Author Topic: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?  (Read 3153 times)

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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« on: September 21, 2019, 07:21:43 am »
We have half a dozen Fry's in the SF Bay Area and all of them have been like ghost towns recently with nearly bare shelves and very few employees to be seen in the vast expanses these stores occupy. Are they going out of business? It sure seems like they're circling the drain.

Anyone have any definitive info on why the shelves are bare? They've been an icon here in Silicon Valley for 35 years, but given the current state of the stores, I don't give them long. Looks like they'll soon be joining Circuit City, CompUSA, and Radio Shack in oblivion.
 

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 07:29:31 am »
I was surprised at the variety of electronics stuff they had at the time, but that was a long time ago. Yeah the stores are huge, must be worth fortune to rent, or maybe they own them?
 

Offline windsmurf

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Offline Gyro

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2019, 11:15:52 am »
The last time I visited their Sunnyvale store, admittedly a few years ago, it seemed to be a woeful collection of fairly mediocre stuff but the locals seemed to rave about it. The one thing it had was floorspace. Their small electronics components / test gear section made even our local Maplin store look good (maybe a little harsh).
Chris

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Offline Bill158

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2019, 07:38:48 pm »
All I can relate to is what has happened to me and friends at Fry's in the past.  I would buy computer hardware at the local store in Sunnyvale at the time, but not at the present location.  I needed a 5.25" diskette drive (yes this is how far back I go with Fry's).  So I drove around 15 miles from South San Jose to the store, got a drive and came home.  I couldn't get it to work no matter what I did with the jumpers.  The drive didn't look new at the time but was "shrink wrapped" but not in a box.  So I drove back to Sunnyvale, went to returns and got a voucher so that I could get another drive.  No problems at the returns.  So I pick out another drive from the stack they had on the shelf and went to checkout.  While standing in line I was looking that the "new" one that I had selected.  On the side of the drive someone had written "BAD" in felt tip.  But still it was shrink wrapped?  So I asked to see the store manager who told me to get yet another drive.  At least this one did work when I got home.
My guess is that the returns "checkout" tech gave my original one (which was probably bad to start) a quick check and declared it "good" and shrink wrapped it even though someone else had returned it before I got it because it didn't work.
A friend who I worked with wanted a TI laptop.  He went to Fry's and bought one in the original packaging.  He got it home and began to use it when it suddenly crashed and then rebooted.  He went through several iterations of this and then called TI support to get it fixed.  When he gave TI support the serial number the tech asked for his name.  But this TI laptop had already been registered to someone else before him.  So again Fry's had gotten back a bad unit, did a fast checkout and then shrink wrapped it and sold it again to my friend as brand new.  I had a few other incidents with Fry's and equipment before I realize that they were, shall we say, less than honest.  I bought an inverter (12V to 110V) got it home and hooked up the 12V battery, turned it on and it immediately started to spark and smoke.  I went back to exchange it and inspected a few others that were on the shelf.  One had a rattle inside when shaken so I didn't take that one.  But again all in the original packages and shrink wrapped.
Bottom line here is that Fry's was investigated by the Santa Clara County District Attorney for reselling returned equipment as new and using the shrink wrap to fool customers into believing that they were getting a brand new unit!  This was more than a few years ago but I simply quit buying ANYTHING from them because I couldn't trust what I was getting.  I wouldn't even buy magazines for fear that they were defective somehow.
Bottom line Fry's may well be going out of business because they have lost ALL customer confidence and trust and no one will buy from them.  I am surprised that it took this long for people to realize how bad they really are!
Just one man's experiences,
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Offline djacobow

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2019, 08:40:22 pm »
Fry's was always a strange beast. At it's heyday, it had a great selection of computer parts, an OK selection of electronic parts, and a non-zero selection of test equipment -- but this was more than anywhere else, I guess. Customer service was always lousy, and the store was pretty famous for putting returns back on the shelf. This was not entirely irrational because it was not uncommon for people with short-term needs to make use of the "Fry's rental plan" by which they bought something like an oscilloscope, used it for a week, and returned it. For a long time Fry's had porn out in the checkout line. You could pick up some Jolt Cola and a Hustler on your way out after getting some DRAM sticks.

It was great to have around when you needed a specific thingamajig to connect the whatsit to the doohickey, especially before the Internets, but overall, I didn't do much shopping there except in "emergencies."

One thing they did do nicely was have an efficient checkout system: one line and multiple tellers, with a dispatcher at the front of the line to send customers to the next open cashier. That was great. Of course, they were one of the first stores to have a security guard at the door to look at your receipt. Always hated that.

A fun thing about Fry's is that the stores were themed. I think the one in Palo Alto has gigantic components on the wall, so it's like you're inside a computer. The one in Campbell is Egyptian themed because why not. They also have random "exhibits" of old SV stuff, including an Apple I under glass and some interesting power tubes for radar applications.

I haven't been in a Fry's in years. I won't miss it, but I do have some nostalgia for when it was new (to me). It sort of went with a different Silicon Valley than we have today; scrappier, grimier, nerdier.

