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Frys Electronics Shutters...


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Impressive they lasted as long as they did since online shopping came along.  Notorious for their terrible customer service, even in the 1990s.  The story was it grew out of a supermarket (food) chain in the LA area started by the father.

 

In the television series "Mr. Robot" two hackers from the east coast (of the US) went on the lam and ended up working at  San Jose Fry's, pretty funny.

 

 

Edited by bendejo
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43 minutes ago, hereforgood said:

I used to wake up each Sunday morning and check the newspaper for there specials and  most weeks was there for something or other.

 

Yep, the Frys ad on the back of section A... Always a few good peripherals for a net cost of zero, after rebate.  My rebates always came. 

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I'm sure I still have something or 'tother from Fry's. Fantastic in its day--I know that San Jose store--but the business model didn't keep up with the times & competition. BestBuy had the mainstream and aggressively moved online, Micro Center offers a lot of loss leaders and combo deals--in stock, no consignment model--that require a visit to the store. Visiting the store, a.k.a. Mecca, always means buying a lot more than intended.

 

Computer City, CompUSA, Circuit City, Radio Shack . . . Fry's. Next.

 

 

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1 hour ago, BigStar said:

I'm sure I still have something or 'tother from Fry's. Fantastic in its day--I know that San Jose store--but the business model didn't keep up with the times & competition. BestBuy had the mainstream and aggressively moved online, Micro Center offers a lot of loss leaders and combo deals--in stock, no consignment model--that require a visit to the store. Visiting the store, a.k.a. Mecca, always means buying a lot more than intended.

 

Computer City, CompUSA, Circuit City, Radio Shack . . . Fry's. Next.

 

 

Best Buy made a strong recovery after near death.. They seemed to be a little more focused on service than price, and were kind of innovators with the Geek Squad.  Funny how quiting Windows eliminated 99% of my issues.  Does this make Newegg the leader? 

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14 minutes ago, moontang said:

Best Buy made a strong recovery after near death.. They seemed to be a little more focused on service than price, and were kind of innovators with the Geek Squad.  Funny how quiting Windows eliminated 99% of my issues.  Does this make Newegg the leader? 

Maybe, but less exciting. Gotta read those reviews, though. Newegg, Micro Center, Amazon, and Best Buy seem vying for the lead:

 

https://old.reddit.com/r/buildapcsales/

 

Lot of geek buzz about Fry's there:

 

https://old.reddit.com/r/buildapcsales/comments/lr5j05/meta_frys_electronics_closing_all_stores/

 

Walmart's doing a bit of me-too. Well, I don't see Amazon going out of business anytime soon.

Edited by BigStar
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Shocking but not surprising.

Loved their super liberal return policy but wasted a ton of money there back in my early technology adopter days. You know like paying 500 dollars for something that would be 20 dollars in a few years max.

 

 

Edited by Jingthing
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2 hours ago, Jingthing said:

Shocking but not surprising.

Loved their super liberal return policy but wasted a ton of money there back in my early technology adopter days. You know like paying 500 dollars for something that would be 20 dollars in a few years max.

 

 

It was a wakeup call for me in realizing that there was much better money in software, as opposed to most aspects of hardware.  Not quite a race to zero like the brokerages, but there were razor thin margins, if at all, with declining prices.  There is a Micron plant near my parent's and met plenty at happy hour making great money, but they were very removed from the actually manufacturing process, which featured help wanted ads in Spanish paying 8.50 per hour us. 

Edited by moontang
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On 2/26/2021 at 1:39 PM, lopburi3 said:

Back in the days these were my go to mail order sources:

image.jpeg.990b334a574969151e5b8a3d1425bb42.jpegAllied Radio—1928-1970image.jpeg.e0be21e44a9add9ab43bf2407d7cc001.jpeg

Olsons, thank you. My little Olson's stereo sounded lots better than the name brands. Radio Shack, of course.

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19 minutes ago, BigStar said:

Olsons, thank you. My little Olson's stereo sounded lots better than the name brands. Radio Shack, of course.

I bought a lot of things from Olson in the 50's - very good prices and good quality.  First mono tube amp was from them along with below record changer and Norelco speaker the we installed in University enclosure we made for first HiFi unit.

 

 

image.jpeg

Edited by lopburi3
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Man, we got some real fossils on this board! 🙂

 

Anyone recall Lafayette?

lafayette2.jpg.bf26ea880651b0c6d958d9a86a4e0afb.jpg

Guaranteed 2nd rate stuff.  Bought my first stereo from them in 1968, looked something like this, but cheesier

suitcase1.jpg.4950614c3aac97d9a1f53c2cd637c860.jpg

 

But hey, it was solid state!  My friends who had more $$ than me had vacuum tube amps.

 

 

Edited by bendejo
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5 hours ago, bendejo said:

Man, we got some real fossils on this board! 🙂

 

Anyone recall Lafayette?

lafayette2.jpg.bf26ea880651b0c6d958d9a86a4e0afb.jpg

Guaranteed 2nd rate stuff.  Bought my first stereo from them in 1968, looked something like this, but cheesier

suitcase1.jpg.4950614c3aac97d9a1f53c2cd637c860.jpg

 

But hey, it was solid state!  My friends who had more $$ than me had vacuum tube amps.

