Fry's Closes Suddenly

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pacman000
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Fry's Closes Suddenly

Postby pacman000 » February 25th, 2021, 5:14 pm

The 30+ year old electronics retailer shut down yesterday, without much warning.

Any thoughts? Memories? I’ve only been there a few times, but I always enjoyed the place.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Fry’s Closes Suddenly

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 27th, 2021, 7:47 am

Never been to one, but it sounds like it would have been my kind of place - in its heyday at least. It's really disturbing how many brick and mortal places are buckling under to Amazon's online dominance.

I mean, I have a lot of good memories of going to stores like Circuit City, Toys R Us, and Babbages (among many others) when I was younger. What will the kids of today remember when everything they bought was online?

SpiceWare
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Re: Fry’s Closes Suddenly

Postby SpiceWare » February 28th, 2021, 2:36 pm

pacman000 wrote:The 30+ year old electronics retailer shut down yesterday, without much warning.


There was lots of warning, this is a photo I took at one of the Houston locations in October 2019. Empty shelves like this were throughout the entire store. I thought they'd shut down at the start of 2020 after the holidays, so was surprised they lasted this long.

I checked out 2 locations in January. In both over half the interior was barricaded off, the remaining shelves were sparsely stocked. AC was also turned off, or set to a real high temperature, which made for a rather humid shopping experience.

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VideoGameCritic wrote:Never been to one, but it sounds like it would have been my kind of place - in its heyday at least.


The stores were awesome in their heyday, i shopped at all 3 locations in Houston many times. Fry's stores were all themed, some better than others. Here we had:

Links are to video walkthroughs, the Space Exploration was my favorite though I went to History of Houston most often as it was closest to work and home. Oil Industry was our first location, but about an hours drive from my home so I didn't go there as often once the other locations opened.

The History of Houston theming isn't that noticeable in the video - it's basically historical black and white photos on the outer walls of the store, such as this one of the Rockets vs Celtics game in 1985.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Fry’s Closes Suddenly

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 28th, 2021, 7:50 pm

Spiceware - thanks for the insight. Your post makes me sad that I've never been to one of these and they are going away. It seems like they had more personality than your standard electronics store. That shot of the empty shelves just looked depressing!

Steve
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Re: Fry’s Closes Suddenly

Postby Steve » February 28th, 2021, 7:56 pm

I've been to Fry's in both Illinois where I currently live and California where I lived for about 15 years. While it was a fun store to browse and on occasion buy, the stores always had an abundance of empty shelves even in the pre-Amazon days. Quite frankly, they were just too big for the amount of merchandise. While I never personally had any negative experiences as a a customer, I observed what I can only describe as the worst treatment of a customer I have ever seen. I honestly thought the service desk clerk was going to kill the customer (no exaggeration). While I am not from the school of the "customer is always right", I do believe the customer should at least be treated like they are right. It was only recently I heard of their reputation of having poor customer service.

Putting that aside, I never made any big items purchases but made plenty of small purchases (console games, game guides, pc games, videos, small gifts). If you looked closely, you could get some real steals. I got more than a few items for $0.01. I'll miss the browsing but they were no match for online as of late.

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MSR1701
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Re: Fry's Closes Suddenly

Postby MSR1701 » March 1st, 2021, 5:27 am

The only Fry's I've even nearly gone into was a hot-bed of theft and crime. The local police had regular sting and undercover assets all over it, and it was not only shoplifters that were their aim.

Gleebergloben123
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Re: Fry's Closes Suddenly

Postby Gleebergloben123 » March 1st, 2021, 7:33 am

Ironic, just a few days ago as I was driving by a Fry’s, I thought “How are they still in business?” Our location in So Cal has been here for 20+ years and I used to enjoy shopping there but about 15 years ago their customer service really went downhill. There were like a million employees but trying to track them down to ask a question wasn’t easy. And they had this 15% restocking fee charge for returns, if you could return an item at all. Once I started electronics shopping at Costco, Fry’s essentially became Radio Shack for me, a store I’d go to only when I needed a specialty item.

SpiceWare
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Re: Fry’s Closes Suddenly

Postby SpiceWare » March 2nd, 2021, 10:56 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:Spiceware - thanks for the insight.


You're welcome!

Steve wrote:While it was a fun store to browse and on occasion buy, the stores always had an abundance of empty shelves even in the pre-Amazon days.


I never noticed empty shelves at the Houston locations, which is why I was shocked enough to take that photo in 2019. Possible the stores here were smaller than the ones you went to, hard to say as I'd never visited Fry's outside of Houston.

I did go to LA on a business trip in the mid 90s, well before the Houston locations opened. I'd heard about Fry's and planned to check out a store, but the pollution was so bad that anything more than a couple city blocks away was devoid of color. It was creepy and caused major issues with my allergies, to the extent that I'd wake up in the morning with my eyes crusted shut (had to stumble to the sink and wash them so I could open my eyes fully). I was miserable, so didn't do any sight seeing on that trip. In hindsight I wish I had made the excursion, I didn't know about the store themes at the time and would have been surprised by it.


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