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Fry's Electronics is dying

Old 02-25-21, 01:53 AM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

This thread was started before COVID. That just became a convenient excuse for them to give up. It's speculated had they actually had inventory in stock, they would've cleaned up on supplies for people suddenly working from home.
Old 02-25-21, 05:40 AM
  #102  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Bought my TV - LG E7 - there. That was... Jan 2018... and even then, the store was already a shadow of what it once was.
I always liked that they sold individual computer parts and such. Luckily I still have a microcenter for that...
Old 02-25-21, 01:24 PM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Don't think I bought too much computer hardware at Fry's over the years. Being in Silicon Valley we were blessed with tons of small computer shops. You just pick up a Computer Currents magazine and look for the cheapest parts and drive to those places. But for software Fry's was pretty much the best. I bought many a game there. And then I would go every week during the DVD and early Blu-ray days to check new releases.

Over the years with the transition of PC games to almost entirely digital and my interest in physical media waning, I stopped going. I can remember being in line for the Diablo III launch to get the Collector's Edition back in 2012, but I think that might've been the last time I went. Since then everything I've needed I could get online.

Still, it's a bit of a bummer that they're gone. My favorite was the Palo Alto location with the wild west theme.
Old 02-25-21, 02:14 PM
  #104  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

So I'm learning about how all the other stores had these themes but the one here in the Chicago suburbs (Downers Grove) just looked like any other big box store. Or was there a secret theme I wasn't aware of?

EDIT: I just remembered they had big, aerial pictures on the walls of some of the local suburbs decades ago when it was farm land, but that's about it.
Old 02-25-21, 02:52 PM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Count me in as someone who was turned onto Fry's by my brother and for a period of time several (at least 3-4 years) years back you could count on me and my brother (or just myself) hitting a Fry's at least 10-20 times a year to browse for new DVD/Blu sales, sales on music, video game sales, and of course computer stuff and tvs.

It is easy to say that if they had the inventory they would have maybe been able to ride out Covid as folks flocked to them for all that work from home stuff you need (office headphones, chairs, paper, ink, replacement laptops/pcs, etc.), but once they entered a situation where they could not pay their suppliers they were on a slow but steady death spiral towards going out of business. Saying they would have done okay if they only had inventory is like saying I could have doubled my money if I had invested in Gamestop a few days back because it jumped in value again this week. Coulda, shoulda, woulda...easy to say what I should have done but hindsight is 20/20, it is just as likely that if I invested in Gamestop in the 40s the stock could have just as easily fallen to $20 or less per share.

So yeah, I agree that if Fry's had the inventory they might still be in business today but if horses had wings they could fly.

ETA: There was even a period of time, however brief, where I even stood in line with my brother and dad (and once or twice with my mother) at 06:00 am to grab some Black Friday deals. Even years later I would still check them out later in the day on BF because they were still a fun place to shop for deals. I bought many a full series/complete season DVD set at Fry's for a wonderful price.

They will be missed, but yes...just so easy to grab stuff on-line. I needed an obscure part to use my wireless cans hooked up to a tivo in my apt bedroom and less than a day later I had the item from Amazon and it was dirt cheap to buy.

Last edited by Inhumans99; 02-25-21 at 04:08 PM.
Old 02-26-21, 09:35 AM
  #106  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

When they opened the IL store here in the west burbs in 2004 I was like a kid in a candy store. I would spend an hour in the DVD section finding catalog titles I'd never see in store anywhere else except maybe Borders. I always felt excited walking in there. Of course haven't been in there for years but I have a lot of fond memories of shopping there for a long time.
Old 02-26-21, 10:00 AM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
When they opened the IL store here in the west burbs in 2004 I was like a kid in a candy store. I would spend an hour in the DVD section finding catalog titles I'd never see in store anywhere else except maybe Borders. I always felt excited walking in there. Of course haven't been in there for years but I have a lot of fond memories of shopping there for a long time.
Now you're making me sad.

Fry's was a shell of itself the last few years and because of that I haven't been in one in years, but like you I loved going there and looking around. Same for KB toys, Toys R Us, Best Buy (still around but not the same), Barnes and Noble, Borders, heck, even Sharper Image, Circuit City and Radio Shack.
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Old 02-26-21, 08:30 PM
  #108  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Fry's was a phenomenon. I remember when the Fountain Valley location opened in 1993, I was also like a kid in the proverbial candy shop. That location had an almost 20-year run. Of course I haven't been inside a Fry's since at least 2015. They were great for browsing, for media, for obscure computer components, like memory, and their sales and prices were much better than Amazon's. Their motherboard / CPU bundles were outstanding. The last system combo I purhased from them was an i7 2600k CPU / motherboard combo. It turned out to be cheaper than buying just the CPU from Amazon. I got the CPU, motherboard, and 8 GB DDR3 for less than Amazon's boxed price for just the CPU back in 2011. Fantastic memories, and that desktop system is still a workhorse even today!

