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  1. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    An update of sorts. I'm still kinda mystified as to how they manage to keep these white elephant stores open, with near-empty parking lots, very few customers inside, skeleton crew staffing (no longer even bothering to swipe your receipt with a marker pen on the way out), etc. It's almost as if the pandemic was completely irrelevant to this state of affairs. I snapped some pix inside some months ago showing all the bare shelves and empty display tables, and the large denuded section that used to house all the bigscreen TVs, but may not have gotten around to posting them here. But they could have been posted 8 months ago, 4 months ago, or when I went there yesterday: makes no difference, because little has changed. I actually went there to pick up a particular 128 GB micro-SD card that I needed, which happened to be a featured item and which was in stock. This time I noticed (close by) a small quantity return of internal WD Black HDDs in stock -- for the first time in about a year ! -- and I bought one of those also. (Never having been any real fan of SSDs, and often wanting the higher capacity HDDs anyway, I tend to get a few of these per year.) Cause enough for celebration !

    Does this discovery have any deeper significance in regard to the fate of Fry's ? Who knows ? For the past year they've been telling me that they could not obtain _____ (let's take the HDDs as an example) due to the tariff war with China. BS !! If I had made the 1.5 hour drive to MicroCentre, I'm sure they would still have had these in stock all along. And Costco or Office Depot or Best Buy continued to have them on the shelves, for all or most of that time. (And the better WD Black or Passport portable HDDs come from Thailand, anyway.) The real reason is that major vendors would not supply the merchandise to Fry's, out of concern over very possibly getting stiffed, due to their company problems. That is why the aisle of batteries, currently about 1/8 of what it used to be, has no Eveready, Energizer, or Duracell to speak of, but only less familiar, 3rd. or 4th. rate brands. This is seen over and over again, in whatever items stock still remains. One curious exception though is with the flashdrives or memory cards, which still feature brands like Patriot and Samsung, that I have found to be among the best. (From Taiwan or Korea, which likely never were involved in that tariffs dispute.) But they are major brands, nonetheless.

    Don't get me wrong here: I always liked Fry's, have been a good customer of theirs for many years, and I hope they somehow manage to turn their ill fortunes around.
    Last edited by Seeker47; 5th Dec 2020 at 19:47.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  2. way to Rigel 7 cornemuse's Avatar
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    I still get Frys promo code emails
    They have some (a few) nifty items, I look almost daily, something strikes me, and I'm gonna be in the neighborhood, I drop in.
    If ya go in right after they open, the person at the register can help locating items (you can wander around for an hour & not find anyone who works there!) the cashier will leave the 'till' & go look for you, There is NO line!
    There are huge areas where ya almost need a flashlight, Sooo dark!
    I do not know how they manage, , , , ,
    Cranky Old Man
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  3. Mr. Computer Geek dannyboy48888's Avatar
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    This place was pretty much my goto destination since I was a child as it's been there since day one (I'm 38). Been sad watching it slowly die the past few years so I'm glad it finally went as the current fry's is not how I wanted to remember it. I got a receipt I oddly saved from last year as I sensed it was coming. The really sucky part now is there is no place that one can go and touch/feel/browse all things geek instead of going to Amazon.
    if all else fails read the manual
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dannyboy48888 View Post
    Tmy goto destination since I was a child as it's been there since day one (I'm 38).
    I don't recall Fry's being in Texas before 1997.
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  5. Back in the 1980s I shopped in their original store in Sunnyvale when it was still 80% groceries and 20% electronics.

    I've been to their flagship store several times in the past three years (it was only a few blocks from that original place). Each time I said to my wife, "this will be the last time we'll be able to shop here because the shelves are half empty and there is NO ONE in the store." I contrast that to what it was like in that huge store when they first opened: they often had 12-15 registers going, and had a "starter" who would help you spot the next free register.

    On my last visit eighteen months ago, they only had two registers running.

    I assume they managed to stay in business the last few years by selling stuff on their website. I wonder if that will continue?

    The future of retail in many other categories is very much in question.
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  6. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    I assume they managed to stay in business the last few years by selling stuff on their website. I wonder if that will continue?
    Not likely given their website is nothing more than a "going out of business" page now. http://www.frys.com/
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  7. Given the percentage of retail that has moved online, if UPS, FedEx or USPS ever go on strike, we'll all be SOL.
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  8. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Don't think anyone who's been paying even slight attention to this situation can claim to be surprised: the handwriting has been on the wall for a long time -- since well preceding the pandemic, which may have hastened the demise but did not cause it. The real question may be how they ever managed to defy gravity for this long, given what we've all been seeing for quite some time. That's kind of remarkable in itself. Those huge stores will become true white elephants. It makes me wonder what the future might hold for my (reluctant) second-choice 'Go To' in this category, MicroCentre ? (But they have just a fraction of the locations, compared to Frys.) And it's a fairly hefty drive each way for me to get to the nearest one.

