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Fry's Electronics is going out of business; cites changing retail market, COVID-19

Fry's Closing
Posted at 7:31 AM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 10:43:40-05

Fry’s Electronics — at one time a go-to store for people looking to buy computers, cameras, cords and other electronic and technological accessories — is shutting down, according to a statement on its website.

Reports of the potential closure began to surface late Tuesday night, followed by the company’s Facebook account reportedly being deactivated and its Twitter account being made private.

On Wednesday morning, the company confirmed those reports in a statement posted to its website.

Fry’s Electronics said it was closing due to “changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic" and that it would begin its wind-down on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

“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."

ABC15 reached out to Fry's Electronics late Tuesday, but has so far not received a response.

Fry’s Electronics said it was in the process of contacting customers who have consignments or repairs waiting and its vendors “to help them understand what this will mean for them and the proposed next steps.”

The company was founded in 1985 in Sunnyvale, California as a “one-stop-shopping environment for the Hi-Tech Professional” in Silicon Valley, according to its website.

In its 36 years, the electronics store expanded to at least 30 locations, including two in Phoenix and Tempe.

Each of its stores were given a theme or a tribute. The Arizona store was designed after an Aztec Tempe while the Tempe location was given a golf theme, the website said.

In California, its Burbank store was given a 1950s retro-space theme, while its San Marcos location was inspired by Atlantis and had aquariums and exotic fish.

Speculation about the future of Fry’s Electronics has long been discussed as some customers had expressed concerns about fewer items in stores and empty aisles.

In 2019, a spokesperson told ABC15 that stores across the country were reorganizing their inventories in response to increased demand from people ordering online and having it shipped to their homes.

“So, while not a full-blown remodel, customers may notice a re-positioning of product shelving and presentation. Shelving would be emptied and rearranged as needed for reorganizing,” a company spokesperson said at the time.

In the statement on Wednesday, Fry’s said customers who have equipment being repaired should email them at customerservice@frys.com to discuss a pickup time.

Those needing a repair under a “performance service contract” should call them at (800) 811-1745, the statement said.