I don't live in SV anymore. Is Central Computer still going strong? That was a great place to build a system. Their prices weren't great, but they people there knew what they were doing. You could walk out of there with the parts to build a fully customized system, which was a lot of fun back when building computers was fun.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2019, 09:36:36 pm »
Fry's used to be a pretty amazing place, but it's been years since I've bothered to make the 30 minute drive to the one nearest to me. Unless I need something right away it's simply less hassle to order it online and the shipping cost is about what I'd spend on gas to drive there anyway. It's unfortunate but that's just the way the world is these days.
 

Offline gerts

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2019, 10:06:07 pm »
I noticed a while back that Fry's wasn't restocking shelves at the bay area stores.  I asked the the employee that manages the electronics section what the scoop was with all the empty shelves.  He stated that Fry's business is not doing well (he mentioned the Amazon effect) and they focus on manly big ticket items now.  I suspect, in time, Fry's will go the way of the Sunnyvale's Computer Literacy bookstore (I think that was the name) and close shop.
 

Offline Homer J Simpson

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2019, 11:13:51 pm »


You can skip to ~46:00 where Shango visits a Fry's

 
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Offline xrunner

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2019, 11:30:52 pm »
You can skip to ~46:00 where Shango visits a Fry's

Wow. No customers and empty shelves. A goner for sure.  :palm:
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Offline bob91343

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2019, 12:02:49 am »
I was at Fry's in Woodland Hills last month to buy a microwave oven.  The didn't have stock in the size I wanted so the clerk did a check of other stores.  He said no, it would have to be back ordered and would take a while.

Needless to say, I bought the oven I wanted elsewhere.

But yes the store was nearly empty of customers and merchandise.  I don't think it's greed so much as disinterest.  Whoever manages it, doesn't.
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2019, 12:54:19 am »
The frys in that video is near torrance and I went to that store somewhat often a couple years ago and he's right, it was usually packed(and it's a SMALL lot for a frys, and a small frys) although I have no idea when he was there. Woodland hills has usually been about 1/4-1/2 full parking lot. It actually only started going downhill there recently with a bit of the store empty, big sales it still gets pretty busy.

The frys in Anaheim is still usually pretty decent but I haven't been there in a couple months. I really think the thing that kills it, especially now, is the easy returns. At this point you can go and borrow something then if you decide you like it you return it and find the cheapest one online. Their local delivery isn't quick, the good sales aren't often... I've still used it when I needed random things right now but I guess that might not last either.
 

Offline edavid

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2019, 02:39:08 am »
Fry’s tries to quell rumors of its demise as customers worry about empty shelves
https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/09/10/frys-tries-to-quell-rumors-of-its-demise-as-customers-worry-about-empty-shelves/

 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2019, 03:57:46 am »
They can blame Amazon, but it has been a long downhill slide starting long before Amazon made any real difference.  In my mind they reached their apex sometime in the mid 80s and it has been downhill since.  It was once shear magic to go into one of their stores and see anything you could imagine stuffing in or around a desktop computer at prices at or below anyplace else I could find.  All the other stuff was nice too.  The parts. The test gear and so on, which was as said before, not fantastic, but better than anywhere else.  As the desktop world began to lose its magic and relatively non customizable laptops began to take over they lost some of their edge, and it just kept going.  I have dropped in a few times in the last decade when I am in a city with a store and have only found one thing worth buying in any of those visits.

They are like the DEC of retail electronics.  They found a niche, exploited it and then didn't notice when the niche started going away.  It will be sad to see them gone, but that is what happens when you don't change with the market.
 
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Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2019, 04:50:12 pm »
The NTE components in Shango’s video surely brought back memories.
Those and Sylvania’s ECGs, were a given on any TV repair shop.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2019, 10:18:25 pm »
A fun thing about Fry's is that the stores were themed. I think the one in Palo Alto has gigantic components on the wall, so it's like you're inside a computer. The one in Campbell is Egyptian themed because why not. They also have random "exhibits" of old SV stuff, including an Apple I under glass and some interesting power tubes for radar applications.

The Palo Alto store theme is the Old West. You're thinking of the second Sunnyvale store (there have been three)--that's the one with the gigantic components on the wall.

Quote
I don't live in SV anymore. Is Central Computer still going strong?

Yes, it is. They've opened new stores in San Mateo and Pleasanton. The Pleasanton store was very convenient for me, but, unfortunately, they closed it about a year ago. The Sunnyvale store burned down in April and they're about to open a replacement store at a different location in Sunnyvale.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2019, 10:37:47 pm »
They can blame Amazon, but it has been a long downhill slide starting long before Amazon made any real difference.  In my mind they reached their apex sometime in the mid 80s and it has been downhill since.  It was once shear magic to go into one of their stores and see anything you could imagine stuffing in or around a desktop computer at prices at or below anyplace else I could find.

