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"Fry's Electronics" - what's going on with this store?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by The Drifter, Dec 4, 2019.

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  1. Message #1 of 28 Dec 4, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    I used to be a huge fan of Fry's Electronics in the 2000's & early-mid 2010's. I have fond memories of going to the store & seeing a plethora of electronics, appliances, CD's/DVD's/Blu's. I found their prices extremely good & competitive, and they were my go-to place for all my new electronics, including my first Blu-ray player, my first (and only, so far) High-def flatscreen TV, my first digital camera, several computers, etc. In fact, I can safely say that at one time - I felt Fry's to be the best brick & mortar retail store for electronics, hands-down. I also remember the store being quite busy most of the time, even on weekdays during the day.

    However, I was last there this past Spring & the store was a shade of it's former self. Very little new (or even old) product on the shelves, few customers - and not many employees. I was in the market for a new Blu-ray player - and they had none in stock. The place looked like it was going out of business.

    And, more recently I find myself in the market for some new electronics - but hesitate to go back to Fry's, given that I don't know how much longer they'll be around.

    I definitely order a lot of new product online, but I hesitate in ordering electronics like new computers, TV's, etc. that way because I like to see the product ahead of time, and also want to easily be able to return an item if it's defective. Also, I don't like ordering big expensive items on places like Amazon because I don't knew when they're going to deliver - and, I would need to be home so that no one will steal the items from my front door.

    So, if Fry's does close I'm not sure where I'll go for new electronics. The brick & mortar specialty stores that are still open are few & far between.

    Here are some recent articles about the possible closing of Fry's:

    https://venturebeat.com/2019/09/10/frys-electronics-isnt-restocking-goods-in-multiple-stores/

    https://www.geekwire.com/2019/can-frys-electronics-survive-age-amazon-empty-shelves-numerous-stores-spark-concern/
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    There's plenty of stories like that. Circuit City. Here in Colorado we had this big electronics retailer called Soundtrack who had been around for decades and really were a force, selling all ranges of A/V up to fairly high end. They were swallowed up by a conglomerate called Ultimate Electronics, who ran them into the ground. There are still smaller sellers, but I wonder how Best Buy even stays in business.
     
  3. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

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    Yep, the writing is on the wall for Frys. I've seen Youtube videos showing the empty shelves in the stores. I used to love that place. It was the ultimate electronics candy store.
     
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  4. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    According to recent news articles, Best Buy is one of the few B&M retailers that is thriving. I think they managed to find a good balance between their physical stores and their online sales.
     
  5. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

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    I still love going to my local Fry's, which I do probably once or twice a year, but it's had fewer items each time I've gone. Earlier this year I found myself going probably once every few months and even those trips yielded less merch each time, sometimes significantly so. They don't seem long for the world at this moment.

    For those who aren't familiar with the store, I think of them as Best Buy meets Costco: an electronics store but so big and warehouse-y they have a lot of stuff BB can't carry. If they close I don't think I will be able to go back and forth trying to find the right computer cable and succeeding in one day, for example. What is a simple in-store solution might take a week or more, easily, if I have to do back-and-forth via shipping. Maybe I'd just buy what I think I need and return what doesn't work, and pay return shipping. I'd hate that, and would still have to wait until another day to hopefully solve my problem.
     
  6. David Weicker

    David Weicker Producer

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    I went into the Illinois store on Black Friday night. First time in months.

    Lots of empty shelves (wasn’t sure if they had a really good day, or going out of business). I was not able to find camcorder battery or charger I needed.

    Most stuff is available elsewhere, but they became the replacement for Radio Shack DIY components, so that is more the loss.
     
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  7. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Same here in Phoenix. Both of our Fry's Electronics stores are practically empty of product these days. They'll be closing their doors soon, I'm sure.
     
  8. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Screenwriter
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    I feel the same way. My friend and I would spend half a Sat there,, and even have a light lunch in the little cafe in the middle of the store. We couldn't believe the change last time we went.
     
  9. Message #9 of 28 Dec 4, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    To add to my fond memories of Fry's, I wanted to add that they were definitely the biggest electronics store I ever saw. And, in their heyday - had the best selection & prices of any comparable b&m store - at least that I was aware of.
     