They'll be missed, but I've been "without" them for almost a decade due to their decline in inventory. Another company gobbled up by the Amazon monster, and the obsolescence of local businessess. Sad. Newegg provides some competition, and it is a reasonable alternative to Fry's in many ways, much more competitve than Amazon in inventory, prices, of computer components.
Old 02-28-21, 08:09 PM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

The problem that a lot of people have is getting HELP when they need electronics. Sure, you can buy whatever you need online, but what if you don't know exactly what you need? You just know generally what you need, but not the specifics.

That's where Frys and even Radio Shack came in - you could get help.

Now I'm not sure what people are going to do when they need parts and electronic equipment, but aren't expert in what they need.

I'm lucky in that I worked at Circuit City for a couple years in the mid 90's, so I still know a bit more than the average person about that stuff, but even at that there's a TON that I don't know.

That's the problem with the loss of these brick and mortar stores.
Old 03-01-21, 09:09 PM
  #110  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

The "help" at electronics stores has traditionally been terrible. I used to tell people to not even try getting help at Fry's. I still prefer going to actual stores than shopping online, since I like to actually see everything in person before deciding to buy.
Old 03-02-21, 12:44 PM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
The "help" at electronics stores has traditionally been terrible. I used to tell people to not even try getting help at Fry's. I still prefer going to actual stores than shopping online, since I like to actually see everything in person before deciding to buy.

No, B5Erik is right. Having someone...anyone... there to help when you don't have a clue is better than guessing on Amazon and having to send it back. I always knew what I needed, but I still never had a problem getting decent help at the Fry's here in Manhattan Beach CA.
Old 03-02-21, 12:52 PM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
No, B5Erik is right. Having someone...anyone... there to help when you don't have a clue is better than guessing on Amazon and having to send it back. I always knew what I needed, but I still never had a problem getting decent help at the Fry's here in Manhattan Beach CA.
It really depends on how competent the help is, though.

For computer parts (like which memory you need or whatever) they were fine. For everything else I always felt like they either didn't know as much or they were big on the upsell.

What I mean by quality of help is this: I will always remember going into one of those Gamestop like stores (EB or something like that) and getting an N64 Zelda game and asking them if I needed a memory card for it because I didn't know. The guy was like yeah, absolutely. It wasn't needed at all.

Last edited by fujishig; 03-02-21 at 01:58 PM.
Old 03-02-21, 01:02 PM
  #113  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
I always knew what I needed, but I still never had a problem getting decent help at the Fry's here in Manhattan Beach CA.
Only help I would need is finding something.
Old 03-03-21, 10:37 AM
  #114  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
The "help" at electronics stores has traditionally been terrible. I used to tell people to not even try getting help at Fry's. I still prefer going to actual stores than shopping online, since I like to actually see everything in person before deciding to buy.
I worked at Circuit City back in the mid 90's.

Back then they sent their people to a week long training at a central facility. They put us up at a local hotel, gave us a food allowance for dinner, and we had breakfast and lunch at the training center (they had a pretty nice cafeteria with some decent food).

We spent far more time on the technical specs of what we were selling than on sales techniques (in fact, it was only about a half a day of sales techniques, and 4 1/2 days of technical training). Our sales people were VERY knowledgeable.

Then they dumped the commissioned salespeople in the early 2000's, after dropping major appliances, and that was the beginning of the end for Circuit City.


I always found Fry's salespeople to be fairly knowledgeable. Yeah, they'd try to upsell you, but not as hard as the salespeople at the Good Guys or something.

For most people now it's all guesswork online and hoping that they found the right answers/parts/products.
Old 03-22-21, 12:50 AM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
I went to Fry's a lot in the late 90s and early 2000s It was a fun place to shop for physical media as well as computer stuff and video games. But, as with many B&M stores, online business killed it. Especially Amazon.

It's a shame.
Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Fry's was a phenomenon. I remember when the Fountain Valley location opened in 1993, I was also like a kid in the proverbial candy shop. That location had an almost 20-year run. Of course I haven't been inside a Fry's since at least 2015. They were great for browsing, for media, for obscure computer components, like memory, and their sales and prices were much better than Amazon's. Their motherboard / CPU bundles were outstanding. The last system combo I purhased from them was an i7 2600k CPU / motherboard combo. It turned out to be cheaper than buying just the CPU from Amazon. I got the CPU, motherboard, and 8 GB DDR3 for less than Amazon's boxed price for just the CPU back in 2011. Fantastic memories, and that desktop system is still a workhorse even today!

