• Frys electronics is closing

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    (USA centric post) Well the news has it that Frys Electronics, a place that before Amazon came into our lives, was THE place where us geeks on the Wes
    [See the full post at: Frys electronics is closing]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2345938

      That’s terrible news. We’re losing all of the brick and mortar places. CompUSA years ago, Circuit City, Radio Shack, now Fry’s. Newegg used to be my go-to for online ordering, but they’re but a pale shadow of what they used to be. It’s getting progressively harder to avoid the Amazon beast.

      Fry’s has long had probably the worst web site in the business. I’d guess that has something to do with the closure.

      This year is worse than 2020 already.

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      • #2345961

        Ascaris: ” That’s terrible news. We’re losing all of the brick and mortar places

        One can add to the list of much loved casualties to the increasing dominance of online shopping: Borders (bookstores); Blockbuster (video rentals). And Books a Million: another bookstores’ chain; one of these was right across my favorite pizzeria: buy something there, usually the latest “Scientific American” or “The New Yorker”, then go and have a pizza and a coke and read at my table once I was done with them. Bookstores were large places where one could walk around and browse new titles as well as old ones (ah, that old fashioned meaning of “to browse”, “browsing” and, of course, “browser”: someone who “browsed” books ).

        I visited a Frey’s once or twice near, Palo Alto.

        Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

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      • #2346076

        It recently took Newegg nearly six weeks to process a return of an item I purchased in December and returned in its original unopened packaging.

        We are now looking for an alternative to Newegg.

        We avoid Amazon where ever possible.

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    • #2345960

      I’m very sorry to hear this. We no longer live in the US, but visited Frys stores in numerous locations over the years. On one occasion, while staying somewhere in the Bay area, we saw a new one was opening, and just had to go. Got a couple of freebies! Gradually, as they opened more stores, we ended up with one very close (Oxnard.) We bought our most recent (US) fridge-freezer and washer and dryer from them, quite apart from all the electronic goodies we just had to have! Not having to wait even for next day delivery when something needed replacing was a big plus, even if they were not the cheapest. Latterly (and this was 5 years ago now) the local store was beginning to look a bit empty. So, sorry, but not entirely surprised.

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    • #2345962

      Friday special at Fry’s in Austin.  My regular visit.  Much of what I have even now came from there.  Last visit 10 years ago ‘running the gauntlet’.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by HiFlyer.
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    • #2345966

      Fry’s announcement

      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….

    • #2345980

      Sorry to see them go. For a store that sold so much electronics, I am puzzled that they never came to terms with the internet age. Their websites were almost unusable and their emails (often with some nice bargains) confusing with their code number of the day or whatever it was. I tried ordering something from them online, to be fulfilled as same-day delivery from a local store.  I got a response that they could not fulfill, and they refunded the money, but it was a couple dollars less than what they had charged my card. I did not bother to follow up. If they are that confused, it’s just too much trouble to get anything done, and of course I resolved to never try to buy online from them again. Amazon has written the book on this and everybody else has to be at least as good.

      They had unique ways of doing business, I guess because they are privately owned AFAIK. However there seems to have been nobody with influence in management who figured out that they became too funky to survive. Amazing that they held on for so long. Must have been draining the owners’ reserves for a long time. In my local one, the shelves were not being restocked starting well before Covid.

      Frys was always good for free after rebate AV software, back when free after rebate was still a thing. The hardware aisles were great, the only store left with a good selection of cable, adapters, etc., and then you could browse the other aisles for gadgets and small appliances.




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    • #2345987

      I went to Fry’s in Fountain Valley during a business trip to Costa Mesa, CA.  Prior to this, I had been getting by with a plastic RJ11 crimper tool when working on phone cables.  Fry’s had one made of actual steel.  They also had a quality RJ45 crimper.  I got both, and large bags (omg!  so many!) of RJ11 and RJ45 connectors.  I still have the two crimper tools, and maybe a few of the connectors left of both flavors.  I wish I had thought to look for a punch-down tool there.

      Why did I get something like this?  Seriously, you’re asking?  Well, how about because they’re so geekily nerdsome, for starters.  Both tools make such a satisfying sound when they crimp the connector to the wire.  When I got home, I immediately threw the plastic RJ11 crimper in the trash.

