Author Topic: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?  (Read 8370 times)

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Offline dbctronic

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #75 on: February 02, 2020, 03:32:53 am »
I visited the Fry's that had just opened up out west of O'Hare Airport, near Chicago, back in 2002 when the last of the regular hobbyist level parts stores (Alpha) closed shop. As many have said on this thread, I felt like I was in an abandoned warehouse, no employees in sight.

It was a long drive to discover that the hobby parts department had been stocked with inventory chosen by monkeys. Astonishing lack of standard jellybean parts - no 2N3055 or equivalent but plenty of oddball transistors I'd never heard of. One soldering iron... no solder!!! Etc, etc. Very weird selection. Went home with almost nothing I went for, and I was just trying to build a power supply!!! Whoosh.

Not at all surprised they are on the skids these days.
 

Offline bobcat2000

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #76 on: March 06, 2020, 03:54:09 pm »
I remembered I skipped work to wait in long line in Fry's to buy a 386 PC.
I went to 5 different Fry's just to check out their themes.

Said to see Fry's goes under.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #77 on: March 11, 2020, 12:24:36 am »
I remember the excitement going around where I worked at a major software company when the Fry's in Renton was being built. I'd heard of Fry's before but I'd never actually been to one. The one they opened near here wasn't themed but I do remember it being pretty amazing, it was the walk-in equivalent to Amazon. You could buy anything you needed for your computer, some snacks, replacement components for another project, furniture to set it on, anything. I still have the Onkyo home theater in a box I bought there probably close to 15 years ago.
 

Offline bson

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #78 on: August 22, 2020, 01:08:21 am »
Back in the day Fry's was great, because they had everything.  Needed a PCMCIA SCSI adapter?  No problem.  If it was sold, they had it.  They often had great specials on memory, PC mainboards, hard drives, monitors, enclosures, power supplies, etc - from back when we built our own PCs.  (I switched to Macs around 2003 and never looked back.)  It used to be great to just walk around and discover both new and interesting stuff I had never seen before, and look for bargains.  And stop for a pastrami sandwich at Togo's across from the Sunnyvale store.  (And maybe tour Weird Stuff.)  Grab a case of drinks and some random snacks on the way out.

They haven't had anything I've wanted or needed for well over 10 years.  Togo's has closed.  Weird Stuff is closed.  Fry's still hosts the Electronics Flea Market on their parking lot.  But it's mostly trash, rarely do I see anything remotely interesting there.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 01:10:16 am by bson »
 
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Offline cdev

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #79 on: August 22, 2020, 02:18:19 am »
Lots of stores are like that. They dont want other stores to copy their "look" - But now they cant enforce it because everybody is always messing with their cell phones.

One HUGE Asian market (H-Mart) near here has given me a hard time for taking photos many times in the past, because I actually was using a camera that looked like one.. But of course now with cell phones its impossible to stop. But actually, lots of stores in NYC are like that too. The really nice stores. Also I think Ikea doesnt like it. (strange because i bet they repeat the same layouts from store to store all around the world).

That's bizarre, had I know about a policy like that I would have been far more inclined to sneak a covert camera in there and take a bunch of pictures just because. Can't imagine why they'd care about that.
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Offline cdev

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #80 on: August 22, 2020, 02:20:29 am »
Weird Stuff.. I used to love that store..
There were a bunch of great electronics surplus stores around there, are any still in operation?


Back in the day Fry's was great, because they had everything.  Needed a PCMCIA SCSI adapter?  No problem.  If it was sold, they had it.  They often had great specials on memory, PC mainboards, hard drives, monitors, enclosures, power supplies, etc - from back when we built our own PCs.  (I switched to Macs around 2003 and never looked back.)  It used to be great to just walk around and discover both new and interesting stuff I had never seen before, and look for bargains.  And stop for a pastrami sandwich at Togo's across from the Sunnyvale store.  (And maybe tour Weird Stuff.)  Grab a case of drinks and some random snacks on the way out.

They haven't had anything I've wanted or needed for well over 10 years.  Togo's has closed.  Weird Stuff is closed.  Fry's still hosts the Electronics Flea Market on their parking lot.  But it's mostly trash, rarely do I see anything remotely interesting there.