Fry's was amazing when it first opened. I went to the grand opening of the Sunnyvale store (Fry's store #1) back in 1985 and it was like nothing else around. You could pick up all sorts of computer components, from disk drives, memory, and even the little parts needed to put everything together. They literally had it all. You could also pick up a case of Jolt Cola or potato chips while you were at it because they had a big selection of nerd junk food in the middle of the big aisles.

Customer service has never been good at Fry's, even in the old days. It has always mostly been immigrants with poor English skills and even poorer technical skills. Fry's was great if you knew exactly what you wanted, but not so great if you didn't. I've overheard lots of completely nonsense advice given to customers by some of these clueless idiots over the years. I've often stepped in and told the customer the real facts, sometimes to the disgust of the salesdroid.

What people have said about Fry's selling returns is very true. Their shrinkwrap machine in the backroom got a constant workout as they repackaged returns and put them back on the shelf as new. I remember picking up a Jaz disk cartridge (anyone remember those?) from the shelf and noticed it had a stick-on label with "'97 Financials" written in ink that someone obviously tried to erase. I was tempted to buy it just to see if I could read the data. At some point in the past, Fry's did start to put a sticker on returned merchandise saying that it was a return and offering a slightly (very slightly) lower price. In some stores, re-shelved returned items outnumbered new items.

Even before the shelves started getting bare, it was obvious that Fry's management was milking the cash cow and not bothering to update or maintain the stores. Most stores had worn out carpeting, scuffed up floors, and junk in shopping carts in the middle of the aisles. Demo hardware (like keyboards and cameras) were often in desperate shape, with missing keys and controls and smashed plastic parts.

Fry's started out as Disneyland for nerds and evolved into a low-rent mecca for Joe Sixpack looking for the cheapest Chinese TV he could find.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 05:46:06 pm by Sal Ammoniac »
 

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2019, 06:05:47 am »
A fun thing about Fry's is that the stores were themed. I think the one in Palo Alto has gigantic components on the wall, so it's like you're inside a computer. The one in Campbell is Egyptian themed because why not. They also have random "exhibits" of old SV stuff, including an Apple I under glass and some interesting power tubes for radar applications.

The Palo Alto store theme is the Old West. You're thinking of the second Sunnyvale store (there have been three)--that's the one with the gigantic components on the wall.

I've been to the Myan themed San Jose store, I thought it was fantastic.
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2019, 06:33:48 am »
A fun thing about Fry's is that the stores were themed. I think the one in Palo Alto has gigantic components on the wall, so it's like you're inside a computer. The one in Campbell is Egyptian themed because why not. They also have random "exhibits" of old SV stuff, including an Apple I under glass and some interesting power tubes for radar applications.

The Palo Alto store theme is the Old West. You're thinking of the second Sunnyvale store (there have been three)--that's the one with the gigantic components on the wall.

I've been to the Myan themed San Jose store, I thought it was fantastic.

Anaheim is space themed. They have a replica shuttle control at the front. Makes sense since they're also right by rockwell/boeing and some other space companies. I was at Rockwell once and got to use their VERY expensive jet simulator. The shuttle sim wasn't powered up at the time but I still got to go through their lander and shuttle models(life size).
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2019, 04:28:23 pm »
The Fremont store has a gigantic Tesla coil that's very impressive in operation. They used to run it for a few minutes hourly, but I haven't seen it run in years. Like a lot of things at Fry's stores, they probably didn't maintain it properly and it fell into disrepair.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2019, 04:46:06 pm »
The two stores I visit in Dallas area still have plenty of traffic, especially on the weekends. I usually take my girls there to look at toys, I look at the electronics and I usually see families browsing around their wide selection of white goods as well.

Obviously that traffic does not necessarily means sales in this internet era, but I hope they stay afloat.
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Offline Bassman59

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2019, 04:49:05 pm »
Funny, I flew into the Phoenix, Arizona airport yesterday afternoon and got in early enough so that I could have stopped at the Fry's in Tempe before heading home (further south). I didn't really need anything so I skipped it. I wonder if that store is affected?

The Tempe store used to be an Incredible Universe, which was a Tandy (Radio Shack) big-box retail store that went under because the costs of maintaining the giant stores were not tenable.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2019, 05:48:50 pm »
Funny, I flew into the Phoenix, Arizona airport yesterday afternoon and got in early enough so that I could have stopped at the Fry's in Tempe before heading home (further south). I didn't really need anything so I skipped it. I wonder if that store is affected?

From what I've heard, all of their stores are affected.
 

Offline RandallMcRee

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2019, 07:19:48 pm »
Just as a point of trivia--the egyptian theme of the san jose/campbell Fry's is probably due to its location near the Rosicrucian museum.

https://egyptianmuseum.org/

The Rosicrucians are....interesting.
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2019, 06:14:27 am »
I did a short stint between real jobs at Fry's in Vegas, this was late 2005 into early 2006, they operated much like Wal*Mart in the way they treated the associates and what they expected of them.  Pay was dreadful but I guess that's the case with pretty much all retail and more so with Amazon nipping at there heals.

