R.I.P. Fry’s Electronics

Gmoney

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
It's been over a year now since I've been to Fry's, this might be one of the last purchases I made there, a pair of these funky desk lamps.

Back in 2013 when I started the A/V system hobby my main suppliers were Radio Shack and Frys, for cables, speaker wire, etc.

I've seen my local Radio Shack go from a big 'mega-store' to a tiny shoe-box size store, then to nothing. Now that Fry's is gone I hope the vacant warehouses are put to good use, probably Amazon will buy them for distribution centers, ya think?



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slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Warlord
I've spent a lot of time in the Fry's in Plano. It was cool in some ways, but it also sucked big time. I'd already been buying PC parts from Newegg for years simply because I lived in west Texas and PC parts stores were either non-existent, or horribly overpriced. Fry's was better, but it's no Microcenter. Their PC folks also didn't have much of a clue. The A/V guys were much better. Tried to get me to work for them. Would have had it not been for the commision only part.

My frustration with Fry's was how difficult it was to find things. I want looking for an HDMI cable and they had them in at LEAST 4 different places and at least 2 didn't make any sense at all. That's what stopped me from going there. That place is too damn big for me to have to look on my own for something that should be in a logical place. I ended up getting pissed and left.

B&M stores won't survive if they don't have good management and good employees. That's what's really killing them.
My memories of the store in Austin was much better than that, seems that the store was better layed out too.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Samurai
I've spent a lot of time in the Fry's in Plano. It was cool in some ways, but it also sucked big time. I'd already been buying PC parts from Newegg for years simply because I lived in west Texas and PC parts stores were either non-existent, or horribly overpriced. Fry's was better, but it's no Microcenter. Their PC folks also didn't have much of a clue. The A/V guys were much better. Tried to get me to work for them. Would have had it not been for the commision only part.

My frustration with Fry's was how difficult it was to find things. I want looking for an HDMI cable and they had them in at LEAST 4 different places and at least 2 didn't make any sense at all. That's what stopped me from going there. That place is too damn big for me to have to look on my own for something that should be in a logical place. I ended up getting pissed and left.

B&M stores won't survive if they don't have good management and good employees. That's what's really killing them.
Right on with items being difficult to find. I guess I spent enough time in the Las Colinas location to get pretty good at navigating the store. As someone stated earlier the shelves were getting pretty bare the last time I was there and that was over a year ago.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
I freaking love that movie! Don't no way but when I saw that red stapler in Mr. MAGOO's post it made me think of that movie. And no Not making fun at Mr.Magoo
For a 20+ year old movie it holds up perfectly. Mike Judge is the man.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Warlord
I freaking love that movie! Don't no why but when I saw that red stapler in Mr. MAGOO's post it made me think of that movie. And no Not making fun at Mr.Magoo
You nailed it! The fact is, there was NOT a "red swingline stapler" model until AFTER this movie! Now it is the stuff of folklore.

And, note that this movie was shot in Austin and Dallas, TX. I am very familiar with the office park where the office scenes were shot, I used to live just a couple miles away. I forget what restaurant they used for filming, and I have never been able to figure out which apartments.

I "think" that Mike Judge must be from Texas. And, that also explains why the printer scene uses the Scarface/Ghetto Boys music (Tx based artist). Note that Scarface plays UpGreyed in Idiocracy too.

Swingline introduced a red stapler to its product line after the Milton character used one painted that color in the film.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
You nailed it! The fact is, there was NOT a "red swingline stapler" model until AFTER this movie! Now it is the stuff of folklore.

And, note that this movie was shot in Austin and Dallas, TX. I am very familiar with the office park where the office scenes were shot, I used to live just a couple miles away. I forget what restaurant they used for filming, and I have never been able to figure out which apartments.

I "think" that Mike Judge must be from Texas. And, that also explains why the printer scene uses the Scarface/Ghetto Boys music (Tx based artist). Note that Scarface plays UpGreyed in Idiocracy too.

