One last visit to Fry’s Electronics

If any of you have any nostalgic feelings about Fry’s (sorry, you might need psychiatric help) or have an odd interest in dying stores (likewise) you might want to stop by one of the stores while the lights are on. I stopped at the one on 635 at Olympus today at lunch. Not one greeter present, the main aisle, always a row of bins of cheap impulse buys was a wide open space that made me want to play indoor frisbee, with exception of one display of shovels, because, well, you know they are known for their gardening supplies.

If you need neon lime green cable ties, they have you covered, but otherwise, 99% of the cable supply selection is sold out. Where I’m used to cumputer cases and motherboards was school supplies and bottled water. I did eventually find computer cases in the back, but no sign of motherboards, memory, or CPUs.

If you want any of their makery stuff, you might check it out before liquidators are called in to mark stuff up before starting the discounts.

I thought it was only a few months since I last stopped in on the way home from work, but I just can’t reconcile how far it has gone with only a few months.

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Myself, I read through Breakfast at Fry’s one last time.

Ah yes, before prices are marked up to MSRP in an act of desperation.

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Sad to see them go. Micro Center seems to be booming, I wonder what Fry’s got wrong. Besides “short-sleeve white dress shirt with black tie,” I mean.


For me? It was when they started hiring salespeople that had no idea what they were selling, and refused to organize stuff in a logical format.

You building a PC? Well, if you want a hard drive, that’s in the components section. If you want a Case? Components section. Need memory? Components section. Need a GPU? Oh, that’s over in the pre-builts (other side of the store). Need a mouse or keyboard? Different section from the other two. Monitor? Somewhere else. Want a single salesperson to help you with the build? Oh, sorry, we can’t I don’t get commission from that area, so, uh, they’ll help you.

Compare that to MC, everything is centrally located, a single salesperson can help you with anything in the store, and while you might wait a little bit for someone to come free to help you, they’ll at least know what CPU goes in what socket, and what’s on sale this week.


I was in the one off of 75 in Plano within the past 2 weeks and it wasn’t that dead/empty. Are they officially going under or is this selective store shuttering (with likely full death to follow later)?

I will note that the receipt checker is flat out a pure case of not trusting the cashiers. In fact, so is the attendant who sent you to the next register. Can’t have you hanging back in line until your buddy is open, and letting him fudge the receipts. That way, in theory, you have to have three employees in cahoots to scam the register, and you can’t really find two of their employees who like each other, let alone outsiders. I’m sure that the lack of training, and lack of authorization for the employees working returns was a deliberate attempt to minimize returns, in combination with, again, not trusting their employees. And don’t get me started on my one experience with their performance guarantee fulfillment.

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I’ve heard the Dallas store is also in bad shape. This one was at the point that if they were closing just the one store, they would be trucking stuff out and closing the doors. And maybe there will be some consolidations. I haven’t heard anything official, but it sure looks like a chain on the way out.

There’s other accounts not dissimilar to yours peppered around the 'webz, e.g.

CDT, I think.
Pity? Depends on perspectives, I suppose…

Ive been to all their store in the DFW area. South Arlington was in bad shape the last time I was there a few months ago. Irving keeps moving their stuff around, 3-4 weeks ago it took some time to find the SD cards. The last time I was at the Dallas location it did not look good. They used to be decent but have gone downhill over the years. I find myself not even trying to go because almost every time I go, They do not have what I need.

Additionally they have been getting more switch-a roo on you. Leaving the older tags of sales out there or having an online deal to go pick it up & have it be another price.

Based on my informal survey Micro Center seems to have a better sense of what the market wants. Fry’s tried mightily to carry everything - with the resultant mountain of items cluttering up the store with more tenure than most staff - while still having gaping holes in their inventory.


I had a friend who worked at Frys and what they would do was order a ton of sale goods, advertise, then put out only a select amount on the floor. When you get there and they are out, they wouldn’t do a rain check and instead would try to sell you the more expensive items instead. Then the next day items were miraculously back on the shelf. And the next weekend they had the stock of the now not on sale item.

