A little over a year ago, we raised the question, how much longer can Fry's Electronics stay in business? The answer, as it turns out, is a little over a year.
The retail chain announced its pending closure on its website, saying it made the "difficult decision" to shutter after 36 years "as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic."
In a way, it is the end of an era, as Fry's Electronics (or just Fry's, as it's commonly referred to) was one of the last standing better-known retail electronics and PC hardware chains. Anyone remember when there were brick and mortar CompUSA stores? How about Gateway, or Circuit City? If you have anything left in your bottle, you can pour one out for Software Etc. too.
The list goes on, and it gets convoluted when factoring in brand names changing hands and subsequently attempting relaunches, or being absorbed into other brands. It's a different landscape though, and Fry's is the latest retail casualty of the internet, leaving Best Buy, Walmart, and to an extent Micro Center as the primary offline destinations for electronics. Besides your local ma and pa stores, that is.
Fry's operated 31 stores across nine states, some of which were wildly themed. For example, its retail location in Burbank, California featured an alien invasion theme, with the storefront decorated as if a UFO had crashed into the building. Some of the other themes in various other locations included the wild west, ancient Egypt, and the gold rush, to name just a few.
Operations have now ceased and Fry's is embarking on a wind down process. Fry's is also "reaching out to its customers with repairs and consignment vendors to help them understand what this will mean for them and the proposed next steps." If you have a product that is being repaired by Fry's, the company says to contact customer service to arrange a return.
So long, Fry's. We'll always be grateful for the awesome deli sandwich deal a few Black Fridays ago.