The big-box stores of a once-coveted electronic retailer closed the night of February 23 never to be opened again. Fry’s Electronics is no more.
Overnight, Fry’s permanently closed all of its stores, including locations in Arlington, Irving and Plano.
The suddenly defunct company was in operation for almost 36 years and had 31 stores across nine states.
In an announcement in its website, Fry’s Electronics said it ceased regular operation on Feb. 24 and it has already begun a wind-down process.
“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,” the statement reads.
Fry’s Electronics was founded by three brothers: John, Randy and David Fry. John Fry remained the company CEO till the closure.
The Silicon Valley-headquartered company was known for its uniquely-themed stores and enormous sizes that offered a wide variety of electronics and computer gadgets.
The advent of online shopping and changing consumer behaviors hindered Fry’s growth in recent years. Customers were often greeted with empty shelves at its store. Reports of customer complaints on improper customer services and business practices were also frequent.
Fry’s Electronics had switched to a consignment model, wherein the product suppliers would only get paid once a store sold the goods.
A former employee of Fry’s told The Verge that some vendors were not satisfied with the arrangements and that unpaid bills to Samsung result in the technology company pulling out their products from Fry’s.
Phone calls to North Texas stores in Arlington and Plano are sent directly to an automated message which cites the business closure.
“Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s” or “Company”), 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, Fry’s said in its statement. “The Company will implement the shut down through an orderly wind down process that it believes will be in the best interests of the Company, its creditors, and other stakeholders.”