Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

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Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by submariner » June 16th, 2019, 9:16 am

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ur ... 2278956032


I mean, they’ve been on a decline for years, but Fry’s is (was) truly an amazing store for DIY computer builders, audiophiles, and just about everyone. I remember first going to Fry’s in Fountain Valley in the early 90s and begging the parents to buy a Macintosh Color Classic. Of course we didn’t but the selection was amazing. It’ll be sad to see them go.


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Re: Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by storewanderer » June 16th, 2019, 11:54 am

I've bought a few things from Fry's over the years and it was always quite an experience down in Sacramento. The store isn't in the best neighborhood but is right off I-80 and always seems really busy. First the large store, is so large, it is not that easy to find items. Eventually you find what you need. If it is not available for you to freely take, the employee always says they have to take it to the cage at the checkout and ask my name. One visit the employee saw me take an item from the shelf and said he had to keep the item for me up front until I was ready to pay. I have no clue what that was about, but I saw other customers getting the same line from other employees too. Checkout was always a real experience to say the least. Then finally when you think it is all done there is the person at the door who wants to check your purchase.

And if you have the misfortune of needing to return something like I did one time, even when that something was a non-electrical plastic item that was broken when I took it out of the package, with a retail around $20, you will ensure that you NEVER take a chance of having to go through that experience again.

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Re: Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by storewanderer » June 16th, 2019, 12:43 pm

Interesting videos of that Tempe Store.

I am speechless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzNe1OO ... e=youtu.be

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Re: Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by architect » June 16th, 2019, 12:55 pm

Crazy enough, I was at the Plano store earlier this past week and meant to post about the experience on here. It had been a couple of years since I last visited this location, and let me tell you, the downfall was night and day. Entire portions of the store had noticeably empty shelves or floor space, particularly in appliances, optical media, and home theater. An entire section at the front of the store which formerly housed DVD's and CD's was now filled with junk phone cases and $5 chargers, literally aisles worth. Numerous other items such as toys and mattresses were used as filler for epty floor space. Pricing was all over the place, with a few reasonably priced items interspaced with items marked up to full MSRP (the items in question consistently sell for far less at other retailers). Interestingly, there was also a building permit attached to the front of the store dated from 2016, but it had no description of the work to be completed. Although there are four Fry's locations in the DFW area, this one is by far the best positioned for its target market, being within just a few miles of the headquarters for Texas Instruments, Samsung Mobile, and numerous other tech firms along 75 in Richardson/Plano. There is also a Micro Center located a few exits to the south which pulls solid traffic, so the store's condition is clearly not due to a lack of a target customer. At this point, it would not surprise me to see this store close and the land sold off for apartments, as there is extensive mixed-use development taking place in the area and residential demand is high.

Side note, there is also another store in East Dallas which should have been out to pasture years ago. I pass by this store frequently going to/from work, and it is a ghost town. Interestingly, the store's pylon sign was destroyed in a storm a couple of years back and was not replaced until recently. Out of the other two stores in the market, my guess is that Irving would stand the best chance over the long term, as there is a decent tech sector over in the area. The Arlington store is a dump undersized, and does not have a particularly large tech market to cater towards, and surely will be one of the first to go if store closures begin.

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Re: Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by pseudo3d » June 16th, 2019, 1:10 pm

One store's sorry shape and not news of other locations is not enough to start alarm bells ringing, but to hear them not doing too well financially wouldn't be too surprising. They're a lot larger than Micro Center stores but not nearly as nice, and the one I used to visit in north Houston is rarely empty but feels pretty run-down.

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Re: Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by Alpha8472 » June 16th, 2019, 2:09 pm

The ones in the San Francisco Bay Area near their headquarters are all very busy and well kept. The problem is that most items can be bought online for cheaper. People are able to compare prices and choose the cheaper option.

Fry's matches internet prices, but sometimes it might be a hassle. This chain is run by some of the sons of the founder of the Fry's Supermarket chain. Fry's started in Contra Costa County. There was a street in Concord, California that was named Fry Way for the supermarket. The supermarket closed, but years later Fry's opened up a new Fry's Electronics on the same street. I believe that old store was the original Fry's Supermarket.

Now Fry's Food is owned by Kroger and only in Arizona. Fry's Electronics is known for selling food and bottled water. Some of their stores have restaurants inside. Originally, the Electronics stores sold produce as well.

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Re: Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by veteran+ » June 17th, 2019, 8:21 am

I have been to the store near Mission Valley (San Diego) and it is a BIG store!

But, WAY more employees than customers!

Selection was weird but prices were competitive.

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Re: Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by Brian Lutz » June 17th, 2019, 9:32 am

The one here (Renton WA) seems to be reasonably well stocked (at least it was as of the last time I went) but selection is always very hit-or-miss. It seems that they have a certain niche that they fill as one of the few remaining places in the area to find things like electronic components and PC components. Computer stores used to be fairly common here but most have closed, and aside from that I think Best Buy is probably the only place I know of that even sells any of the stuff locally (and their selection is very small.) And aside from a couple of mom-and-pop places there's basically nowhere else in the area to buy electronic components (although their components section tends to be very disorganized.)

That said, if I have a particular part I am looking for, the chances of them selling it in the local store seem slim. For example, I'm in the process of building a new PC at home, and if I'm looking for, as an example, a Z390 chipset motherboard, if I go into the store it seems like they'll have a few of them, but most likely not the specific one I came up with in my research. Same goes for video cards or just about any other component. Then again if they do have it I can price match Amazon or Newegg and not have to worry about shipping, which is convenient.

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Re: Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by Super S » June 17th, 2019, 6:29 pm

The store in Wilsonville, OR still seemed well stocked on my last visit, but you can tell the store is aging. One thing that struck me as odd were the light fixtures, some which had a mixture of old fluorescent and new LED bulbs in the same fixtures. Fry's is one of the few places left that still has a decent selection of outdoor TV antennas and accessories, and electronic components like diodes etc. that Radio Shack once supplied. They also have some items not found elsewhere such as new cassette decks. I would really like to see them hang in there but they seem to be slipping a bit. I prefer seeing electronic components in person before buying and recently took a trip to Fry's to look at Blu-Ray players and found them all in boxes and not on display. Fry's is usually competitive on price but I ended up buying the Blu-ray player at Best Buy because I had a question and the store wasn't as well staffed as in the past. I couldn't find an employee in that department.

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Re: Fry’s Electronics on Life Support

Post by arizonaguy » June 17th, 2019, 8:57 pm

storewanderer wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 12:43 pm
Interesting videos of that Tempe Store.

I am speechless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzNe1OO ... e=youtu.be
It's been a few years since I've been in the Tempe location but I had no clue that things had gotten that bad.

I live near the Phoenix location and was last there about a year ago. I didn't end up purchasing what I intended to get because the products on the shelf were outdated (and I ended up ordering what I wanted off Amazon for a newer model at a better price).

One thing that I believe has hurt them badly is that PC games aren't sold on hard media (CD/DVD) any more. They used to have a huge PC game selection and now sell virtually none.

The evolution of the computer (and mobile devices) has also hurt them. 10 years ago everyone had either a laptop or a desktop. Now a lot of people survive on their smartphone or a smartphone / tablet combination (with no PC and no need for PC components).

Living in Phoenix, when someone asks where they should buy a big ticket electronic item almost everyone will say Costco (and not Fry's).

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