      What a store.  Sorry to hear that it is closing.

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    • #2346006

      We had a CompUSA in our Suburban Washington DC that closed some years ago.  It was quickly replaced by MicroCenter and I’ve purchased a number of parts from them over the years it has been operating (maybe 7 or so).  Everytime I go in there is usually a wait at the check out.  As a bricks and mortar store they don’t have the variety that Newegg offer but their prices are competitive with on line retailers for the parts they do carry.

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    • #2346011

      ? says:

      have shopped at Fry’s Food and Drug although we did not have a Fry’s Electronics store locally only Tandy\RadioShack and Micro Center which does exude the delicious aroma of cardboard boxes and electronics…

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    • #2346013

      I’m fortunate enough to live in one of the cities that still has a Micro Center. When I need something if I can buy it there, I do.

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    • #2346003

      There are (were) two in Houston. I went into one last month and it was practically empty – of everything. I asked an off duty cop wandering around for security if they were closing. He said no, only that the pandemic was delaying restocking products. But after such a long time of no products to sell that make income, closing was inevitable. Sad to see it happen.

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    • #2346037

      And Radio Shack

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      • #2346083

        Ah Radio Shack. Fond memories.

        Purchased my first high end shortwave radio their in the late 1960’s and odds and ends off the pin boards at the back of the store until they closed forever.

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    • #2346039

      Truly sad…

      Lost Palo Alto what, a year ago. Now the rest will tumble. Nowhere to go .

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    • #2346055

      A personal rant: I never found a Radio Shack that was not selling open box merch as new, did not gigantically overprice their cheap quality accessories, and was not crawling with commission sales staff that wanted to upsell you on all kinds of things, though it was obvious they had absolutely no idea of what they were talking about, just wanted to make a sale on something. And their house brand electronics was junk.

      If you really need to spend money with them, they still have a web store :).

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    • #2346057

      Fry’s Electronics is only peripherally related to the grocery chain.  The grocery chain sold out to Dillon’s (now a Kroger brand name), and members of the family took their proceeds to create Fry’s electronics.  Although there are no Fry’s grocery units in California, Kroger’s presence in Arizona is all branded as Fry’s Food & Drug.

      As for Fry’s Electronics, going there has been kind of a weird feeling for a couple of years.  Huge quantities of empty shelves, and very quiet.  And virtually all of the computing equipment limited to small-scale parts and supplies.  Some of it is, I think, that most of their inventory is now consignment sales, where vendors/distributors own the shelf stock, and don’t get paid until retail customers actually purchase.  I saw an article that notes with closure, there’s not much revenue to be derived from inventory, because that’s all stuff that’s being returned to distributors.

      I’m really going to miss (actually, missing already) Fry’s as a source for small parts and connectors that I can get by walking into the store and taking them home, without having to wait for mail-order delivery.

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    • #2346053

      I am still using a HP/Compaq Win7 machine I bought at Fry’s in Austin,Tx in December of 2009! Original hard drive and power supply still smoothly and quietly doing their thing…

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    • #2346084

      OK with Fry’s gone – what is your go to computer/electronics store?

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      • #2347083

        Unfortunately the answer is amazon as we are losing our sources one by one. We have a best buy and I occasionally buy from there but amazon is taking all these small timers out one by one, the brick and mortar are too expensive to maintain. Sign of the times I think because of the unfair situations.

        Bought a few items from Frys but no store nearby.

        Bought my last PC from Dell online but had a discount from my job.

        Radio shack, really hated to see them go cause I buy my soldering irons from them for work and previously for home where I done most of their little projects and have the handbooks. Still use the water heater alarm. Learned a whole lot and I make more money now because of that. Yes I’m a geek.

        Everybody try’s to upsell and in the digital age it is the amount of emails you get from amazon and ebay. I have been junking the both and ebay is worst cause they trying to compete with amazon. Bought 1 item from ebay cause I could get quicker after 18 years when I bought VB6  and now get almost daily emails.

        Welcome to the digital age.


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        • #2347661

          You can unsubscribe from eBays emails. There should be a link toward the bottom of the email, though you may need a magnifying glass to find it. Same thing with Amazon or anyplace else. I think there’s probably some kind of regulation that any company or organization that emails you repeatedly, i.e. more than once, has to allow you to unsubscribe from their list. Good thing, too.

