Fry’s Electronics is calling it quits for good!
Fry’s Electronics, a decades-old shopping destination for gadgets of all kinds, is permanently shutting down its stores across the country. On Tuesday, a former employee announced on twitter that the electronics retailer, which had eight stores in total, has decided to halt its operations nationwide effective last night.
The retailer’s Facebook account has also vanished and its Twitter account has been set to private – It was accessible until earlier this evening, but they hadn’t posted anything in quite some time.
Honestly, if you’ve been to their stores in the past year or two, you would have kind of figured that the family-owned business is almost at the verge of extinction.
Ever since online retailers like Amazon, Newegg, etsy etc. have taken over the world, many brick-and-mortar stores have been pushed to their graves for good, and Fry electronics is the latest among them.
The fact that the company managed to survive this long is praise-worthy in itself. Firstly, they initiated a campaign to sell items at the same price as online retailers. They introduced a children’s toy aisle, a separate aisle for huge TV sets and even perfumes. But nothing worked. By 2019, a store that used to be a treasure house of all the gadgets including computers, TV, video games, home appliances and audio equipment had transformed into a ghost house with empty shelves.
I happened to be near the Fry’s Electronics in Roseville, CA today, so I stopped by to check out the current state of the chain, which is going through some bizarre trauma that has left it largely unstocked.— Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) February 17, 2020
Warning: This is going to be heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/w7aEmyoA9q
It was revealed that the retailer had no option but to adopt a consignment model, where the suppliers are only get paid for their goods after Fry’s managed to sell them.
Unfortunately, this strategy wasn’t enough to keep them afloat. Earlier, a former employee revealed that Samsung had quit doing business with them due to huge number of unpaid bills. The company also fired a chunk of their labor force to save money even before the pandemic.
Bitwit, a popular YouTuber, uploaded a video investigating all the debts that this once-leading store had sunk into.
You can see that video here:
Considering the rising debts and deteriorating financial situation, the company started to shut down its stores one by one, and not just the small ones, but the big ones as well, including an infamous cowboy-themed store located in the heart of Silicon Valley.
The company was also known for decorating its stores with weird themes and props, such as Egyptians and cowboys. If you happened to go to one of their stores in the 90’s, you would know the exciting experience of walking through aisles filled with mummies and sarcophagi, or seeing fake horses and hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling. For kids, a shopping experience at the Fry’s stores was nothing less than visiting an amusement park.
Just heard Fry's Electronics is immediately going out of business tonight, here's some of my favorite themed Fry's locations:— Froyo Tam 💽 #BlackLivesMatter (@FroyoTam) February 24, 2021
@ City of Industry, CA pic.twitter.com/gOorSYACNM
With the Fry Electronics’ exit, we can surely say that we’re moving towards the end of the era of physical gadget stores. Thanks to the internet and big retail companies like Amazon, we no longer have to wait in big lines and fight over parking space to purchase an item.
Since the advent of the internet, we have lost many once-great physical stores such as Toys R Us, The Sharper Image and Brookstone, Circuit City, the Bose stores, the Microsoft store and many more.
Let’s just say our final goodbyes to the Fry’s Electronics, and move on with the day!
Here’s to Fry’s electronics for providing us one of the most memorable in-store shopping experiences, Adieu, mercie beau-cou!
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