Not surprised they are finally going under and I can only wonder what held them up these last few years.  With them and Radio Shack gone the only place for electronics is the internet or the major electrical suppliers like Digikey but you pretty much order on the internet anyway so...


Brian
 

Offline SimonR

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2019, 12:16:56 pm »
Funny, I flew into the Phoenix, Arizona airport yesterday afternoon and got in early enough so that I could have stopped at the Fry's in Tempe before heading home (further south). I didn't really need anything so I skipped it. I wonder if that store is affected?

I was in Phoenix last week and visited a Frys for the first time ever. It was the one off the I17 and yes it was as empty as all of the others. It was such a sad thing to see, I would love to have seen it at its peak.

Amazingly it did however have the one thing I went in there for, although most of the shelves were just empty.
I also bought a Frys branded carrier bag as a souvenir, just prove in the future that it really existed.
I'm not sure one 99 cents carrier bag will keep it going
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2019, 02:02:16 pm »
I've had dinner with the Fry brothers and Kathy Kolder several times. John Fry is a really nice guy as are the other brothers, Randy and Dave. Kathy retired earlier this year and some key people have left the corporate office recently. John founded the American Institute of Mathematics  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Institute_of_Mathematics and owned the Sabercats arena football team, and bought the Flying Lady when it went bankrupt. Their store mascot, Charlie Chip, was named after their father, who helped them start the business.

Their business is private so nobody can really tell the financial health. I know they are restructuring their operations and plan to keep the business running for as long as they can, but nobody will really know what they plan to do until it happens. It will be sad if they close. You can get a 65" Samsung 4k TV for under $500 there at times.
 

Offline andy2000

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2019, 04:10:16 pm »
Fry's in Austin looks just as empty. As quirky as they are, I'll be sad to see them go because they're still much better than Best Buy.

About 6 months ago I was in Frys and almost fell over when I saw several packs of blank Sony Beta video cassettes on the shelf.  They were cheap, so I bought them for the novelty of buying new Beta tapes from a large B&M store in 2019!  As usual for Fry's, it wasn't a smooth experience.  They rang up for about 4x the price on the shelf tag.  Fortunately, I had taken a picture of the shelf tag (when was the last time you saw Beta tapes on a store shelf).  They did honor the price, but the process was needlessly complex.  I had to fill out a bid form, and then a manager had to accept my bid.

Most Fry's stores have a theme; maybe they're converting all stores to a new ghost town theme?
 
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2019, 04:40:15 pm »
Fortunately, I had taken a picture of the shelf tag

Here's another anecdote from the old days... Way back before smartphones became the thing and everyone effectively carried a camera around with them all the time, Fry's had a strict "no photography" policy in their stores. Back then it was a little more obvious when someone was taking pictures in the store, and if security saw you taking photos (and there was a good chance they would because of all the surveillance cameras in the stores) they would demand you hand over the camera and they'd remove the film. I'm not sure why they did this--perhaps they thought their merchandise displays were so innovative (NOT!) competitors would try to copy them.

They're also well-known for their receipt checkers at the door who would go through your bags and compare it with the receipt. They used to be quite insistent about this practice until one overeager checker tried to physically restrain a customer who declined to have his property searched, which resulted in a lawsuit. After that, they would request to check your bags but would not insist if someone refused.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2019, 05:20:45 am »
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.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2019, 10:17:23 pm »
Of course, they were one of the first stores to have a security guard at the door to look at your receipt. Always hated that.

I hated that too. I've always wanted to create a fake Fry's receipt and put things on it like a flux capacitor, plutonium, and heroin and show them that receipt receipt at the door.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2019, 04:43:14 am »
I don't really get the point of the receipt checks. I don't really get why some people throw such a fit about it either. Mountains out of mole hills, I mean if it's such a hardship to play by the rules then shop elsewhere, the rest of us will just show the stupid receipt, it's no big deal.
 

Offline djacobow

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2019, 02:57:18 pm »
I don't really get the point of the receipt checks. I don't really get why some people throw such a fit about it either. Mountains out of mole hills, I mean if it's such a hardship to play by the rules then shop elsewhere, the rest of us will just show the stupid receipt, it's no big deal.

I don't throw a fit about it, but I don't like it. The problem is that for the store, shoplifting is a problem, but statistically, very few customers shoplift. So they take action to reduce loss by essentially treating all their customers as potential shoplifters and asking them to prove that they're not. Do you really not understand why people might resent that?
 

Offline edavid

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2019, 03:18:45 pm »
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.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2019, 05:20:46 pm »
I don't really get why some people throw such a fit about it either. Mountains out of mole hills, I mean if it's such a hardship to play by the rules then shop elsewhere, the rest of us will just show the stupid receipt, it's no big deal.

I just don't like them searching my personal property, and object on principle. I just walk right past them and they don't say a word. They can request to check your receipt, but can't enforce it if you decline.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2019, 05:22:58 pm »
Compare to Costco, where they are much more determined about receipt checks, but you hear very few complaints about it.