          HTH :-).

      • #2347182

        Fortunately, up here in Canada, in the big cities at least we have Canada Computers (and canadacomputers.com) and Memory Express (and .com) for computer electronics at least.  Both seem like quite good and price-competitive companies.  No need for Amazon – perhaps we are not quite as delivery-centric up here  (not likely, though – I dream).  I regret losing Radio Shack – despite it’s disadvantages it was in every little city and mall and served the population!

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    • #2346089

      Microcenter? But they have fewer stores than Frys did, and I don’t want to make a day trip to get computer and electronics shopping done. Also the MC website needs modernization, and it will be telling whether or not they put the money into doing that.

      Amazon beat the others at their own game and sets the standard nowadays. Seems Bezos and his team are able to give the customers what they want, there’s nothing wrong with that. They make it really easy to spend your money and get your merch. Amazon’s the one to beat, who can do it?

      Best Buy? Give me a break, poor selection, clueless staff, poor inventory control.

      Wholesale clubs? Did I read somewhere that Costco is the largest computer retailer in the US?

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    • #2346090

      What happened to the posts related to Fry’s?

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      • #2346115

        We’re running some reindexing tasks to get a duplicate forum post issue fixed up and it appears to be impacting your view if you are not logged in.  The posts are here if you are logged in, not if you are not logged in.  Hang loose.  Investigating.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2346130

      Susan here:  Hang loose we’re still investigating what’s going on.  If you log in you see all of the comments.

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    • #2346162

      LA Times also has a recent article on the Fry’s Electronics closure

      I used to go to the Fry’s Electronics stores either in Burbank or Woodland Hills with either my childhood friend or my younger brother to buy memory chips around the 2000s decade (2000-2009).

      sad that they’re closing down their stores for good 🙁

    • #2346363

      The Fry family sold off their grocery store chain many years ago and it is now part of Kroger. Some of the family members used their share of the proceeds from selling off the family grocery business to finance their founding of Fry’s Electronics. The Fry’s grocery store chain and Fry’s Electronics were never part of the same business organization.

    • #2346372

      I never was close to a Frys but certainly heard about them. Sign of the times when everything can be had at the absolute lowest price.

    • #2346376

      Looks like Microcenter is going to get more of that Fry’s business but really a Micorcenter store is rare to be close to! The one near Boston(Cambridge Mass Actually) does not have close by bus service on the Boston outbound to Cambridge route and requires a 2+ block walk to get there and on the outbound route the bus stop that used to be directly adjacent to the Microcenter/Trader Joes complex is now around the corner and 3/4 of a block away near a Grammar School!

      In Boston Proper the Best Buy that was on Newbury St and Mass Ave is been closed for years now, as is the Best Buy at Landmark Center in Fenway, and there are not many Big Box electronics retailers,  or even office supply stores, remaining near Boston’s Back Bay area whereas there used to be many! Rent costs are really making shopping for electronics difficult in big cities in the northeast and other regions/coasts.

      Still it’s good to have a Microcenter somewhat accessible by mass transit as they tend to be located in the far outskirts in some regions.  The Microsoft Store in the Mall has closed for good and that just leaves the Apple Store on Boylston St! And that Apple store is more like a pickup/drop-off location currently with the Pandemic and some kiosks surrounding the immediate inside of main entrance with the remainder of the multistory store inaccessible currently.

      If the Folks at Microcenter where smart they would open op a kiosik/popup store in the Prudential Center mall as every time that I pass through there, once or twice a week, there’s another store that’s closed for good the results of the pandemic. And really CVS and Walgreens are overpriced for USB/Thumb-Drives but I guess that Online is going to be the only option in some areas but I’d still rather shop and a brick and mortar retailer!

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    • #2346422

      Man, for those of us DIY PC’ers, parts, hand tools, etc., this is a disaster. What’s left? Best Buy? (Aaaaargh!) No Microcenter around here! (SoCal) It was Fry’s or on-line.

      Like the microchip shortage that’s screwing up car makers and other mfr’s, this is another domino to fall for people who have businesses or interests creating custom PC’s or electronics and need a part or tool or doo-dad ASAP, off the shelf. Bad sign, very bad.

      First Radio Shack, now this. Ayeee!