  10. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Screenwriter

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    It is sad that B&M stores and the catering to the browsing customers are a thing of the past- online shopping has taken over. I was really disappointed to see that Best Buy has gotten rid of almost all of their browsing stock of BluRays/
    DVDs (the store in Hamburg shopping complex in Lexington KY had reduced their display shelves to less than a half dozen). I can’t speak on Target stores- I haven’t been in one of their stores in years. Sam’s Club seems to have gone away from selling physical media. It’s strange that Wally World still has a decent selection of media, especially UHD (I would think UHD isn’t something their shoppers are interested in).
     
  11. Message #11 of 28 Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    I hear you. Fry's in particular used to have substantial DVD/Blu/CD sections back in the 2000's & earlier in this decade. That being said, I honestly don't have to much of an issue with needing to go online for most physical media. I actually prefer this (in some cases) vs. having to browse through stores, since it's easier & you don't have to search for something that you may not be able to find anyway.

    However, IMHO the real loss here (re: these brick & mortar stores like Fry's closing) are not being able to go & browse/buy their large electronics, i.e. computers, TV's, Blu players, etc. Personally, I like to see these in the store & decide on the best one I want based on the appearance, etc. I also like to patronize stores like Fry's because they typically had good warranties on these items; and, I liker the idea that if the item was defective (especially within the 30-day return window) that I could easily go to the store & return this.

    If we have to go online for everything now, the logistical issues re: buying these electronics are significant. I.e., if you buy any large electronics from an online store like Amazon:

    -How are you going to arrange to be home when they deliver the item?
    - And, what if an item is defective? It's a huge issue to return something like this through the mail.
    -Going along with this, what if they send you the wrong item? I know this can happen with anything you order, but this potential issue is worse if it's a large electronic item like a computer/monitor, TV, etc.

    Just my .02
     
  12. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I bought my current TV from Fry's for that reason. I live quite near a Fry's in Houston. It is right next to the Park and Ride that I go to every work day, so it was convenient for me to stop by there. I used to love going there. I've bought lots of computer stuff there - hard drives, power supplies, video cards, etc. They used to have a great media section. I bought lots of Blu-rays, including a few special edition box sets, and CDs and SACDs. Once the products started being regularly out of stock, I stopped going there. It got to shere I couod not even get my printer ink there any more. It saddens me to see them go.
     
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    Growing up in San Jose, I knew the Fry's chain as a local grocery store chain. In those days when one of the Fry children grew up, they were given a store to manage. When the Fry family sold their chain, Randy Fry didn't want to use the proceeds for retail grocery work but rather for retail electronics work. I remember their first store in Sunnyvale, a modest affair.
     
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    I bought my present set from Best Buy for the reason that they would deliver and take away my old set, which was a DLP rear projector. Disposal of bulky electronics items isn't that easy anymore - no simple trips to the dump.
     
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  15. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Amazon makes returns about as easy as possible. Simply go online to request a return, print out the pre-paid shipping label, and either drop off the item at the shipper or arrange for a pickup (depending on which option you choose). I have returned several items to Amazon, and it's always quicker than driving to a store and standing in the returns line -- and I drop off my Amazon returns at the local UPS store.

    That being said, I have yet to purchase a large screen TV online, but have purchased my last several disc players and my last Denon receiver online. I would have no worries ordering my next large display online.
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  17. The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    OK - Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I still hesitate to buy expensive electronics online due to the delivery situation. Like most of us, I work full-time so am typically not home during the day; I would have to set this up so that they would deliver when I'm home (on a day off), etc.
     
  18. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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  19. Message #19 of 28 Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
    DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Is that a more recent development? My past experiences with Amazon were I had to pay return shipping unless it was due to a damaged product. Amazon didn’t support returning if I simply didn’t like a product, like normal B&M stores do. So I didn’t buy things that I might plausibly want to return.
     
  20. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    Amazon Returns: It's super easy now to return stuff at Amazon. I bought an electronics piece that didn't work as I had hoped. All I had to do was package the item, slap on the return label, and drop it off at the Kohl's Department Store about a mile away from my house. No cost.

    Fry's: Man, I used to love going to Fry's when I lived in CA. I'd spend ages there planning out a new PC build. I was thrilled when I moved to Illinois and found a store about 10 miles away from me. But, yeah, their stock has been really low the last few years. When my power supply on my PC died I ran out to Fry's to pick one up over waiting a couple of days from Amazon. Choice was very low, and there was only one PSU which fit what I needed. I wandered the store to look at other stuff and found a lot of things (graphic cards, keyboards, etc) only had a few options to choose from. I still like browsing because you often find things you didn't know existed, or that you needed until you saw it.
     
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