Fry’s Electronics, once considered by many to be the holy grail of electronics stores, 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.
A message posted on the company’s website notes that after nearly 36 years in business, they’ve made the difficult decision to shut down operations and close the business permanently due to changes in the retail industry and challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.
Fry’s said it ceased regular operations and started an “orderly wind down process” on February 24, which it believes will be in the best interest of the company, creditors and other stakeholders.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the family-owned business had been pushed to the brink of extinction by online retailers like Amazon, Newegg and more. Initially, the company started a campaign to price-match any item you could find online. It added a children’s toy aisle, huge racks of As Seen on TV gadgets, even perfume. But things got worse. By 2019, what used to be a paradise of gadgets, computers, components, video games, audio equipment and appliances had turned into ghost warehouses filled with empty shelves.
Fry’s didn’t say what would happen to its existing inventory but a fire sale seems unlikely considering store employees have reportedly been laid off.