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      • #2346434

        Exactly this. There is no Micro Center within an 8 hour drive radius, and of course CompUSA’s been gone for years too. I always liked Circuit City more than Best Buy, and of course Circuit City is gone too.

        As I wrote in a post that vanished, we’re losing all of the brick and mortar places! I preferred to go and get things in person where possible, until this whole COVID nightmare began. I like to be able to handle the package and look at the actual thing… I like to see the floor models where they exist (as they usually do for mice and keyboards). I have my Corsair keyboard because I was able to go to Fry’s and see if I liked the feel… I did, so I bought it.

        I know some people used places like Fry’s as showrooms for stuff they intended to buy on Amazon anyway, and that’s unfortunate, and sometimes unnecessary. Fry’s would match Amazon’s price, but only on items sold by Amazon themselves.

        I know Fry’s has, or had, a rather sizable online presence, to me it was all about the stores. If I couldn’t go and get the item in person, I would order it, but not usually from Fry’s. The few times I did (when the sale was good enough to warrant it), it took a lot longer to get my item than it would have from Newegg, and Newegg’s selection was better too. The benefit of Fry’s was the instant gratification and the ability to test things before I even leave the parking lot.

        When I bought 8GB of RAM for my Asus F8Sn laptop (Core 2 Duo era) a few years ago, I was reasonably sure that the Patriot RAM I was about to buy would work, but I was not certain. That laptop supposedly had a max RAM of 4GB, but some others had given it a shot with 8 and found that it did work. One of them remarked that it would only work with SoDIMMs that had a certain number of chips per module, and while I could see in the site’s pictures that it had the right characteristics, I could not be sure that it really looked like that, or that it would work for sure in my laptop.

        Fry’s return policy would allow me to return the RAM without a restocking fee if it did not work, so I put the laptop in the car and went to Fry’s. I bought the RAM, installed it in the laptop out in my car in the parking lot, and booted it. It started and worked fine, and instantly recognized all 8 GB in Windows 7. Those two SoDIMMs are still in there now, though Windows 7 is not.

        If it had not worked, of course, it would be a simple task to go back in and return the item. It’s much simpler to just go in there with a receipt and handle it in person, especially with big and bulky items.

        The LA Times article linked above did say that Fry’s had found it impossible to survive in the COVID era, but that will eventually end… but closures like this won’t be undone. I can see why having to compete with Amazon on their own turf (ordering online and having the stuff delivered) put them at a terrible disadvantage. Amazon’s selection is far larger, many people already have Prime, and Amazon’s web site is better than the Fry’s site by far. Fry’s has long had what I consider to be the worst site of any of the big e-tailers. I would search for an item I was interested in, and the site would give me multiple pages of completely irrelevant hits. Mixed in those were sometimes valid results, if I had enough patience to drill down and look for them. The photos of the item were usually lacking, and the information provided about the item was often very sparse, with questions about warranties, specs, etc., unanswered, requiring that I go to some other site to find out about the item.

        Newegg’s site, by contrast, was the best one I knew about. I was a member of their Premier program, their version of Amazon Prime, but they discontinued that a few years ago. Their selection has dropped off dramatically since then, and the amount of stuff they push from third party sellers (often in China, which I am by no means patient enough to wait for) has increased greatly.

        I prefer to stay away from Amazon as much as possible, but it’s getting harder to do so.


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    • #2346967

      Now how on Earth did that happen? I’ve been going to the one in Arlington (where Circuit City used to be, in Tarrant County, Texas) for years now. If you weren’t in to “self service” then you were pretty much on your own…

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Travasaurus.
    • #2346970

      OMG! That’s the Kiss of Death for them, then…

    • #2347028

      There once was a city surrounded by a wall made of beautiful stones.

      So beautiful that everyone had found a way to take one home as an ornament.

      Eventually, the wall crumbled and all the people in town were horrified. Yet not one person felt they had done anything wrong.

      Every time we buy into the convenience of shopping online rather than supporting a brick-and-mortar business we take one stone off that wall.

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      • #2347345

        For us the, “convenience of shopping online”. is a necessity.

        Our nearest brick-and-mortar electronics store is a Best Buy that is an hours drive from us.

        We can order on line and in most cases have the order delivered the next day or the day after.

        When ordering on line we can also comparison shop for the best value.

