Fry's Electronics
Jeff Keyzer

Fry’s Electronics Chain Is Shutting Down

Fry’s Electronics, the 36-year old go-to chain for tech tinkerers looking for everything from regular to obscure parts, is closing for good.

Perhaps best known for the outlandish themes at some of its stores, from Aztec to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the company said Wednesday in an online post that it had joined the many businesses that the COVID-19 pandemic had taken to the graveyard. Though heavily concentrated on the West Coast, the chain had 31 stores throughout nine states.

Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData, called it “the end of an era, and a sad day” for an army of loyal customers. “Fry’s was really a business build for the 1980s electronics boom. During that era, it was a gathering place for enthusiasts of an industry that was on fire.” “However, those days have long since gone and now too has an icon that represented them.”

Hammered by online competition and a battle between heavy-hitter competitors Best Buy and Amazon, it appears that the Corona Virus restrictions and economic impact proved to be the final death blows. The stores extravagant display themes became more of a burden than an experience, Saunders said, and when the chain began to struggle, gaps began to appear on shelves in the the cavernous stores, making them a shell of what they once were.

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Photo: Jeff Keyzer