The situation at Costco is different than at Fry's. Costco is a membership organization and you agree to the receipt check when you sign up for membership. You can refuse the check at Costco, but I suppose they could then rescind your membership if you do.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2019, 07:03:51 pm »
Compare to Costco, where they are much more determined about receipt checks, but you hear very few complaints about it.

The situation at Costco is different than at Fry's. Costco is a membership organization and you agree to the receipt check when you sign up for membership. You can refuse the check at Costco, but I suppose they could then rescind your membership if you do.

Costco states that they do it to make sure you got what you paid for.  And I can confirm that once they found something on the receipt that wasn't in my basket.  Which they then corrected.  I never got the impression at Fry's that the check was for my benefit.
 

Offline edavid

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2019, 08:47:32 pm »
Compare to Costco, where they are much more determined about receipt checks, but you hear very few complaints about it.

The situation at Costco is different than at Fry's. Costco is a membership organization and you agree to the receipt check when you sign up for membership. You can refuse the check at Costco, but I suppose they could then rescind your membership if you do.

Costco states that they do it to make sure you got what you paid for.  And I can confirm that once they found something on the receipt that wasn't in my basket.  Which they then corrected.  I never got the impression at Fry's that the check was for my benefit.

Yes, that is my point.  Costco states those things, and people buy into it.  Even though their receipt checking is more aggressive than Fry's, they don't get the same complaints.  Fry's management just has a knack for annoying customers.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 08:52:10 pm by edavid »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2019, 09:03:53 pm »
They're also well-known for their receipt checkers at the door who would go through your bags and compare it with the receipt. They used to be quite insistent about this practice until one overeager checker tried to physically restrain a customer who declined to have his property searched, which resulted in a lawsuit. After that, they would request to check your bags but would not insist if someone refused.
Really? Over here I know of one store which does that (or did; haven't been there for over 10 years). Nowadays some grocery stores have self-checkout cash registers where they do occasional check. I do think they have a scale in the plateau where you put your groceries on. If I put something else on the plateau which screws the weight I get checked.
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2019, 09:28:32 pm »
Nowadays some grocery stores have self-checkout cash registers where they do occasional check.

Interesting. We've had self-checkout at grocery stores here for twenty years and I've used them several times a week for that entire time and I've never been checked. Not once.

I do find them very convenient, especially when, ahem, my wife asks me to pick up some "female" products for her.
 

Offline Homer J Simpson

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2019, 03:49:58 am »


Interesting video on self checkout theft

 

Offline windsmurf

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2019, 07:42:44 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.

Fry's is the only store I know that has reserved Police parking space right in front of the store.
 

Offline windsmurf

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2019, 08:00:14 am »


Interesting video on self checkout theft

Many businesses have found that increase in theft is more than offset by lower costs of self-checkout vs a hired cashier.

Guitar Center let go all of their receipt inspectors after analysis showed they lose more money paying for the extra employee than they lose to theft occurring due to lack of a receipt inspector.

On top of that, customer surveys always reveal they're more satisfied shopping at a location without receipt/bag inspectors. 
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2019, 03:18:58 pm »
Fry's is the only store I know that has reserved Police parking space right in front of the store.

That's a reflection of Fry's changing customer base. For its first decade or so Fry's was the domain of the nerd. Now it's the domain of Joe Sixpack and other similar denizens looking for cheap Chinese gadgets. The IQ level of their customers has probably decreased by 50 points over the years.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2019, 03:29:10 pm »
Interesting video on self checkout theft

Yes, very interesting.

Self checkouts used to be a common way for underage kids to buy booze. California closed that loophole recently and all booze purchases must now go through a live cashier. Some people have no qualms about gaming the system, even people who are otherwise perfectly law abiding. Example: one woman I know sees no problem with buying organic produce and then ringing it up as standard produce at the self checkout.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2019, 03:34:08 pm »
I don't throw a fit about it, but I don't like it. The problem is that for the store, shoplifting is a problem, but statistically, very few customers shoplift. So they take action to reduce loss by essentially treating all their customers as potential shoplifters and asking them to prove that they're not. Do you really not understand why people might resent that?

No I really don't understand. All customers *are* potential shoplifters, it's a huge and pervasive problem, why shouldn't they assume that I might be one too and check? I mean it's a simple receipt check, not a body cavity search or patdown and I would bet it is a significant deterrent. Like I said, mountains out of mole hills, it's borderline mental illness to get upset about it.

It's no different than having to show ID to buy certain things, to enter certain establishments, to rent a car or to take out a loan. Most people are who they say they are but enough are not that it's prudent to verify. It's not an accusation of wrongdoing or deception, it's just common sense to trust but verify because we all know that every human is a potential liar/thief/etc. Anyone in doubt of this, just leave your wallet unattended for 5 minutes in any public place and see if it's still where you left it when you return. I'd bet that more than 80% of the time it's either gone or any cash it contained has been liberated.