        Is our time better spent driving two hours to go shopping or doing analysis that our clients pay for?



    • #2347074

      (USA centric post) Well the news has it that Frys Electronics, a place that before Amazon came into our lives, was THE place where us geeks on the Wes
      [See the full post at: Frys electronics is closing]

      Frys was gone in my Austin Texas location for at least the last year. The store was devoid of stock and the big advantage they had was I could look at computer stuff there.  Their appliance and TV section was always wasted time for me, but the computer component part will be missed.

    • #2347186

      Amazon beat the others at their own game and sets the standard nowadays. Seems Bezos and his team are able to give the customers what they want, there’s nothing wrong with that. They make it really easy to spend your money and get your merch. Amazon’s the one to beat, who can do it?

      Amazon does that on the backs of its employees with working conditions no better than those we hear about in China.

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    • #2347193

      I was sorry to hear that Fry’s was closed, but I was not surprised. Their business was way off. Every time I went there to buy something, it was always out of stock. I figured they couldn’t stay in business very long that way. Now they are gone. Micro Centre does not carry all the small electrical parts that Fry’s used to have (like micro switches and capacitors). Garland, Texas.

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      • #2347203

        It’s the way our society has gone, when it stops working, throw it out and buy a new one.  Seems very few people are into fixing things and making them last more than a few years.

        Have you seen the price of Tums? It's enough to give you heartburn.
        • #2347346

          For us it is a question of the value of our time.

          Is it cost effective to take time away from our core business of analysis to spend time fixing something?

          If it is a plug and play component we will probably fix it. If it requires soldering something we will look at the cost/benefit of replacing it.

          • #2347673

            If it is a plug and play component we will probably fix it. If it requires soldering something we will look at the cost/benefit of replacing it.

            Part of this equation is that the manufacturer of the item is less likely to have made it plug and play in recent years. If they raise the cost of repairing the item by making it more difficult/time consuming, it is more likely to be in your own interest to buy new rather than to expend the resources fixing the thing. If they had designed the thing with repair in mind, you’d be more likely to decide to repair it.

            On the flip side, of course, if people demanded repairable goods, they’d be more likely to get them, but most have gone along with the “throw it in the gutter, and go buy another” mentality. It’s nice to see efforts to push back against this with sites like ifixit.com.

            As a tech enthusiast at home, though, the calculations differ from those of a business. I have a certain amount of time that I am going to spend on “me” stuff one way or another, and fixing things that have failed or are damaged fits right in with that. I enjoy repairing things, so I can have my recreation time and money-saving overlap. The opportunity cost of me expending my time fixing something rather than doing something that directly earns revenue isn’t there, so it’s well worth the time if I enjoy the repair process.

            I have a monitor (a non-widescreen 5:4 19 inch LCD, to give you an idea of its age) that just failed one day, with no signs of life at all. It was, as you would expect, a TN model with terrible vertical viewing angles, so I bought an IPS replacement that happened to be on sale (my Dell 23″ monitor that is still in use today), but I held on to the old one.

            I also had an oldish Netgear WNDR3700 (first gen) that had been in continuous service since I bought it new, and one day I noticed that it had slowed down on wireless transfers. I opened up the router to investigate the most likely failure point… the capacitors.

            There were six electrolytic capacitors inside the unit, and four were bulged.

            Since I was going to be paying the S&H anyway, I decided to take a look at the monitor too. I had not opened it since it failed initially, but now I did, and I found some more bulged capacitors in the monitor’s PSU section.

            I ordered top tier capacitors with the same values as the old ones for both (the bulged ones were lower-tier capacitors in the Netgear, and I don’t remember what they were in the LG monitor), and when they arrived, I got out the soldering iron and gave it a shot. I’ve never been particularly good at soldering, and if you saw my early work creating a speaker box for my first car, complete with “soldered” connections, you’d certainly have a laugh, but I got the repairs on the router and monitor done, and it was my best work yet, which isn’t really a very high bar.

            The router worked fine and was once again at full speed over the wireless connection. I don’t really know for sure that the capacitors were the cause rather than something like transient noise on the frequency band, but they were bulged and in need of replacement one way or another. I kept that router in service for several more years, until I found a wireless-AC router for $25 (the old one is wireless-N), which my laptops already had the ability to use. It still works fine, and I still have it.

