Enlarge /. Fry & # 39; s Electronics in Fremont, CA.
Fry & # 39; s Electronics, the decades-old superstore chain with locations in nine American states, no longer seems to be functioning. Bay Area television station KRON-4 was the first press office to confirm the news late Tuesday, saying that Fry & # 39; s will close all 30 American locations. The retailer will reportedly make an announcement through Fry's website sometime on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, rumors surfaced in the form of anecdotes from suspected Fry employees, all of whom reported they had been fired without notice earlier in the day. An anonymous report posted on The Layoff claimed that every remaining Fry store in the US was "permanently closed tomorrow" and that the sentiment was confirmed hours later on a Fry & # 39; s affiliated Reddit community . The Reddit post contained the claim that a store's employees were tasked with shipping any remaining goods back to suppliers on the last working day.
Sacramento freelance journalist Matthew Keys quoted an unnamed source – someone who had worked at Fry & # 39; s until "this week" – who claimed the electronics chain would officially announce "this week" that it was all will close their stores and liquidate remaining assets. As the wave of rumors exploded, error messages were displayed on Fry's official website. However, some of the sub-website content, in particular press releases that were issued for years, remained active through the Frys.com subdomains. Throughout Tuesday, Fry's retail website flickered into normal service and even let customers purchase products after the KRON-4 report was released.
Spindles of Savings
For years, Fry & # 39; s Electronics was the largest physical retailer in the United States, selling almost every imaginable computer and electronic device, especially individual computer components. As the chain expanded to more stores in the US, particularly through the acquisition of several defunct Incredible Universe locations, Fry & # 39; s saw the boom in personal computing. If you've built your own PC for the past two decades and were just a few minutes' drive from a Fry's, you've probably been after motherboards, optical drives, RAM of all speeds and slots and spindles of no less than 200 in this business CDs wanted -Rs.
In addition, the retailer was known as the exclusive retail partner for some strange merchandise, particularly the unfortunate pono player of famous musician Neil Young.
In the 00s, Fry's privately held chain appeared to have cash flow solid enough to weather a devastating internal collapse: the then vice president stole over $ 65 million from the company's coffers.
But big box retailers have long struggled in an era of internet shopping, and the Californian Fry & # 39; s hadn't looked particularly strong as the pandemic waned the appetite for personal shopping. Just before the pandemic hit the world, the chain closed its Anaheim, CA location, followed by closing its Campbell, CA store in November.
By 2020, the chain had already begun a transition to consignment-style sales, which meant manufacturers weren't paying upfront for goods before they were put on store shelves. This practice has worked by a decade-long lead in the field for some chains, particularly Wal-Mart. In the case of Fry & # 39; s, however, that transition has been made by electronics manufacturers who, in the internet-rich era of 2019, had far fewer incentives to put their goods on shelves for nothing. (This also reduces the liquidation potential of the defunct company, as the shipment-based goods simply have to be returned to the original manufacturers – which may have been the final duty for the remaining employees this week.)
As a result, Fry's locations gained a notorious reputation for sparse store shelves. Now it appears that their soils will also be sterile. The company has not officially recognized layoffs or store closures on any of its social media channels – to the point of deleting its Facebook account and "banning" its Twitter profile – and at the time of going to press, its website has no announcements publishes the future of the company.