I will add that I do occasionally become annoyed by receipt checking at places like Costco but it's strictly because there will be a big queue of people trying to exit the store with their purchases while just one or two checkers are carefully inspecting the receipts while chatting with customers. At these times I think come on, get on with it, just glance over the cart for any big ticket items and call it good.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 03:38:06 pm by james_s »
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2019, 03:40:35 pm »
No I really don't understand. All customers *are* potential shoplifters, it's a huge and pervasive problem, why shouldn't they assume that I might be one too and check? I mean it's a simple receipt check, not a body cavity search or patdown and I would bet it is a significant deterrent. Like I said, mountains out of mole hills, it's borderline mental illness to get upset about it.

I don't like these checks so I vote with my wallet. I don't shop at places like Fry's, Best Buy, and Costco that have receipt checks. There are plenty of places that don't. Fry's is a laughing stock these days anyway, so the only time I go there is just to see how much further they've fallen. It's actually rather sad because I can remember when Fry's was a good place to buy techie stuff.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2019, 03:53:03 pm »
I don't like these checks so I vote with my wallet. I don't shop at places like Fry's, Best Buy, and Costco that have receipt checks. There are plenty of places that don't. Fry's is a laughing stock these days anyway, so the only time I go there is just to see how much further they've fallen. It's actually rather sad because I can remember when Fry's was a good place to buy techie stuff.

I appreciate it at least when people who insist on behaving like children shop elsewhere so that the adults can shop in peace without some self important prick holding things up by throwing a fit about something as simple and sensible as a receipt check in a business that sells lots of small and valuable items. Why anyone thinks they're special compared to everyone else I'll never know. Find a better way to weed out the dishonest people and the receipt checks will vanish. People steal stuff every day, it costs businesses many millions a year. Every single customer is a potential shoplifter, huge numbers of even generally honest people would take advantage of a mistake given the opportunity. I'd go so far as to suggest that a large majority of people who got home and discovered an item in their bag that they had not paid for would simply keep the item, if it was a particularly valuable item most would celebrate their windfall. What percentage do you suppose would return the item or offer to pay for it? 20%? Maybe?
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2019, 04:30:10 pm »
I appreciate it at least when people who insist on behaving like children shop elsewhere so that the adults can shop in peace without some self important prick holding things up by throwing a fit about something as simple and sensible as a receipt check in a business that sells lots of small and valuable items. Why anyone thinks they're special compared to everyone else I'll never know.

 :palm:

Quote
Every single customer is a potential shoplifter

How far are you willing to go with this? How about pat-downs? After all, it's easy to stick a small, high-value item in one's pocket, and this won't be caught by a bag check. Should Fry's set up metal detectors at the exit and make everyone empty their pockets?
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2019, 05:12:49 pm »
I don't throw a fit about it, but I don't like it. The problem is that for the store, shoplifting is a problem, but statistically, very few customers shoplift. So they take action to reduce loss by essentially treating all their customers as potential shoplifters and asking them to prove that they're not. Do you really not understand why people might resent that?
No I really don't understand. All customers *are* potential shoplifters, it's a huge and pervasive problem, why shouldn't they assume that I might be one too and check? I mean it's a simple receipt check, not a body cavity search or patdown and I would bet it is a significant deterrent.
It is all about the economics: how much income is lost due to people going to a different store if a store has receipt checks versus how much income is lost due to shop lifting. This doesn't say nothing has to be done to prevent shoplifting. Most shops over here do random checks based on data that is collected. They look at things like previous behaviour of the person and the combination of products. It turns out that the type and combination of products bought can be used as a probability indicator a person stole something or not. The exact algorithms are a closely kept secret.

BTW: you shouldn't rule out the employees either. Probably most of the shoplifting is done by the employees. They have much better opportunities to steal stuff.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 05:17:11 pm by nctnico »
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #50 on: September 27, 2019, 05:29:21 pm »
It is all about the economics: how much income is lost due to people going to a different store if a store has receipt checks versus how much income is lost due to shop lifting. This doesn't say nothing has to be done to prevent shoplifting. Most shops over here do random checks based on data that is collected. They look at things like previous behaviour of the person and the combination of products. It turns out that the type and combination of products bought can be used as a probability indicator a person stole something or not. The exact algorithms are a closely kept secret.

Stores have ways of identifying shoplifters without doing bag checks. I object to bag checks because they are a form of "guilty until proven innocent". Honest customers should never even be aware that anti-shoplifting measures are happening.

Quote
BTW: you shouldn't rule out the employees either. Probably most of the shoplifting is done by the employees. They have much better opportunities to steal stuff.

Bingo. It's well-known that most loss is due to employees, not customers.
 

Online wilfred

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #51 on: September 28, 2019, 12:47:01 am »
Most shops over here do random checks based on data that is collected. They look at things like previous behaviour of the person and the combination of products. It turns out that the type and combination of products bought can be used as a probability indicator a person stole something or not. The exact algorithms are a closely kept secret.