Adafruit, whose office is in lower Manhattan should open up a pick up counter at least on the ground floor of their building, to bring back the grand tradition of going to radio row and picking up the parts you need. A very long time ago, really before my time the area was electronics nirvana.. however even by the time I started going there despite the buiding of the WTC, there still were dozens of shops there.. But theywere all driven away by the WTO and rising rents, propbably.

Real estate is expensive but they literally would almost have the area to themselves, there is just one store - the back of a store actually on Canal St. Have not been there in a while. And there is a store that sells CCTV stuff mostly, and there is an old electronics surplus store, Leeds in Brooklyn, and of course Mini Circuits which I have never gone to, but should. (it would be dangerous going there for me)

NYU has a bookstore that has a selection of electronics parts parts aimed at students..

Also, there is a chain here, that seems to be thriving, (East coast, US) MicroCenter. Why is Micro Center thriving? Maybe because electronics as a hobby is part of it, they sell computers too, and seem to be doing okay. Their prices are good. Their stores are fairly large.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 02:36:11 am by cdev »
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #81 on: August 22, 2020, 11:06:24 pm »
Weird Stuff.. I used to love that store..
There were a bunch of great electronics surplus stores around there, are any still in operation?

Halted moved from their big store into a smaller store a few years ago and a year or two after they moved they sold their operation to another company and moved their operations to the new owner’s facility near the SJ State campus. All of the old people seem to be gone and the new owners sell a bunch of junk in addition to what they acquired in the Halted purchase. The whole feel of the place is different and just not the same.  :--

Although not really a surplus store, Anchor Electronics on Walsh Avenue is still there (or at least it was before Covid shut everything down) and, although small, it has a lot of useful stuff.
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Offline duckduck

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #82 on: August 23, 2020, 01:41:04 am »
I think the receipt checks at Fry's are mostly aimed at corrupt employees.

Anyway, there's something about the atmosphere at Fry's that encourages an adversarial attitude between shoppers and staff.

Compare to Costco, where they are much more determined about receipt checks, but you hear very few complaints about it.

It is also my understanding is that retail loss prevention focuses on employees. At Costco, the story is that they primarily check receipts in order to ensure that you were not charged twice for a single item (this being difficult for them to disprove if you claimed it fraudulently). My experiences there tend to bear that out. When I only have one of each item they barely take notice, but when I have two of an item they will look in the cart or ask "you have two packages of the frozen hamburger patties?".

Sad to hear that FRY's are not doing well. I made the long trip to the one in Houston several times when I lived there. Now that you folks mention it, I seem to remember having to return a defective computer motherboard. The place was awesome and had a cowboy and oil pump theme. I remember that I saw my first plasma screen TV there. It was US$Thousands. I remember being very impressed. I wonder how much they had to ring up in daily sales in order to keep the lights on in that huge place. I too chapped at being asked to show the stuff in my shopping bag and receipt. "May I see your bag?"

"No thank you." * keep walking * People generally don't grab strangers in Texas.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 06:40:03 am by duckduck »
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #83 on: August 23, 2020, 02:07:29 am »
I've never seen anybody grabbed to check their bags. You leave and if/when you return an item they still don't much care you have no mark on the receipt. The Frys I know of had bigger issues with people buying items and returning them for full price. They'd usually wrap items and put back for a small discount. I know of companies who were doing this daily.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #84 on: August 23, 2020, 03:46:57 pm »
If they really wanted to make a positive efect on the Bay Area, and other communities they locate in - based on their original decisions to locate there, when they do close, they should consider figuring out a way to turn those buildings into fire safe affordable live/work lofts for families and makers and starting small companies. And run the whole operation via some kind of nonprofit trust.

Maybe maintaining a small presence in the form of much smaller stores that sold all the things they do now via their mailing list specials- which would take a lot less space.

Because the insane cost of housing there is just destroying - especially the Bay Area. The cost of space has turned the Bay Area into something quite hostile to much of what its long term residents cared about when I lived there. Milions of people left because of this but would return if affordable stable place to live existed. Hundreds of thousands of people are communiting very long distances to work there in order so they can buy their homes. Those stores and parking lots are so large that they could reverse this situation, completely changing the trajectory of the area.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 03:57:47 pm by cdev »
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #85 on: August 23, 2020, 05:47:55 pm »
The prices in the bay area are nuts. A 2300 sq ft home , literally a box , with just enough land to place 2 chairs costs 1.6 Million $ Try finding any home that has a strip of land so you can plant a tree and it shoots over 2 million.
Electricity is a rip-off. PG&E charges an arm and a leg in transportation costs for the Bay area. Commute is hell. You spend two or more hours of your life sitting in traffic.
The attraction is gone. There is nothing remaining that is worth staying for. The covid situation has pushed people to work from home. So now you can work from anywhere.