Swingline introduced a red stapler to its product line after the Milton character used one painted that color in the film.
Silicon Valley was Mike Judge too and it was pretty great.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
B&M stores won't survive if they don't have good management and good employees. That's what's really killing them.
They can't pay well if the revenue falls. I think that the ones who have a loyal following can do well if they also install, consult for new construction and sell things that are less of a commodity. A local company has two stores and they're booked months in advance for custom install- not exactly high-end, but higher-end.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
They can't pay well if the revenue falls. I think that the ones who have a loyal following can do well if they also install, consult for new construction and sell things that are less of a commodity. A local company has two stores and they're booked months in advance for custom install- not exactly high-end, but higher-end.
That's really the smartest approach. With SO many people now being aware of "smart home" technology I don't see why an A/V company can't at least make money doing simple whole house audio or a number of other things people want, but don't know how to do. That's not even custom install. I'm talking Sonos or putting in some wifi light switches or hue bulbs.

Most folks aren't equipped to do stuff like that properly.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
That's really the smartest approach. With SO many people now being aware of "smart home" technology I don't see why an A/V company can't at least make money doing simple whole house audio or a number of other things people want, but don't know how to do. That's not even custom install. I'm talking Sonos or putting in some wifi light switches or hue bulbs.

Most folks aren't equipped to do stuff like that properly.
It didn't reach that conclusion with the former owners in charge and without a fight- they decided to trust some 'consultants' who cared about getting paid, but not about whether the company survived. They filled the president's head with thoughts that the sales team were being paid too much, even though the commission was structured in a way that their pay showed a direct relationship to their sales, so paying them a lot meant they were selling a lot. They changed the structure and most of the sales department quit and went to work for a company in Illinois, even though they lived in the Milwaukee area. One guy lived close, but the rest were all up here. Eventually, they closed and the name & assets were bought for peanuts by a furniture/appliance company who made room for the AV dealer in two of their stores. Some have worked for the AV company since '93 or before- the service manager retired a couple of years ago and he started in about '73. The company originally opened as a piano and sheet music store in about 1903 and at one time, owned the copyright to 'On Wisconsin'. That was eventually sold to Paul McCartney's publishing company.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
That's really the smartest approach. With SO many people now being aware of "smart home" technology I don't see why an A/V company can't at least make money doing simple whole house audio or a number of other things people want, but don't know how to do. That's not even custom install. I'm talking Sonos or putting in some wifi light switches or hue bulbs.

Most folks aren't equipped to do stuff like that properly.
Unfortunately for many people, it's not legal for light switches to be installed by anyone who isn't or doesn't work for a licensed electrical contractor- OTOH, a lot of these have been changed without an nobody died, so..... Any company who installs electrical devices that are powered is risking a lot of liability- it's not a good idea for them to steam ahead and do it, so most will use an electrician they know and trust. Bulbs are no big deal, but when houses have knob & tube wiring or three-way switches, people become confused- any time knob & tube is disturbed, code requires that it be cut back to prevent using is again (on both ends) and new wiring installed in its place. That's not something for non-licensed people to tackle.

The thing that's needed- offer something that can't be bought online and do many things better than anyone else in the area. I wouldn't dream of letting some local people do retro work on my house, even though they sell good equipment and have been around for decades because I have seen their work.

I think that smaller stores could work but again, they need to offer something unique and they need to stay on top of the changes that are happening.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Unfortunately for many people, it's not legal for light switches to be installed by anyone who isn't or doesn't work for a licensed electrical contractor- OTOH, a lot of these have been changed without an nobody died, so..... Any company who installs electrical devices that are powered is risking a lot of liability- it's not a good idea for them to steam ahead and do it, so most will use an electrician they know and trust. Bulbs are no big deal, but when houses have knob & tube wiring or three-way switches, people become confused- any time knob & tube is disturbed, code requires that it be cut back to prevent using is again (on both ends) and new wiring installed in its place. That's not something for non-licensed people to tackle.

