Fry’s Electronics has been a mostly West Coast-based shopping destination for gadget heads of all kinds, but now the retailer is calling it quits. On Twitter, Wario64 pointed out a tweet by a former employee and AV store owner noting that employees found out Tuesday night that it was the last night the stores would be open and that the website is going offline.
Bay Area newscaster KRON4 confirmed the rumors, saying nationwide closure information will appear on the company website Wednesday morning. Fry’s was founded in 1985, and was known both for stocking whatever electronics parts you might need, and notoriously poor customer service. It was the sort of place where you could find a poorly-labeled Nokia N9, attend a midnight gaming launch and get scammed by a demo of the “Monster HDMI quality difference.”
The company’s West Coast stores were also themed to outlandish levels of detail, bringing sci-fi touches to one location, Aztec references to another, and even a NASA-themed Houston location that featured launch countdowns every hour. The number of locations had dropped in the last few years and even prior to the COVID pandemic shoppers noticed empty shelves and strange product choices that suggested Fry’s wouldn’t be in business much longer.