A shift is coming : the big corporations that used to spend megabucks on expensive real estate to house their employees have realized they don't need those buildings when people work from home. No need for relocation bonuses , no need for exorbitant salaries to meet the cost of living of the bay area. There is now a much bigger pool to fish in.

I bought my retirement property. Half an acre of land, huge pool and 1800 sq ft home . For 1/5th of a 2 bedroom condo in the bay area. Been working from here for the last 2 months.
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #86 on: August 24, 2020, 04:38:53 pm »
A shift is coming : the big corporations that used to spend megabucks on expensive real estate to house their employees have realized they don't need those buildings when people work from home. No need for relocation bonuses , no need for exorbitant salaries to meet the cost of living of the bay area. There is now a much bigger pool to fish in.

I remember some years ago reading something in Bloomberg or WSJ about Millennials choosing companies that provide working not in the company/from home/Starbucks/Library or even on the Beach, going to the company office only on meeting days. At that time some of my colleagues thought that was basically stupid, that they would not be productive as they say they are, and that would not stick in old companies, more on new,young ones with young management.

Well some years passed and a simple Virus made companies shift their view, and from now on nothing will be the same. Keep a skeleton crew on rotation on the company office for work that can't be done remotely (maintenance, assembly, etc) and the rest can be done whatever the worker wants to.
 

Offline mansaxel

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #87 on: August 24, 2020, 06:44:10 pm »
I've been to Fry's twice, once in Palo Alto, 2003. That was kinda cool. I remember they had Everything. Or so it seemed. (I was a bit younger then, but no kid) Went last year in Vegas, because I had to have a USB-C to old USB dongle. They had it, and it works. It's seen lots of use due to the current WFH situation because it's the practical way to connect my headset into the computer.

In Vegas, it was apparent that it was a decline.  Kind of sad. Looking from over here in Europe, Fry's was an important part of our perception of Silicon Valley culture.  Looking at it with slightly more sober eyes, well, back in the days when you could build competitive computers from scratch with jellybean parts they maybe were important, if ever.

I look at my visits there as bucket list tick marks and nothing more.

Offline bson

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #88 on: August 27, 2020, 01:08:23 am »
Also, there is a chain here, that seems to be thriving, (East coast, US) MicroCenter. Why is Micro Center thriving? Maybe because electronics as a hobby is part of it, they sell computers too, and seem to be doing okay. Their prices are good. Their stores are fairly large.
There used to be a Micro Center along hwy 101 in Santa Clara.  I think I only went there a few times, once to pick up a rack mount ethernet switch and a couple of cheap rack mount 1U servers.  Handy.  But these days with so many sellers online, including Dell, I think a lot of people would rather save a little over an hour of driving (round trip) at the cost of waiting a day or two.  They shut in 2012, at least in that location off 101.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #89 on: August 27, 2020, 02:09:42 am »
The beauty of Fry's and Halted and the like was discovering the things you didn't know you needed.  You can get some of that online but the experience is very different. 

But for buying things you know about already, I agree, online has some strong advantages.
 
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #90 on: August 27, 2020, 04:40:58 am »
The beauty of Fry's and Halted and the like was discovering the things you didn't know you needed.  You can get some of that online but the experience is very different.

The same applies to books. There’s just nothing like browsing through a bookstore and looking through books. Amazon has a lot bigger selection than any brick and mortar store, but it just doesn’t compare because you can only look at a book’s TOC and perhaps one sample chapter.

The Bay Area used to have two technical bookstores: Computer Literacy and Digital Guru. Computer Literacy had three stores in Silicon Valley, and the last one closed in 2001. Digital Guru was much smaller and lasted until a year or two ago. I spent untold hours in both places.