They'll be missed, but I've been "without" them for almost a decade due to their decline in inventory. Another company gobbled up by the Amazon monster, and the obsolescence of local businessess. Sad. Newegg provides some competition, and it is a reasonable alternative to Fry's in many ways, much more competitve than Amazon in inventory, prices, of computer components.
Saying the internet/Amazon killed Fry's is an oversimplification. It was a combination of poor management decisions, which includes not adapting and management stealing money from the company. Vulture capitalists killed stores like Kmart and Sears, not the internet. The fact that Best Buy posted record breaking sales last year shows that B&M stores can thrive. They're keeping up with the times.
Old 03-22-21, 01:29 AM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Fry's was a phenomenon. I remember when the Fountain Valley location opened in 1993, I was also like a kid in the proverbial candy shop. That location had an almost 20-year run.
I remember visiting that store with my family a TON in the early 2000s. As you mentioned, it was like being a kid in a candy store.

When I moved to Northern California, my friends & I would drive at least an hour to various Fry's Electronics locations because they always had some of the best selections (in-store) of DVDs & Blu-Rays, even compared to your standard B&Ms as well as local stores in the area like Rasputin Music & Amoeba Records. The prices at the time on them were also pretty good.

I remember they were one of the few stores in Northern California that you'd find import Video Games from as well, which made it worth driving to.

Went to one Fry's last year, as they were the only B&M store in the area with the 4K Blue Underground Releases oddly enough.
Old 03-22-21, 02:20 AM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by coocooman View Post
The fact that Best Buy posted record breaking sales last year shows that B&M stores can thrive. They're keeping up with the times.
What, by converting half their floor space to selling smartphones, wasting floor space, minimizing small-ticket items, and pushing contracts and residual income sources this way to Sunday? If that's "keeping up with the times" I want no part of it!

The Radio Shack / Kmart / Fry's model was better where you had TONS of items, huge variety of everyting from 29 cent bolts to $2900 TVs, maximal use of floor space, and gret prices.
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Old 03-22-21, 11:26 PM
  #118  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
What, by converting half their floor space to selling smartphones, wasting floor space, minimizing small-ticket items, and pushing contracts and residual income sources this way to Sunday? If that's "keeping up with the times" I want no part of it!
That's what the consumers seem to want.

They want tacky jeweled iPhone cases, not DVDs and CDs. They want a soundbar, not six big speakers. They want a little bluetooth speaker they can hold in one hand, not a big bookshelf system. They want slim laptops, not giant desktop PCs.

The people living in a tiny, over-priced apartments doesn't want a bunch of DVDs, CDs, or books taking up space, and they certainly don't want to have to lug all of that shit around when they move to a new apartment every year. They would rather consume all of that stuff on their phones or tablets.
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Old 03-23-21, 08:59 AM
  #119  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
What, by converting half their floor space to selling smartphones, wasting floor space, minimizing small-ticket items, and pushing contracts and residual income sources this way to Sunday? If that's "keeping up with the times" I want no part of it!

The Radio Shack / Kmart / Fry's model was better where you had TONS of items, huge variety of everyting from 29 cent bolts to $2900 TVs, maximal use of floor space, and gret prices.
Yeah, that model is great so that people could try before they buy (from amazon).
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Old 03-23-21, 10:57 AM
  #120  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
That's what the consumers seem to want.
They want tacky jeweled iPhone cases, not DVDs and CDs. They want a soundbar, not six big speakers. They want a little bluetooth speaker they can hold in one hand, not a big bookshelf system.
OK, I am seriously depressed now. When Tower Records was going under, founder Russ Solomon (RIP) said an unfortunate trend was people listening to music on "earbuds" and the like- you need BIG speakers to do music justice. Of course most of what passes for popular music these days isn't worthy of that.

The people living in a tiny, over-priced apartments doesn't want a bunch of DVDs, CDs, or books taking up space, and they certainly don't want to have to lug all of that shit around when they move to a new apartment every year. They would rather consume all of that stuff on their phones or tablets.
Well, even streaming movies on a big screen and good sound system is better than on a phone or tablet. But this can't be said too many times:
Old 03-24-21, 10:04 PM
  #121  
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying


Old 04-07-21, 01:13 PM
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Re: Fry's Electronics is dying

I don't know where I'm going to buy fishing supplies anymore

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