 

 

Indeed (knew there was one other but forgot the name) - used often in the 50's as price affordable - not the mark down deals of Olsen but cheaper than Allied (which was beyond my "student" price range for most things).

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I really liked Frys - - had not been to one in several years but each time it was nice to browse their store just to get ideas.  I recall that much of it was cheap but serviceable stuff, coupled with last year's technology at reasonable prices, along with the newer stuff.  In all it was a huge retail outlet filled with cool gadgetry.  I never thought that a visit was a waste of time.  

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Fry's in Burbank California in the 90's with the crashed UFO sticking out of the front of the building. 

 

Not far from my work place and I would wander around for hours. 

 

For the real USA geeks do you know Universal Radio? just going out of business after 79 years. Sadness. 

 

https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/index2.html

 

download.jPG

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I used to visit a friend over in San Carlos, CA in the mid 90's. Into computers and stuff we had nothing like Fry's at home in the UK. Always enjoyed a visit to Fry's to check and buy the latest components to make Windows 95 run that little bit faster. I'm surprised the store chain lasted so long too. 

 

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8 minutes ago, soi3eddie said:

I used to visit a friend over in San Carlos, CA in the mid 90's. Into computers and stuff we had nothing like Fry's at home in the UK. Always enjoyed a visit to Fry's to check and buy the latest components to make Windows 95 run that little bit faster. I'm surprised the store chain lasted so long too. 

 

I saw the Moody Blues, and The Band at the Circle Star, in the round, in San Carlos.  I wonder what year it was demolished. 

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13 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

Never heard of Frys.

 

The Best Foods Mayo of electronics stores I guess.

 

 

 

 

 

Not really.

In its heyday it was nerds central. In a good way. More than a store. A cultural phenomenon. 

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18 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

Never heard of Frys.

 

The Best Foods Mayo of electronics stores I guess.

 

 

 

 

 

The first stores were so close to many of the most significant tech companies.. Intel, Apple, HP, Sun.. it provided a look at its heartbeat, and even more so because Mr Softie was up in Redmond..most knew what was going on up there. Who Recalls that free magazine, was it Computer Weekly?  About 100 small, mostly hardware firms, competing to the penny on absolutely everything PC.  Lots of system builders, who were eventually steamrolled by MS.  Many were Asian immigrant family businesses. 

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19 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

Never heard of Frys.

 

The Best Foods Mayo of electronics stores I guess.

 

 

 

 

 

Don't feel alone - it did not start electronics (big box stores) until 1985 on West Coast and never had more than 40, almost none on East Coast and not anywhere near where I was located.

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1 hour ago, lopburi3 said:

almost none on East Coast

 

Yup.

 

Hence my Best Foods Mayo (vs. Hellmanns) comment.

 

Honestly, until yesterday, when I saw a tweet that Frys was going belly-up I had never heard of it.

 

I'll take someone's word that it was a "cultural phemomenon". 🙄

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

 

Yup.

 

Hence my Best Foods Mayo (vs. Hellmanns) comment.

 

Honestly, until yesterday, when I saw a tweet that Frys was going belly-up I had never heard of it.

 

I'll take someone's word that it was a "cultural phemomenon". 🙄

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you doubt me?

Tsk tsk.

To be clear I'm specifically talking about Frys in its earlier years in Silicon Valley.

 

https://mondaynote.com/the-frys-era-8709a7e602eb

 

 

The Fry’s Era

 

Throughout the 90’s and aughts, Fry’s Electronics was a Silicon Valley institution, a truly aboriginal techie bazaar where geeks could find everything they needed to live in autarky, from logic boards to voltmeters, dried noodles to “nice” clothes for a job interview, magazines, energy bars, mini-fridges… A quarter-century later, Fry’s stores have become sad, pale shadows of their glorious past.

 

Edited by Jingthing
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When I used to make my annual trip from Jomtien to Hemet CA to visit my folks, my first stop after picking up a rental car at LAX would be to visit Frys in Manattan Beach.  Even as groggy as I could be after a 24 hour (or longer) trip, I'd perk right up as I wandered the aisles, filling my cart with stuff I probably didn't *need* but wanted.  They had everything from state-of-the art CPUs, obscure screws, fittings and cables, home electronics, etc.

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On 2/27/2021 at 9:17 PM, ChrisP24 said:

I really liked Frys - - had not been to one in several years but each time it was nice to browse their store just to get ideas.  I recall that much of it was cheap but serviceable stuff, coupled with last year's technology at reasonable prices, along with the newer stuff.  In all it was a huge retail outlet filled with cool gadgetry.  I never thought that a visit was a waste of time.  

 

Good thing you spared yourself the grief.  Last time I went to a Fry's, their shelves were pretty much bare.  It was sad.  That was about a year ago.

 

I used to love Fry's back in the '90s in SoCal.  It was the only physical place to get computer stuff on the component level.  All the other stores were selling systems.  I wanted that expansion card to add another port, or a little more RAM, or a PCMCIA card or adapter cable for less than $50.  And sometimes I picked up a scanner, printer or other complete system because...impulse shopping and the price was right.

 

That business model started dying when EBay came on the scene.  Killed stone cold dead by Amazon...

 

Edited by impulse
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