The thing that's needed- offer something that can't be bought online and do many things better than anyone else in the area. I wouldn't dream of letting some local people do retro work on my house, even though they sell good equipment and have been around for decades because I have seen their work.

I think that smaller stores could work but again, they need to offer something unique and they need to stay on top of the changes that are happening.
True, bad example since that is the cast most places about anything electrical, but it'd be easy enough to have an electrician on the payroll to comply with such regulations.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
True, bad example since that is the cast most places about anything electrical, but it'd be easy enough to have an electrician on the payroll to comply with such regulations.
I don't know of too many electricians who are interested enough in low voltage to want to do it, so keeping a sparky on the payroll is expensive. If the contractor is large enough and they need it, it does make life easier because just having a licensed electrician on staff makes it possible for the low voltage guys to do the work when it's needed, without causing the project to pause in order to pull a permit, get another contractor out and have it inspected. I worked for one of those and we were able to drop a whip for a TV without calling anyone- we just needed to make sure it was communicated and documented so the electrician could handle the admin. Not all of us were doing high voltage, only those of us who had shown that we knew how, knew the applicable code, etc.
 
ellisr63

ellisr63

Full Audioholic
I never had that type experience, but I certainly saw plenty of returns on the shelf, marked as such, and discounted pricing.
I cleared their whole stock of JVC Super VHS tapes one day as they were priced the same as the cheapest vhs tape at one is the South Bay.

Sent from my SM-T830 using Tapatalk
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
I don't know of too many electricians who are interested enough in low voltage to want to do it, so keeping a sparky on the payroll is expensive. If the contractor is large enough and they need it, it does make life easier because just having a licensed electrician on staff makes it possible for the low voltage guys to do the work when it's needed, without causing the project to pause in order to pull a permit, get another contractor out and have it inspected. I worked for one of those and we were able to drop a whip for a TV without calling anyone- we just needed to make sure it was communicated and documented so the electrician could handle the admin. Not all of us were doing high voltage, only those of us who had shown that we knew how, knew the applicable code, etc.
I agree, but it's a cart before the horse situation. If you don't have an electrician on staff, you shouldn't advertise that portion of the business. If you get the work before the electrician is hired, then you have a different set of issues. Glad I don't have to make those decisions.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I agree, but it's a cart before the horse situation. If you don't have an electrician on staff, you shouldn't advertise that portion of the business. If you get the work before the electrician is hired, then you have a different set of issues. Glad I don't have to make those decisions.
If someone doesn't have a sparky, advertising anything about high voltage can be a problem WRT false advertising unless they explain their services in detail. I couldn't guess the number of people who heard that a whip for a TV was needed and they asked "Well, can't you just....?", even after hearing the reasons that we 'can't just...'. I have explained this and people said they wouldn't tell anyone- my response was "What if nobody survives the fire?". If I do high voltage work and a fire occurs, my liability insurer will never cover it and if nobody else does any work at the house, 'last hands' enters the picture, as in "the last hands working here caused it" whether that was true, or not.

I worked for an integrator what was ridiculously well-funded, so they could have several programmers, hire an electrician, lighting designers, etc- not all of us can do that, so we either need to reach the point where we can do more/all of it or set up some arrangements for faster service with other trades- if that works well, it's great but during the busy times, people will have to wait. That, however, doesn't mean they can just go to anyone else in the area because not all integrators have the ability to get it done faster. Some don't even think about this until they have lost jobs because of it.
 
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M

MTVhike

Audioholic Intern
I tend to buy my stuff from a local "high end" vendor, or mail order from the mfr.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
I passed by yesterday. The signs are gone from the headquarters building.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
I passed by yesterday. The signs are gone from the headquarters building.
Sad really. Covid really has taken its toll on businesses that were already struggling. It really did expose how many were on the brink.
 

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