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I remember the days of multi page sales flyers. I remember lines that made you hate the place. I remember finding relays or relay sockets that tanner did not have. But the place hasn’t generated the interest for me for years, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a sales flyer or line of more than 5 waitimg to check out. I work 2 miles from the 635/Olympus store, and it got to the point where I’m only in the store a couple of times a year, and can’t remembers any purchases over about $20.

All that said, I also remember garden ridge had shrunk to only stocking about 2/3 of the store, and had abandoned all the crafting, seasonal decorations, and home decor, and in its place had cheap import clothing, and they did rebrand and make it back. The difference is that their bottom was during the financial crisis. To be this bad in this economy is a really bad sign.


I worked at the Irving location back around '05 or '06 so things might be different now. But the next register person is there to keep the flow of people even among the cashiers. Cashiers were(are?) commission based so every $10k (I think) is $23. If you had the sweet spot right in front of the line with no attendant that person would get all the “sales”.

The receipt checker is completely there to check the item rung up is the item in the bag and got $5 for every miss matched PLU. Not so much for theft prevention but just general loss prevention of the system.

The old weekly Ads were all at cost items to get you in the door and the sales people were suppose to up sell you to the next model that is profitable.

I haven’t been to Fry’s in years. Took a company check in to buy a replacement video card for my work computer, and it didn’t work with my power supply. Took it back to exchange it for a different model, and they wouldn’t do an exchange. All they would do is give me the check back. Took it back to our CFO, got another check, and went to Micro Center. That was 4 companies ago.

They telling employees not to sell anyone than items that are on sale is an old trick of many retailers it was probably over 40 maybe 50 years ago when one of my uncles worked at Montgomery Wards and I had a refrigerator on sale. My great-aunt needed a refrigerator so he sold it to her he got fired for that because he was supposed to upselling of course now everybody involved is that is no longer around from him to the refrigerator. Some of what I’m hearing about fries just sound a lot like what I saw at Montgomery Ward’s the last 5 to 10 years they were open we had a store less than a mile from us and when they closed neither clot or I had walked in the store in I think well over a year. In fact the last time I was in there was when I was in the parking lot of the Kroger across the lot from it and discovered I needed some oil for the car I walked in got the oil and left. We had stop shopping there we drove miles out of our way to shop somewhere else.

I’m less than 15 minutes from that location and dreaded visiting it when I used to drop by with some regularity ~5 years ago. A case of infinite selection of stuff I didn’t want and none of what I did want. Aisles and aisles of cr_p with occasional glimmers of useful selection. Wander all over the store to try to find something relevant - would SD cards be by the computer components or the cameras? An audio cable by the portable audio, home theater, or computer components? Should I circle back a third time just in case I missed it the first two times? The floor staff was pretty much useless for anything other than gaining access to items held in the cage behind the registers. The impulse-buy gauntlet aisle of broken dreams before the registers was a cryptic read on the mood in the store - a long time in queue seemed to encourage a degree of re-evaluation of one’s selections; I saw more than a few 3- figure purchases ditched in that aisle.

Man, I used to love going to Fry’s as a kid. My dad would go pick through the shelves for the few deals that he wanted, and he let me run free to wander on my own for an hour or two. Back then we were up near Chicago, and only went once every few months when other specialty items were needed from the big city. Quite the special occasion.
Nowdays, I’ve been to a Fry’s once in the last two years? I can echo the sentiment that there’s loads and loads of stuff, but not the stuff you need, haha.

It used to be a real treat to go there when it was incredible universe instead of the bargain frys format


Incredible Universe is another interesting one. I waited in a loooong line with my dad in the one in Arlington years and years ago. It was when they first opened.

i haven’t bought a computer part from a brick and mortar store in a while. since i live in Denton and best buy always has massive messy mark ups.

last couple of components i bought was aftermarket RAM upgrade for $30 for a laptop and a SSD for 35 bucks on amazon. I don’t see brick stores competing with a althorigmic inventory and minimal overhead.