR, Frys, don't take the last one...
Over here in Sacramento there's nothing left now but OfficeMax, and I never go there
 

tangoseal

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Everytime I went in there I could have literally taped 100 dollar bills to my shirt. Dragged a clear plastic see through sack of cash and gold bricks through the store and I would be lucky if an employee would even ask if I need help. 9 out of 10 times I would have to hunt down an employee to get help, he would say hold on ill get you help, 20 mins later help arrives to tell me they have to get someone else.

Farewell frys you will be missed only because you were one of the last brick and mortars left. But you deserve your demise because you never cared to begin with.

Compusa
Circuit city
Radioshack

And now frys on the list

Thanks Bezos your a real winner with your monopoly
 

clockdogg

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Have fond memories from a decade ago. Pushing a shopping cart through a fully stocked Fry's and filling it with build parts like I was getting months of food at Costco. Also... a very generous return policy when it turned out didn't all the stuff in the shopping cart.
 

vegeta535

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I've had the privilege of wandering Fry's more than a few times around the turn of the century. (Palo Alto) Now that I'm on the other coast. I've gone out of my way to support my local Micro Center. Man they've come and gone. Rad Shack, CompUSSR, Frys, don't take the last one...
MC shouldn't be going anywhere any time soon as long as they stay the course. If they stay small and not try expanding all over the country and start having investors getting involved they will be fine. Every time I go to my MC in Parkville it is pretty damn busy.
 

jardows

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MC shouldn't be going anywhere any time soon as long as they stay the course. If they stay small and not try expanding all over the country and start having investors getting involved they will be fine. Every time I go to my MC in Parkville it is pretty damn busy.
I think you really hit the nail on the head with this one. All these other stores left what made them, and became something else. There has been such an emphasis on short-term profits that long-term profitability and company health is thrown out the window. I used to enjoy going to Radio Shack (never had a Fry's in my area) but they ended up becoming little more than a cell phone kiosk, where all the other stuff became such low quality or low stock it wasn't worth it. I may need quality computer and electronics parts regularly as part of my hobbies, but I only need a new cell phone every few years.
 

sc5mu93

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I had good memories of the Fry's stores in Garland TX and then later Plano TX in early to mid 2000s, which was probably their heyday.
However, they did a lot of stupid rebate shenanigans or made you go through hoops to get the advertised prices. Can't help but think that spoiled some relationships with a lot of customers.

Recently needed some thermal paste in a hurry and went to the north Houston location, and it was REALLY depressing compared to what I remembered. (it was a lot closer to me than Microcenter, which was my first choice)
 

Slade

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I had good memories of Fry's back when I lived near the bay area. I built my first AMD system from them in early 2k. I was a kid in a candy store back then. I visited there during a few conferences in past years and saw bare shelves making me wonder wtf happened to them.
 

Unabomber

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A lot of electronics shops are basically dead in the water at this point.

There's no denying that the 800 lb gorilla (Bezos and friends) has annihilated most of these. Even when it came to dealers who sold a lot of quality refurbished stuff (such as Computer Geeks), those guys got killed off by Amazon, and have become little more than an eBay store.
 

Nimisys

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Good riddance. The store in San Diego has always been crap. Majority of the stock was previously opened, returned or pre-broken for your enjoyment. What was on the shelves looked like something off Wish.com. Customer Service was on par with the wares being sold. Not even pricing could be considered a draw.
Saying it again. I amazed how long the lasted, because it has been that way for at least twenty years. Not sad to see them go as a retailer.

As we have no MC here, however, I am sad as this basically leaves Staples and BestBuy for your B&M shopping needs.
 
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Everytime I went in there I could have literally taped 100 dollar bills to my shirt. Dragged a clear plastic see through sack of cash and gold bricks through the store and I would be lucky if an employee would even ask if I need help. 9 out of 10 times I would have to hunt down an employee to get help, he would say hold on ill get you help, 20 mins later help arrives to tell me they have to get someone else.

Farewell frys you will be missed only because you were one of the last brick and mortars left. But you deserve your demise because you never cared to begin with.

Compusa
Circuit city
Radioshack

And now frys on the list

Thanks Bezos your a real winner with your monopoly

I think Tigerdirect and Newegg (at the time) started the demise along with B&M pressure from juggernaut BestBuy and to some extent Walmart. All 3 listed above and now including Fry's died by self inflicted peril by not adjusting to trends. Microcenter proves that. I was never in a Fry's but I was in the other 3 you listed and they all were unpleasant experiences. Radioshack in malls I never understood. Circuit city was always like walking into a cave they kept it so dark and segmented.
 

1_rick

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I have heard a lot of complaints over the years about Fry's, but I never experienced those problems. It wasn't until 2-3 years ago I noticed them starting to go downhill a bit in customer service and stock levels starting to go down.

I feel like that consignment story may be true but it probably is a symptom, not a cause.
 