            The monitor also powered right up and has worked fine ever since. It’s now on my end table, connected to the PC that I refer to as my backup server underneath. I don’t often have to use it to use the PC directly, but it is nice that it comes on as a sign that the wake-on-LAN has worked and it will soon be ready to accept a backup over the network.

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        • #2347670

          I don’t know enough about the client base at Frys to know how much their drop off in business was because of people not wanting to fix their own electronics or pay someone else to fix them anymore, or because of all the other reasons posted above.

          I was just reading yesterday about a Repairability Index program that France is preparing to implement. https://grist.org/climate/why-frances-new-repairability-index-is-a-big-deal/

          Cheers, y’all.

          • #2347674

            Fry’s had a lot of stuff that wasn’t oriented to repairing things too. If you wanted to buy new instead of repairing, there is a good chance you’d find that new thing you’d want to buy there too.

            The LA Times article mentioned it being about “COVID and the changes in the retail market,” and the message that remains at their web site echoes this. Their web site was horrible, but they had a brick and mortar presence in the areas they served that was significant. The parking lot was always packed with cars when I went there, and around Christmas time, they’d have dozens of cashiers on duty and still have a long line. This last year, I don’t know how it was.

            With most of their stores being in heavily locked down California, and with the stores in less restrictive states still seeing, no doubt, a significant downturn just by virtue of people not wanting to mess with in-person shopping at this point in time, they lost the one advantage they had over Amazon. Their web site was much worse than Amazon’s, and if that was all there was, it’s not hard to see how they lost the race.

            I don’t know anything about the stuff where you can get an item on the same day you order it. I’ve heard that’s a thing in some places with Amazon, and Fry’s apparently had the same deal within a certain radius of each store. They probably thought they had to compete with Amazon, but until COVID came along, they seemed to be doing it.

            I still don’t know why they’ve chosen to pack it in for good because of COVID. It’s going to end at some point, and the desire people have to go buy something instead of just ordering it online will always be there. It seems to me that there are options of trying to find a buyer or restructuring under bankruptcy to keep them alive, but they just don’t seem interested.

            When CompUSA went out of business, they had several weeks of closeout sales, and the web site encouraged people to come in and check out the deals. Fry’s just took their site down, and according to the message that remains there, they just shut the doors to the stores. It wasn’t that way with any of the other retailers that failed that I can recall.

            Sears has been in death throes for many years, and they’ve whittled their stores down to a handful, but they’re still fighting for their life. Fry’s sent out their usual promotional email (with prices good until the 28th) on the 23nd of February like nothing was wrong, and by the 24th, they were out of business.

            It’s very weird how all this has gone down.

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    • #2347352

      Frequented the grocery stores  in Silicon Valley long before the kids started up the electronics/appliance business … really liked the stores (both food and tech) … web site was a mess, which never really made sense … will really miss them here in Vegas, but I guess peoples’ buying habits today are responsible for the demise of brick and mortar sales … online purchasing is so easy, particularly when returns are almost automatic …  a mistake is usually a simple, painless return away from being fixed … will miss them almost as much as Radio Shack … as a nuts-and-bolts freak, really will miss not being able to buy the stuff to build my own gadgets, but then, as an octogenarian, not doing so much of that anymore. The Sci-Fi writers have been warning us this was coming …

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    • #2347416

      Frys “maybe” could have survived if they had set up a working online order system from a user-friendly website. Maybe the business model could have been retooled to deal with modern times. Or maybe there is a bankruptcy option that could have kept them going. But the family owners chose not to.

      They are a different store in many ways, but I look at how B&H Photo is surviving, with an anchor of one b/m store, and I wonder if Frys could not have done something similar.

      They had a unique product mix. Maybe that hurt them: too much floor space given to slow moving merchandise.

      I don’t really like Bezos, but there is no denying that he took a concept and makes it work.



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    • #2347419

      I want to tell everyone the best alternative is ABT in Glenview IL for any electronic and appliance and more. I have been going to this store since about 1970.
      They have everything, all kinds of electronics. Check them out for anything.