BTW: you shouldn't rule out the employees either. Probably most of the shoplifting is done by the employees. They have much better opportunities to steal stuff.

So, not random after all.

If I look at the cameras at supermarkets they are in the highest density directly over checkouts. At least one per checkout. It would be so easy for staff to miss scanning an item for a friend or give the wrong (too much) change.

Although perversely I once got home still unsure I gave a $50 and only got change for a $20. So I rang the manager and gave him the date time on the receipt (another good reason to always take them). He rang me back the next day after reviewing the footage and said he could see I did tender a $50.

I hope they don't start recording people PINs. I cover the keypad.
 

Offline windsmurf

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #52 on: September 28, 2019, 02:58:05 am »
...
I hope they don't start recording people PINs. I cover the keypad.

I think PIN entry keypads should all be the scrambling type:


« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 03:01:38 am by windsmurf »
 

Offline JimS

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #53 on: September 28, 2019, 08:08:21 am »
My first experience with Fry's, as I recall, was at the Sunnyvale store in the mid 90's.
I was like a kid in a candy shop.
Got a Tyan Pentium 90 motherboard with built in SCSI.
Was told by my boss (at the time) that they started as a small grocery store.
Which was why they still had some grocery items.

Any way, I have noticed that the store in Roseville, the shelves are kinda bare.
They did not have nearly the selection of computers, parts and other computer etc hardware.
Plenty of hard drives and networking gear though.
I felt that they were only stocking items that have the highest volume of sales.

So they look to be going the way of Radio Shack.
Looks like mail order did them in, just like the computer fairs in Sacramento.

On the other hand Fry's grocery chain, AFAIK, in Tucson is still a going concern.
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #54 on: September 28, 2019, 02:15:05 pm »

I think PIN entry keypads should all be the scrambling type:

But what about the people who use a pattern and don't remember the numbers? :-DD
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 
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Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #55 on: September 28, 2019, 11:32:02 pm »
Was told by my boss (at the time) that they started as a small grocery store.
Which was why they still had some grocery items.
...
On the other hand Fry's grocery chain, AFAIK, in Tucson is still a going concern.

The grocery chain was started by the parents. The electronics chain was started by the kids. Otherwise, they are completely independent.
 

Offline bob91343

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #56 on: September 28, 2019, 11:56:42 pm »
I believe the Fry's grocery operation is (or was) owned by Kroger.
 

Offline Homer J Simpson

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #57 on: October 30, 2019, 11:40:45 pm »
 

Offline mcovington

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #58 on: October 31, 2019, 04:53:45 am »
Looking back at my blog, I see that the Duluth, Georgia (NE Atlanta) Fry's opened in August 2004 and made a good impression on me, but already by December 2005 it was declining.  Here's what I wrote then:

"Yesterday Melody and I went to Fry's Electronics in Duluth, Georgia, and concluded that the store is no longer what it initially promised to be. Interesting and useful items are not being restocked (especially electronic components), and the prices on audio equipment were (in our limited experience) not as good as Best Buy and Circuit City. Despite its size, that enormous store is no longer a reliable source of anything hard to find. We went over to Micro Center and found some audio cables that Fry's didn't even know where to look for, as well as lots of employees who could answer questions instead of just replying, 'What is that?'"

Amazingly, it is still there, although it has been inching closer to death ever since.  I will get a look at it this Saturday.  It seems to have been on the verge of going out of business for years.  Lack of restocking is the main thing. 
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #59 on: October 31, 2019, 07:41:55 am »
The early story is quite interesting...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fry%27s_Electronics
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Offline metrologist

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #60 on: October 31, 2019, 02:40:45 pm »
Many of you won't know this but Frys offered broadband and dialup services. They had the ISP hosted on their frys.com website long before they used that domain for their online retail storefront. I watched in amazement as they let the online revolution roll right over them, and then how they totally mismanaged the outpost.com website for their online retail. I couldn't believe what was going on. Finally they migrated their online retail to the frys domain and retired outpost, but they already missed the market.
 

Offline andy3055

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #61 on: October 31, 2019, 09:17:03 pm »
I live in the east-bay and the nearest one at Concord has shelves almost completely empty. Like Bill158 mentioned earlier in this thread, they do re-pack the returns and sometimes they indicate it is a return. Most of the time they do not. I knew this and I never buy anything of importance there and stick only to components that are in original packaging. They did have a huge inventory of NTE parts which was very convenient. I always wondered if those TVs and PCs they sell were rejects from other places!

Since Radio shack is also gone, I will have to order stuff on eBay when it comes to parts now. Ordering from Digikey or Mouser will cost another $7-10 for shipping. Unless it is a large order, it is not worth. Amazing how the times have changed!
 

