Why is Fry’s Electronics closing for good?

The company ceased the regular operations of all its 31 stores across nine U.S. states

Why is Fry’s Electronics closing for good? 15
Credit: Theron Trowbridge / Flickr

Fry’s Electronics is shutting down permanently.

The consumer electronics retail chain with in-store computer repair and custom computer building services announced on Wednesday that it “has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The company already stopped the regular operations of all its 31 stores across nine U.S. states and has started the “wind-down” process on Wednesday. “It is hoped that undertaking the wind-down through this orderly process will reduce costs, avoid additional liabilities, minimize the impact on our customers, vendors, landlords and associates, and maximize the value of the company’s assets for its creditors and other stakeholders,” Fry’s Electronics said in a statement posted on its website.

The company mentioned in the statement that customers who have equipment currently being repaired at a store can email customerservice@frys.com to sort out the return of their items.

Based in San Jose, California, Fry’s Electronics was founded in 1985 by the three Fry brothers ― John, William Randolph, and David ― with the goal of being a “Silicon Valley retail electronics store to provide a one-stop-shopping environment for the Hi-Tech Professional.”

Though Fry’s Electronics was a business well built for the 1980s electronics boom, the sales of the company started to dip after it failed to innovate its online operations as fast as its larger competitors like Best Buy. Like most retailers, things for Fry’s Electronics got even worse when the pandemic hit the country last March.

When news of Fry’s Electronics closing spread online, a lot fans took to Twitter to post images and memories they had with the big-box retailer. Most of the photos shared on social media feature the wacky themes at some Fry’s Electronics stores, including the 1950’s science fiction theme in Burbank, California, Aztec temple theme in Phoenix, Arizona, and the International Space Station-inspired theme in Webster, Texas.

Sources: Fry’s Electronics, CNN, CNET