Most of the Barnes and Noble stores are gone too.
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #91 on: August 27, 2020, 11:26:40 am »
The prices in the bay area are nuts. A 2300 sq ft home , literally a box , with just enough land to place 2 chairs

<snip>

I bought my retirement property. Half an acre of land, huge pool and 1800 sq ft home . For 1/5th of a 2 bedroom condo in the bay area. Been working from here for the last 2 months.

@free_electron

Did you misplace an order of magnitude on the 2300 sq ft property or have I just misunderstood how things are measured?

Here in the UK, my home of ~1900 sq ft (2 floors, each ~950 sq ft gross) on a total plot of 3800 sq ft is what would be considered lower mid-range, though the plot size reflects the fact that it's >100 years old. New properties have markedly smaller plots, even in semi-rural areas.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 12:00:44 pm by Ultrapurple »
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #92 on: August 27, 2020, 07:44:02 pm »
The prices in the bay area are nuts. A 2300 sq ft home , literally a box , with just enough land to place 2 chairs

<snip>

I bought my retirement property. Half an acre of land, huge pool and 1800 sq ft home . For 1/5th of a 2 bedroom condo in the bay area. Been working from here for the last 2 months.

@free_electron

Did you misplace an order of magnitude on the 2300 sq ft property or have I just misunderstood how things are measured?

Here in the UK, my home of ~1900 sq ft (2 floors, each ~950 sq ft gross) on a total plot of 3800 sq ft is what would be considered lower mid-range, though the plot size reflects the fact that it's >100 years old. New properties have markedly smaller plots, even in semi-rural areas.

I believe the 2300 sq ft he was referring to is the size of the house, not the property the house is on. New properties here too tend to be smaller in recent years. A new trend is to build three story houses, so you can end up with a 4000 sq ft house on property less than 4000 sq ft.

Most houses here are on property ranging from about 2500 sq ft up to around 10,000 sq ft.

I’m somewhat of an exception—my house is in the Bay Area and it’s on 450,000 sq ft of property.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #93 on: August 31, 2020, 02:22:52 pm »
The prices in the bay area are nuts. A 2300 sq ft home , literally a box , with just enough land to place 2 chairs

<snip>

I bought my retirement property. Half an acre of land, huge pool and 1800 sq ft home . For 1/5th of a 2 bedroom condo in the bay area. Been working from here for the last 2 months.

@free_electron

Did you misplace an order of magnitude on the 2300 sq ft property or have I just misunderstood how things are measured?

Here in the UK, my home of ~1900 sq ft (2 floors, each ~950 sq ft gross) on a total plot of 3800 sq ft is what would be considered lower mid-range, though the plot size reflects the fact that it's >100 years old. New properties have markedly smaller plots, even in semi-rural areas.

Nope. 2300 sq ft home. 3 floors.
ground level : double garage and in-law unit ( mini kitchen , shower and bedroom. )
first floor ( second floor for amricans) living room , kitchen , breakfast nook  and 1/2 bathroom and study ( microscopically ... i would not call it a study ... )
second floor : 3 bedrooms , 2 bathrooms and washer/dryer ) you have a small patio enough for two rickety chairs and a coffee table that can hold a tiny potted plant.

these are the condo's :
https://www.kbhome.com/new-homes-bay-area/metro-ii-at-communications-hill?gclid=Cj0KCQjwv7L6BRDxARIsAGj-34qkS6eYFTjg4ivLQHssvneDVT3MXufv4rTJ9itNRgD91wB4VLKbjNMaAk16EALw_wcB

These are townhomes (plan 4 is what i am talking about : 2761 sq ft : 1.57 million $. absolutely bonkers
https://www.kbhome.com/new-homes-bay-area/platinum-ii-at-communications-hill

or this : a 844 sq ft fart in a box for 733.000 $ ... https://www.kbhome.com/new-homes-bay-area/latitude-at-communications-hill/plan-2

These prices are ridiculous. And you commute is 2 hours every day. You need to work with two people like donkeys to afford an empty fridge box under a bridge ...


« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 02:25:22 pm by free_electron »
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Offline metrologist

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #94 on: September 02, 2020, 02:00:22 am »
I’m somewhat of an exception—my house is in the Bay Area and it’s on 450,000 sq ft of property.