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    • #2347589

      I was always going to Fry’s over a 30-year stay in southern California.  Who could forget the extraordinary theming of the store interiors.   Every one was different:

      • The Fountain Valley “Ruins of the Roman Empire” theme with an actual collapsed aquaduct spewing real water at the center of the store.
      • The Burbank “1950’s Atomic Age UFO Invasion” theme with a 40-foot flying saucer crashed into the outside wall (with the Fry’s sign knocked akilter).  The other half of the UFO stuck out of the inside wall, and little green men with ray guns all over the shelves. In the far corner, there was a working snack bar themed as a 1950s drive-in movie. They had actual vintage cars on the floor with the roofs sawed off serving as dining booths, while a loop of clips from vintage sci-fi horror flicks played on the back wall.   A huge walk-in flying saucer straight out of “Close Encounters” was an audition room for high-end stereo equipment.
      • The Anaheim store had echos of the early Space Shuttle program and homage to North American Aviation. The customer return counter was the wings of a full-size model of the Space Shuttle.
      • The Manhattan Beach (CA) store had a South Seas Islands “tiki” theme with thatched huts over the check-outs and real sand on the floors.
      • But the most over-the-top store of all was the Houston store, located just across I-45 from the NASA Manned Spaceflight Center.   There was an incredibly detailed accurate FULLL-sized model of the International Space Station hanging from the ceiling.   An astronaut was doing a space walk on the solar panels, while a full-sized model of the Space Shuttle approached from one side. On the other side, a full-sized Russian Soyuz space craft was approaching.  This display far outdid any museum or exhibit NASA had in the area.

      I always wondered if Fry’s had retained Disney Imagineers to do the store interiors.


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    • #2347518

      Before Fry’s came to Houston, one of the reasons I liked attending conferences and meetings in California was to have the opportunity to make a “Fry’s run”.  I recall one such time when I was in Scott’s Valley, and a whole bunch of people in that meeting had never been to a Fry’s.  So we took a road trip, and it was like watching little kids in a toy store.

      One thing Fry’s did that no one else in the computer retail business did, AFAIK, was go over-the-top with the theme of the store, from an Aztec temple (CA and AZ) to a huge piano (Austin, I think), to the International Space Station here in SE Houston, not far from NASA/JSC.

      Always made it fun, and the prices were great.  In latter years I took advantage of the daily and weekly deals many times, and got some great buys.  But yeah, like many others here, probably the #1 thing I’ll miss was just the opportunity to browse, and browse, and browse, and dream, and browse, and kill time, and browse.

      So long, Fry’s.  You’ll be missed by this old computer geek!


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    • #2347611

      And don’t forget the “as seen on TV” aisle :).

    • #2347854

      In late May of 1985 one of my engineers had me drive him to this place called “Fry’s Electronics” in Sunnyvale.  Randy Fry was there behind the cash register (remember those) and my engineer could get all the special parts we needed.  The Fry brothers started the place, funniest story was that the engineers coming in asked why they didn’t have milk and cookies like the other Frys.  So John Fry got his Dad to loan several refrigerators and had a delivery of milk and cookies made to the store.  They were cleaned out in just a few hours, so Fry’s started carrying all the munchies that Silicon Valley engineers needed to work those long hours.  One of my companies from that era lived on parts from Fry’s . . . and my engineers lived on the junk food.  Fry’s was an essential part of the culture of early Silicon Valley and part of it’s success.

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    • #2347951

      Never been to a Frys but along that theme I miss hardware stores. We had a little one in our downtown and ACE in a nearby area. Home De Pot took its toll and the Ace closed a few years back, the little hardware store had little parking so was not too convenient. But ..

      Just two years ago a brand new Ace opened in an old plumbing supply building. Funny they are also competing with a brand new Lowes just a bit beyond where the old Ace was.

      So maybe there is some hope.


      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2348134

      business analysis of Frys ascent, decline, fall. Went from “a fun place that sold everything, to a depressing place that sold almost nothing”.



      • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by scoobydoo.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by scoobydoo.
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    • #2349138

      I first visited the Fry’s hole in the wall in Hayward, CA. in the 1980’s. Narrow isles, where you could buy Transistor’s, Capacitor’s or Resister’s unpackaged.  Technology and integrated circuits dampened my hobby. Last Fry’s I visited was in Las Vegas in 1999, shelves and stocked item were pretty bare then. I used them on-line a lot since moving to AZ. Sorry they are going out of business.

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