Nimisys

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I think Tigerdirect and Newegg (at the time) started the demise along with B&M pressure from juggernaut BestBuy and to some extent Walmart. All 3 listed above and now including Fry's died by self inflicted peril by not adjusting to trends. Microcenter proves that. I was never in a Fry's but I was in the other 3 you listed and they all were unpleasant experiences. Radioshack in malls I never understood. Circuit city was always like walking into a cave they kept it so dark and segmented.
Fry's was also well noted for their truly horrible customer service, absurdly high return rate (30+%) and common practice of putting returned items back on the shelf. You then had very long check out lines and receipt checks to leave. They gave you plenty of reasons to not want to spend money there
 

PurduEE

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MC shouldn't be going anywhere any time soon as long as they stay the course. If they stay small and not try expanding all over the country and start having investors getting involved they will be fine. Every time I go to my MC in Parkville it is pretty damn busy.
It would be nice if we could get one in SF Bay area....
 

sfsuphysics

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Everytime I went in there I could have literally taped 100 dollar bills to my shirt. Dragged a clear plastic see through sack of cash and gold bricks through the store and I would be lucky if an employee would even ask if I need help. 9 out of 10 times I would have to hunt down an employee to get help, he would say hold on ill get you help, 20 mins later help arrives to tell me they have to get someone else.
...
Thanks Bezos your a real winner with your monopoly
Yeah, this is a Bezos fault.

You pretty much described why I wouldn't go any more. And this isn't a new thing, hell this was back when Amazon only sold books. Go to a Fry's want a CPU or RAM, awwwww damn that means I have to flag someone down, get them to help me, all so they can type in my info into a computer and reserve the part at the checkout counter, and they literally were always very thick accented Indians people. Not that's fine, but considering this was Silicon Valley here I always wondered if this is what happened to them when they can't get a job... and a bit prejudice part sure, me also thinking if this is where H1Bs go to keep their visas valid and stay in the country, because it's not like Palo Alto was had a heavy Indian population.

Fine maybe I don't need either of those, ok fine lets go get the parts I need... well you better hope you know where in the store they are located, lest you need to go ask someone. But sure you know the isle, and you wait to see the dreaded sticker on the box that showed that it was a return. Ugh!!!! Often you don't want to risk it because if you've returned anything you know how easy it is to slip something by them and last thing you want is to have to drive back telling them "this item was missing something" (it was roughly 45 minutes one way from San Francisco for me).

Yeah the whole "Your best buys are always at Fry's" slogan, kind of became meaningless when things became the same price literally everywhere and there was no go there, time and gas aside I'd rather get parts somewhere else.

I do wonder why they went the direction of the consignment model, which major stores do that (other than auto dealers), and actually stay in business? I mean a store says "tell you what, we're not going to pay you for your goods unless we can sell them", and more to the point why they held their guns and continued that model when it obviously wasn't working since no one wanted to deal with them.
 

Nobu

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And one day microcenter will be gone to replaced by "nanocenter". As they say...the king is dead, long live the king.
It'd be nice to have a picocenter nearby...

Well, there's still mouser, digikey, and a few smaller online electronics outlets online, I guess...
 

sover

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I think you really hit the nail on the head with this one. All these other stores left what made them, and became something else. There has been such an emphasis on short-term profits that long-term profitability and company health is thrown out the window. I used to enjoy going to Radio Shack (never had a Fry's in my area) but they ended up becoming little more than a cell phone kiosk, where all the other stuff became such low quality or low stock it wasn't worth it. I may need quality computer and electronics parts regularly as part of my hobbies, but I only need a new cell phone every few years.
A long time ago Radio Shack was my favorite store. At least, the one nearby to where I lived was. It was a franchise full of old tube driven equipment along with newer gear and small components. I'm guessing that location probably closed 20+ years ago just because of the changing times.
About 7 or 8 years ago I needed a network cable to help a family member with something, and there was a Radio Shack nearby their home, so I figured I'd hit up my favorite place and pick up a network cable and maybe browse through their stuff. The store did have a cat5e cable, but it was $40 for 10 feet (if I remember correctly). I was so disgusted by the price that I left without looking at anything else (of which there was not much, aside from a large cell-phone section. I ended up getting a short network cable at office depot or staples (can't recall which) for around $10.
I don't know what the reasoning was behind that super high price, but it's not like we were in the middle of nowhere and I'd need to drive for an hour in any direction to find a network cable. I think it was that day that Radio Shack lost whatever luster it still had with me, and when it shut down, while I was sad for the loss of whatever shell remained of my memories, I knew the reality was what I thought of as "Radio Shack" had actually been left behind many years before that.
 

1_rick

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common practice of putting returned items back on the shelf. You then had very long check out lines and receipt checks to leave.
I never saw any of this in Dallas, but those were the only Fry's I've been to. I do recall seeing a lot of returned stock on the shelf, but it was always marked... with, like, a 5% discount.
 

sfsuphysics

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I suspect commercial real estate rates are quite a bit better now.
Probably not as much as you'd expect. Regardless of what you see in the news about "mass exodus from California" it really isn't that massive. Besides Amazon didn't build a fulfillment center in the region because people like to go out and shop in person.
 

vegeta535

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Amazon and walmart are going to own the world soon anyway. Why do you think them of all buisness are supporting the $15 min wage. It is to shut down all small business and put a hurting on bigger ones like Best buys. Honestly walmart probably isn't safe either. They will be the last standing B&M store.
 

LOCO LAPTOP

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I never saw any of this in Dallas, but those were the only Fry's I've been to. I do recall seeing a lot of returned stock on the shelf, but it was always marked... with, like, a 5% discount.
Same with the Duluth GA or Milton GA stores. I liked the Duluth one more though.
 

MavericK

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I think the writing was on the wall for awhile now, with the nearly-empty stores. I haven't been in a long time as the nearest one is still a couple of hours away (one-way), but I remember it being very cool several years ago.
 
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