Howdy Sal. I see 65 acre lot in San Jose for $800k and 1 acre lots with house for the same $. Know that CA is looking to remove prop 13 protections and follow any exchange tax gains shelters for 10 years to life, especially if moving that money out of state. That, coupled with recent rent laws, make property ownership a real liability.

Frys:
I have heard that most all of the long timer corporate employees are now gone. They've moved on. These are the 20+ year corporate employees that defined the corporate office. It is very sad to hear a corporate family dissolve like this. It was a good party while it was rolling and I keep thinking about the Fry brothers and what are their plans. They're millionaires holding onto their legacy. What do they really have to lose at this point?
 

Online james_s

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #95 on: September 08, 2020, 08:54:08 pm »
I believe the 2300 sq ft he was referring to is the size of the house, not the property the house is on. New properties here too tend to be smaller in recent years. A new trend is to build three story houses, so you can end up with a 4000 sq ft house on property less than 4000 sq ft.

Most houses here are on property ranging from about 2500 sq ft up to around 10,000 sq ft.

I’m somewhat of an exception—my house is in the Bay Area and it’s on 450,000 sq ft of property.

I hate those giant houses on tiny little postage stamp lots. my 2300 sq ft house is on a lot that is just under 10,000 sq ft and that was considered a starter home on a small lot when it was built. Last I checked the value was pushing up near $800k but I tend to ignore that, it sounds like a good chunk of wealth but that's only on paper, if I were to sell my house I'd have to spend as much on another house unless I left the region.
 

Offline bson

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #96 on: September 09, 2020, 12:59:33 am »
I see 65 acre lot in San Jose for $800k
It's probably a designated open space and you will never get a permit to build on it.  Or there's some significant problem like maybe it needs cleanup and soil replacement to the tune of $25-$100 million.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 01:01:27 am by bson »
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #97 on: September 09, 2020, 02:55:30 am »
I see 65 acre lot in San Jose for $800k
It's probably a designated open space and you will never get a permit to build on it.  Or there's some significant problem like maybe it needs cleanup and soil replacement to the tune of $25-$100 million.
It was probably the grounds of an ancient watch factory... :-DD
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #98 on: September 09, 2020, 07:05:00 pm »
I see 65 acre lot in San Jose for $800k
It's probably a designated open space and you will never get a permit to build on it.  Or there's some significant problem like maybe it needs cleanup and soil replacement to the tune of $25-$100 million.


Yeah, it’s probably a Superfund site...
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Offline Bill158

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #99 on: September 09, 2020, 07:58:37 pm »

Halted moved from their big store into a smaller store a few years ago and a year or two after they moved they sold their operation to another company and moved their operations to the new owner’s facility near the SJ State campus. All of the old people seem to be gone and the new owners sell a bunch of junk in addition to what they acquired in the Halted purchase. The whole feel of the place is different and just not the same.  :--


Halted eventually sold all of their inventory to EXCESS SOLUTIONS after they had been closed for a few months.  Excess Solutions offered $6 Million and Halted took it.  Everything was moved to the Excess Solutions location at 7th and Alma in South San Jose CA.  From what I can see having been in Excess Solutions 4 or 5 times since the sale they have been trying to integrate Halted inventory into Excess Solutions inventory.  I have seen cardboard parts bin boxes that were at Halted now on the shelves.  I can tell because of the way they are marked and the handwriting.  One person from Halted is still working at Excess.  I can't remember his name right now but he is very friendly and helpful just like he was at Halted.  Also one of the ex-Halted employees volunteered to mark all of the semiconductor parts drawers that came from Halted and they are on the wall behind the front counter.  He was using an electronic DYMO machine and has done a wonderful job.  I took pictures of what was on the walls so that I could tell if they had what I wanted before I went into the store.  There is a wealth of older parts there!  ICs you can't get anymore, transistors that you can't get anymore.  He was hoping someone at Excess would then put a list of all of these semiconductors on the Excess Solutions website, but so far nothing.  Excess could do a good business in mail order sales if they would just get an inventory list on their website.  I have known Excess since 1981 and they have moved a number of time from San Jose to Milpitas and then back to the present location.  A lot of the Halted inventory is still in Saran wrap in the back of the store.  From what I am told no plans to unwrap and move into the area where you can browse.  Too bad in my opinion.  Excess has more in the back area than upfront.
Excess is still a wonderful place to find parts for repairs on old TE.
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