Fry's Electronics Shut Down: Complete Text of Statement, How Many Stores Closed and Reasons
|Fry's Electronics is shutting down.|
What is Fry’s Electronics?
With its headquarters located in San Jose, California, Fry's Electronics, Inc., is a private company that runs a chain of 28 electronics superstores, ranging in size from 50,000 square feet to more than 180,000 square feet. Each stores offers about 30,000 items and exceeds the competition in breadth of choice. The stores are also known for cheap prices and notoriously poor customer service, according to Referenceforbusiness.
The first Fry's, located in Silicon Valley, was frequented by hi-tech professionals who did not require, nor welcome, assistance from salespeople. These customers liked Fry's unique one-stop approach to buying electronic products and components. Not only could they buy little-found items at a reasonable price, they could also stock up on junk food, No-Doz, and men's magazines while preparing to work all night. They could also talk shop, gossip, and network while they were at it.
Here is the full statement on the closure from the Fry’s website:
After nearly 36 years in business as the one-stop-shop and online resource for high-tech professionals across nine states and 31 stores, Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s” or “Company”), has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Company will implement the shut down through an orderly wind down process that it believes will be in the best interests of the Company, its creditors, and other stakeholders.
The Company ceased regular operations and began the wind-down process on February 24, 2021. It is hoped that undertaking the wind-down through this orderly process will reduce costs, avoid additional liabilities, minimize the impact on our customers, vendors, landlords and associates, and maximize the value of the Company’s assets for its creditors and other stakeholders.
The Company is in the process of 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 questions, please contact us using the following email addresses:
• For customers who have equipment currently being repaired, please email [email protected], to arrange for return of your equipment.
• For customers with items needing repair under a Performance Service Contract, please call (800) 811-1745.
• For consignment vendors needing to pick up their consignment inventory at Fry’s locations, please email [email protected]
Please understand if we are a bit slow to respond given the large volume of questions. The Company appreciates your patience and support through this process.
|Approaching Fry's Electronics store in Roseville from a parking lot on a busy shopping day. Fry's Electronics is a chain of a big-box stores specialized in electronics goods, computer hardware and software as well as home appliances. Most store designs are theme oriented and theme for this store is 19th Century California Railroads.slobo via Getty Images.|
How many stores were shutdown?
Fry’s Electronic’s, the big-box chain that was a longtime, one-stop shop for tech enthusiasts, is shutting down after 36 years in business. The company cited “changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.” According to Geekwire.
Fry’s made the announcement in a statement on its website early Wednesday, where all other content had disappeared. But the writing had been on the wall for at least two years as empty store shelves began to signal that the San Jose, Calif.,-based company was in trouble.
Fry’s operated 31 stores across nine states, including one in Renton, south of Seattle — the only Washington location. GeekWire visited that store in October 2019 as internet reports began to circulate that the chain may be struggling in the age of Amazon and increased online shopping.
The 152,000-square-foot Renton store was a sea of empty shelves at the time, with very few employees — or customers — wandering departments ranging from personal computers to televisions to office furniture. But a spokesman for Fry’s told GeekWire back then that Fry’s was “gearing up for the holiday season” and that it was planning to restock over the next several weeks with no plans to liquidate or close any stores.
Why Fry’s Electronics cease its operation?
Fry's struggles did not start with the pandemic. Its first problem was "changes in the retail industry" and shoppers' habits taking them online rather than to physical stores, according to AZFamily.
It late 2019, the company moved to a consignment model, which meant inventory on store shelves was limited. That's when speculation about the future of Fry's started churning.
Fry's Electronics outlasted two of its main competitors in the computer and consumer electronics space. CompUSA's slow decline started in 2007. It ceased operations in 2012. Circuit City, once more than 560 stores strong, filed for bankruptcy in 2008. It closed its last store in 2009.
Arizona's Family started hearing about the imminent closing Tuesday night when people claiming to be employees sent links to various posts on Twitter and Reddit. By Wednesday morning, Fry's had taken down its website, leaving only one page with a brief announcement and contact information for customers and consignment vendors.
It's not clear how many Fry's employees are losing their jobs. The company has not given an official closing date.
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