Offline boffin

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #62 on: October 31, 2019, 09:37:22 pm »
They must be in dire straits, they solid their 747SP a few years back (it went to NASA)
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #63 on: October 31, 2019, 10:15:03 pm »
Had a free day in SoCal this week and took in the City of Industry store.  I have always loved the decor there - emulating a turn of the twentieth century industrial plant.  But the whole experience reminded me of Sears just before they announced their final bankruptcy and closure.  Lots of empty shelves, and many of the shelves that weren't empty were covered with filler.  At Sears the filler was filters for their shop vacuums.  Literally hundreds of filters on shelves all over.  At this Fry's it was travelers adapter kits, mains plugs to fit most styles.  Everywhere.

There was one Rigol 1054Z, if someone wants to pay full list plus CA and City of Industry sales taxes.  Other similar "bargains".

The aisles and parking lots were empty and two cashiers handled all the business without being busy.

I would guess that there is less than a year left.  Maybe much less.
 

Offline andy3055

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #64 on: November 01, 2019, 01:00:48 am »
Another thing is that none of the items are on sale. I spoke to one of the people there and she says "... no, we are still getting stocks daily." Right. Why are the shelves empty then?
 

Online oPossum

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #65 on: November 01, 2019, 02:40:58 am »
I watched in amazement as they let the online revolution roll right over them, and then how they totally mismanaged the outpost.com website for their online retail. I couldn't believe what was going on. Finally they migrated their online retail to the frys domain and retired outpost, but they already missed the market.

I didn't know Outpost was run by Fry's. They had a few memorable ads.


 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #66 on: November 01, 2019, 02:52:53 am »
Yea, I remember when the online site switched from outpost.com. I was always confused when I'd try to use it... For about 2 years.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #67 on: November 01, 2019, 03:36:31 pm »
Fry's could have become what Amazon is today if only their management jumped on the eCommerce bandwagon in the early days and did it right. Instead, they totally botched it and now their huge retail stores sit with empty shelves and few customers. I think they'll be out of business by the end of the year.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #68 on: November 01, 2019, 03:48:53 pm »
Fry's could have become what Amazon is today if only their management jumped on the eCommerce bandwagon in the early days and did it right. Instead, they totally botched it and now their huge retail stores sit with empty shelves and few customers. I think they'll be out of business by the end of the year.
The problem with the big retail stores is that they aren't setup logistically to do online business. For example: the last time I ordered something online from Ikea it took them two weeks to deliver. Not because the item wasn't available but because they don't think about online retail.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #69 on: November 01, 2019, 04:48:30 pm »
i was there couple of weeks ago since i needed a docsis modem. They had none. all the selves with networking stuff were empty. i asked an employee if he could check if there was stock. Zip, none, not a single one in all their stores.
The employee suggested i tried their sister stores.

Baffled, (i've lived here for 15 years and never knew fry's had sister stores) i asked which sister stores?

The employee wryly answered : bestbuy and amazon.

The mercury news had an article stating they are negotiating new supplier deals where they want to go to a consignment model. Suppliers are only paid for when goods leave the stores, not when they are on the shelves. I don't think that's gonna fly ...

Central computers has better pricing and better quality and better technical support / knowhow than fry's.
I don't mind the 2 $ difference on a 10$ network cable but not knowing the difference between CAT5 , CAT6 straight and crossover , that cans it for me. All the fry's guys work on commission and don't know the difference between an RJ45 and a cow. They only know how to make you a 'quote' ,which they then print so you can hand it to the cashier and they get their little commission. The real go-getters would make you a quote for a 2$ item. Now they can't even be bothered.
Electronic parts : Anchor electronics on walsh and excess solutions / halted on 7th. Yes, Halted lives on. They got absorbed by excess solutions and lots of their stuff is in that warehouse now.

Gone are the days where every friday Fry's would have an 8 page insert in the newspaper with their specials.
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Offline Bud

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #70 on: November 01, 2019, 05:01:00 pm »
Cant their stores technically be converted to warehouses in parnership with say Amazon, to get stuff close to the consumers and expedite delivery?
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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #71 on: November 01, 2019, 05:19:30 pm »
I used to give lots of business to Central computers; but after they screwed my company over on a supermicro motherboard (that was less than 1 month old, refused to POST and they refused to board-swap us; it took over 2 months down-time.  not even sure how long it took, as I gave up waiting after 2 months time)

that said, microcenter is long gone from the bay area and if you need computer parts that-day, central is one of the few still left.

really miss Halted; will have to see if the new location is at all like the old one. 
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2019, 08:41:50 pm »
really miss Halted; will have to see if the new location is at all like the old one. 

Not really. Yes, they have a lot of the stuff from the old Halted location, but the whole feel of the place is different. Another one bites the dust...
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Fry's Electronics Going Out of Business?
« Reply #73 on: November 07, 2019, 10:31:51 pm »
really miss Halted; will have to see if the new location is at all like the old one. 

Not really. Yes, they have a lot of the stuff from the old Halted location, but the whole feel of the place is different. Another one bites the dust...
true, they have less of the 'old crap' that halted was famous for. like solid carbon resistors , stinkbug caps and other vacuum-tube era stuff.
They do have a better selection of 'modern' parts.
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 


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