    Coincidentally, we just bought a refrigerator for the office from them. It was a good deal on what I hope will be a good unit. Just a few days later and that would not have been possible. So, poof -- That's All Folks ? No clearance sell-off of remaining merch ? A sad ending for what was once a semi-unique and formidable chain.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  9. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    Given the percentage of retail that has moved online, if UPS, FedEx or USPS ever go on strike, we'll all be SOL.
    That's probably why amazon is its own carrier in many locations now. I haven't received a single delivery from them, out of many dozens over the past several months, that wasn't delivered directly by amazon (tracking number beginning with TBA). That's aside from their "Fresh" service, which is of course delivered by them. Well sort of; they pay some person to deliver Fresh stuff in the person's own private vehicle.

    The amazon "monopoly" owns me and almost everybody I know. Companies do come and go, but I can't see them going anytime in what's left of my lifetime. I tried to give them up, just to see if I could, but was forced to admit that they own me.

    As for Fry's Electronics, it was wonderful in the days of endless inventory. It would be stacked so high, it could hardly be reached. They'd have the same exact generic chinese computer accessory, but under 3 or 4 different brands. Amazon does this now too, but the experience is not nearly as fun as I remember it being at Fry's. It does take less time to browse amazon than it did at Fry's. That seems like it would be a good change, but I'm not so sure.
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  10. I'm guessing that Frys was similar to Maplins over here in the UK? Sadly, Maplins went under a few years ago and, yes, it has left a small, occasional, but fondly remembered hole in my life. It was always useful to be able to nip in and get that power supply/firewire card/hideously overpriced 120mm LED fan that you just couldn't wait 2 -3 days to get delivered for at least 20% less, or browse through the shelves and find all those little gadgets & gizmos that you never knew you "needed" but once you'd found them . . . you "needed" them! I rarely find things that I didn't know I "needed" on Amazon.
    "Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle."
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  11. Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    So, poof -- That's All Folks ? No clearance sell-off of remaining merch ?
    Most of the stuff on the shelves was there on consignment. It will just be shipped back to the manufacturers who still own it.
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  12. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    So, poof -- That's All Folks ? No clearance sell-off of remaining merch ?
    Most of the stuff on the shelves was there on consignment. It will just be shipped back to the manufacturers who still own it.
    The possibly (?) ironic thing is that they had recently started restocking some items -- like WD Black internal hard drives -- that had been very notably absent for a long time. It wasn't nearly going to replenish their shelves, but it was something. While I don't want to underestimate the impact of Trump's tariff war with China, I never did buy that excuse for why they stopped having said stock. It was largely because they were clearly in trouble, and Mfr.s would not extend them the merch, for fear of getting stiffed. But it was kinda weird: on my last couple trips to Fry's, they had repopulated some of the formerly empty display tables with laptops, monitors, printers. Not quite what you'd expect, given this sudden fall off of the cliff. And another ironic turn: I had avoided the location where we bought that fridge for several years, because it was a dingy dump, in great need of cleaning and very poorly organized, compared to the flagship location I much preferred. I was very surprised upon returning there to see that they had really cleaned the place up, and it was now very well organized.

    I'd like to echo what TimA-C said above. You could stumble upon such a large and diverse range of items there, like no other brick & mortar retailer I can think of. Everything from a single (specific) capacitor to all sorts of cables or adapters, up to major appliances. I found specialized tools and rubber insulation tubing and other things I could use in the guts of my pinball tables. At least the flagship location here at one point had not just the expected computer-related items but also toaster ovens and other kitchen staples, all sorts of office stuff like phones, home security gear, a large selection of "As Seen on TV" gadgets, even mattresses and cosmetic items. You could cover some of this range by tandem visits to Walmart and Office Depot (and maybe a couple other places), but nowhere approaching all of it, in one place ! Once the pandemic set in, they established a large section devoted to masks and sanitizers. For reasons I cannot really fathom, the location I just revisited after that long absence had a good supply of handcuffs and pepper spray. (?!) Their whole concept could at times border on the wacky, but I will definitely miss them. And one-stop electronics supply as we once knew it now appears to be extinct.
    Last edited by Seeker47; 25th Feb 2021 at 10:45.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  13. Member p_l's Avatar
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    Although it has a better online presence than Fry's did, things are not so rosy for Best Buy, either.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/25/business/best-buy-store-closures-workers/index.html
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