News Fry’s Electronics Closes Its Doors After COVID-19 Changes the Retail Business

atomicWAR

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For the last ten years I have been living on the island of Oahu after spending most of my cilivian life in CA/NV. I have dearly missed Fry's Electronics. Honestly there is nothing on the island like it. I use to love to stroll down the aisles looking for sweet deals I couldn't pass up. Some of my most bargain basement PC builds were because of Fry's sales.

My last Fry's rig was an i7 920 I had OC's to 4ghz with 8GB of ram, an Asus motherboard (it might of been asrock) and a CPU water cooling kit by Corsair, long before AIO liquid coolers were a "thing". All of which I picked up for just under 700 dollars because of a sale and some incorrect price stickers they choose to honor because I was honest and asked them, "is this price correct it seems really really low from MSRP."...that and I was a regular there probably helped. Anyways I watched as they rung me up while another store employee corrected the pricing on their i7 920 CPUs. I ended up saving like 150 dollars if I recall on that one part alone. Fry's never did me wrong, ever. Even going as far as replacing a motherboard and CPU I didn't buy there because I bought a PSU from them that literally fried both to the point of actually causing the CPU pins to melt effectively soldering it to the motherboard when I powered it on for the first time. They agreed to replace my broken bit after some pushing on my part, asking them how they were going to make this right. This was an AMD64 FX 51 based build so it was anything but cheap. Customer service agreed to replace my PSU, obviously, AND give me a new CPU, motherboard. They tested my ram which oddly ended up being fine but they had agreed to replace it too had it not past a memtest they did on site. I have never seen a store do something like that before or since. It was truly amazing and what made me a Fry's customer for life.

Fast forward ten years and my wife and I recently decided to go ahead and have kids. Being disabled in a wheelchair we had planned to move back to the mainland so we could be close to family. I was so excited to be able to go to Fry's again. Then tonight I read this, sadly it wasn't meant to be. I only hope Micro Center doesn't suffer the same fate before we make it back. It is a sad day for the tech enthusiast's community...
 
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Dec 12, 2020
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Too much unused space in the two stores Ive been at, and it was never a better store than Microcenter who carries most of the things Frys did.
 
Nov 13, 2020
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Too much unused space in the two stores Ive been at, and it was never a better store than Microcenter who carries most of the things Frys did.
Was the exact opposite for me, Fry's was the motherlode in the early 2000's at least in the Bay Area and made put our Microcenter location here out of business.
With the rise of e-commerce Amazon/Newegg they simply could not make the transition plus the stores ended up carrying "weird branded" electronics for toys, imitation airpods, computer parts, etc. which as a consumer I was felt were sketchy were to buy
To be honest they should have closed long ago but still managed to find a way stay open (I believe because they owned most the land their stores were on). It was a failing business the pandemic and rise of minimum wage was the nail in the coffin. Rest in peace frys. Microcenter is probably next.
 
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artk2219

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Jun 30, 2010
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Was the exact opposite for me, Fry's was the motherlode in the early 2000's at least in the Bay Area and made put our Microcenter location here out of business.
With the rise of e-commerce Amazon/Newegg they simply could not make the transition plus the stores ended up carrying "weird branded" electronics for toys, imitation airpods, computer parts, etc. which as a consumer I was felt were sketchy were to buy
To be honest they should have closed long ago but still managed to find a way stay open (I believe because they owned most the land their stores were on). It was a failing business the pandemic and rise of minimum wage was the nail in the coffin. Rest in peace frys. Microcenter is probably next.
I guarantee you Microcenter is not, atleast not for a while, the two around me are always packed and in speaking with employees they were up 30% year over year between 2019 and 2020. Also unlike Fry's, Microcenter management has done a good job in keeping things rolling and keeping shelves stocked, that still doesn't stop the sting of Fry's going away though, I had some great memories in that store.
 

dan_L

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Nov 24, 2010
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While I'm extremely disappointed to see Fry's Electronics close, the writing was frighteningly on the wall. The shelves in the Fry's in Downers Grove, IL have been more than 95% empty going back to autumn 2019 well before the Trump Pandemic started. When I asked salesman John Fry (no relation to the owners) what was going on, he said they were in the throes of changing suppliers and wholesalers. I didn't buy his story. During the past year, purchases I made from Fry's online were shipped from individual stores, no longer from a central warehouse.

In Chicagoland, Fry's was the place to get obscure parts that nobody else carried except online at really good prices as well as a good deal on software and Microcenter the place for a good deal on hardware. I strongly suspect that the shift from physical software to downloads really hurt Fry's brick and mortar business (and suspect much of it shifted to Fry's online store, which, admittedly was not as sophisticated as Microcenter or Newegg.com). The customer service at our local Microcenter was almost always far better than at our local Fry's. But I've got to agree with others posting here, Fry's was a great store in which to meander -- I could easily spend an hour or more wondering the aisles enjoying the vast Selectdion of goodies on the shelves.

I don't quite know what went wrong for Fry's, but it will be sorely missed in Chicagoland.
 
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