If you’ve been inside a Fry’s Electronics store lately–ANY Fry’s, by the way–it looks like they are in the middle of a Going-Out-of-Business-Sale. The stock is depleting without restocking and the parking lots are nearly empty. Forums like TheLayoff.com describe ghost town images like these nationwide.
Locally, Bill Lipis reports:
Stopped by the San Diego Fry’s and it’s still open. It’s a ghost town though with more employees than customers. The parking lot had maybe a dozen cars and whole depts with no one around. I asked a couple employees what was going on and they said they didn’t know but they were still getting paid! One counter person said business started getting real slow about six months ago. That every month business is cutting in half from the previous month. The stock is low and they just spread inventory out so it looks like it’s still stocked. The computer case/parts dept which is usually busy had no one even walking around. No blow out sales yet!
The better news is that a few Hobby Town stores have been appearing around town. They have a connection with Radio Shack and the RS logo appears on the Hobby Town outdoor sign. Sure enough, the store had RS batteries and small parts bins with resistors, etc. Unfortunately no audio cables or adapters. The store was pretty busy. Hobby Town stocks model cars, drones, trains, STEM stuff. Hobby kits and paints. Seems to be a market for hobby stuff and toys. Large stock of remote control model trucks (high end several hundred bucks.) I’ve dropped by a couple of times and surprisingly the store is usually busy with three counter people. The store is the size of the smallest old Radio Shack.
Fry’s in San Diego took over the store previously occupied by Radio Shack-owned electronics retailer Incredible Universe. Fry’s advertised heavily with loss-leaders that sometimes brought in droves of buyers that would line up around the store.
It’s no surprise that an electronics retailer might have a hard time competing with online retailers like Amazon and NewEgg and direct computer sellers like Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Fry’s has announced only one store closure, and that is in Palo Alto where there are other Fry’s stores not far away and the host shopping market is said to be building another project. That said, in today’s business climate, it likely won’t be long before the chain will have to surrender to market forces.