Fry’s Electronics Is Closing, Another Retail Victim of Pandemic – The New York Times

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Fry’s Electronics, a favorite of tech enthusiasts, will cease operations.

Feb. 24, 2021, 9:10 a.m. ET

Feb. 24, 2021, 9:10 a.m. ET

Gregory Schmidt and

A Fry’s Electronics store in Renton, Wash. The retailer blamed the shutdown on “changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Credit…Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Fry’s Electronics, a big-box retailer that nurtured a generation of do-it-yourself tech fans and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, announced on Wednesday that it was shutting down operations, effective immediately.

The company, which is based in San Jose, Calif., replaced the contents of its website with a statement that said it had ceased operations and had begun winding down. The retailer, which built a cult following on the West Coast but was unable to compete with the rise of Amazon, blamed the shutdown on “changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“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 said.

The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on retailers, with restrictions meant to reduce the spread of the coronavirus causing foot traffic to nosedive. Several large retail chains, including Brooks Brothers, Neiman Marcus and JCPenney, have filed for bankruptcy since the pandemic hit. Macy’s, the department store chain with more than 700 stores, said on Tuesday that its sales last year plummeted 29 percent and that it posted a net loss of $3.9 billion, compared with a $564 million profit the prior year.

LinkedIn profile. The stores ranged in size from 50,000 square feet to more than 180,000 square feet, each stocked with an eclectic assortment of gadgets and parts.

Jean-Louis Gassée, a former Apple executive, wrote in a blog post in 2019.

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