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This is the end (of Fry's) My only friend, the end

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Having lived on the East Coast I have only been to Fry's just a few times. Kind of sad to see it go even though plenty of people saw it as basically a best buy. Look's like they are starting clearance sales. At least Fry's will always have that cameo in Mr. Robot.


 
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Thats unfortunate, I have never been to a Frys. I have no love for the local Best Buy, but I am glad my local Microcenter is still around here and I buy a good amount from them.
 
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I would lose whole days perusing the Frys in the Chicagoland area when I lived there. Sad to see another store head to the CompUSA Circuit City grave. :( Looks like sales tax enforcement for the online stores came too late...
 
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Bought a Socket A system from them long ago when I lived near one. I remember kicking myself for not going into it sooner, as I went just before I moved. Back then, there were many "electronics" stores, and some really sucked because they were giant showrooms with teams of sales people pushing extended warranties. Not Frys. It was a geek's warehouse. At least I still have a microcenter!
 

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It would be smart to thin out inventories and close certain locations and keep others if they want to survive. That's what I would do--trim the fat and keep the profitable locations.
 
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Looks like sales tax enforcement for the online stores came too late...
Frankly, that'd never have made a difference anyways. Retail just has too much overhead.
 
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Frankly, that'd never have made a difference anyways. Retail just has too much overhead.
It made a much bigger difference than people think. When looking at out-the-door costs, shipping was always cheaper than local sales tax, and then online retailers started to absorb the cost of the shipping, which gave them an unfair advantage. If both models had tax enforcement the entire time, I think it would have given the opportunity for the 'best of the best' to still be around. In today's climate, online always wins on price, and no sales tax had a lot to do with that.
 
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It made a much bigger difference than people think. When looking at out-the-door costs, shipping was always cheaper than local sales tax, and then online retailers started to absorb the cost of the shipping, which gave them an unfair advantage. If both models had tax enforcement the entire time, I think it would have given the opportunity for the 'best of the best' to still be around. In today's climate, online always wins on price, and no sales tax had a lot to do with that.
I think there is just no way ultimately, push come to shove, retail can truly price match online, pay it's employees/rent, and be profitable.

That is really the heart of the problem. Sales tax may have helped, but it would have only been a short term fix. That, and I still question what right my state has to tax me on a product literally bought and sold in another state, but meh. Law is law.
 
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The Frys out by me is usually doing well any time I've gone in there. Usually more people there than BestBuy.

After Tiger Direct closed (live close to the warehouse in Naperville Il) it was rather depressing.

Now, Online shopping has a grip on me. I miss walking into the stores and buying hardware. The chicago taxes also make it difficult.
 

Nkd

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They have responded to every comment on facebook lately. I don't think they are closing, I was thinking the same thing. I think they are getting leaner like Microcenter is. ofcourse microcenter is going to look more filled then frys because the sheer size of frys. They didn't used to respond and Below is finally their response to every customer talking about low stock.

"i! We apologize for the low stock levels in our stores. We are moving to a consignment model with our vendors.

During the transition, we have to temporarily stop ordering product as we put new consignment agreements in place.

As of now, we have over 170 vendors on consignment and adding more every week! We appreciate your patience and support during this transition. ^Billy"
 
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I think there is just no way ultimately, push come to shove, retail can truly price match online, pay it's employees/rent, and be profitable.

That is really the heart of the problem. Sales tax may have helped, but it would have only been a short term fix. That, and I still question what right my state has to tax me on a product literally bought and sold in another state, but meh. Law is law.
Owning a physical distribution business at one point, I can say that you can truly exceed online value and be profitable--but it has to be a time-based thing, ie, you need it today and can't wait. This was definitely the case for auto parts, even though people could wait if they timed all their jobs perfectly. And 5-7% on most goods isn't much of a premium compared to overnight shipping, so same-day local wins. It's one of the reasons free in store pickup has made the retailers relevant again.

It's actually the federal government that should be dealing with the state tax issue since one of the jobs of the federal government is to regulate interstate commerce. The problem is that the sheer number of taxing entities--states, counties, and municipalities makes the whole job a tremendous load on a business. At the federal level there should have been a system established to tie into pos systems and remit the taxes collected daily, just as how the merchant systems pay retailers daily. No more returns, no more reconciliations outside of the daily register balances, and no more wondering if it is correct or not.

In the state of Alabama where I was a distributor, I only had to collect taxes for my retail customers which was less than 20% of my overall customer base. And I still had to make a spreadsheet to help me calculate and file over 40 returns to different municipalities, counties, and the state. And this didn't even cover business licenses, which also need to be obtained if you sell even a single retail product in a particular municipality or county, of course in addition to the state.

The defacto rule for many years was that each state honored taxes as being paid as long as they were in another state. But when taxes were not being collected by mail order companies for any state, that's where the problem began. Technically, taxes were due from every consumer of every product sold, but the challenge was how to make them pay for it outside the sale process--hence the introduction of 'use tax' which hardly anyone pays because they are unaware of it. And use tax was really just a band-aid anyways--companies, every company, charging and remitting the proper tax was the real solution, and they're finally getting around to it. And the companies are popping up to help manage all that as the database of just all the tax rates and zip codes has got to be enormous--especially keeping up with it in real-time and adjusting sales systems for any changes immediately. This overhead far exceeds the local retailer that's got at the most 3 tax rates to worry about and 3 places to send it. And that's what would have leveled the playing field a bit between online and store retailers.

The Frys out by me is usually doing well any time I've gone in there. Usually more people there than BestBuy.

After Tiger Direct closed (live close to the warehouse in Naperville Il) it was rather depressing.

Now, Online shopping has a grip on me. I miss walking into the stores and buying hardware. The chicago taxes also make it difficult.
Wow, I had no idea Tiger Direct was there too. I really missed out. I never even got a chance to see abt while I was living there.

Online has its plusess and walk-in has its as well. It's nice to actually see the hardware and see it in action or check something you can't see in pictures or spec sheets. Online is great in that you don't even have to leave home and you get what you want usually for the cheapest you can find it for.

I think the old Service Merchandise retail model would have done absolutely terrific in this environment. They had everything you could buy out on the retail floor to see, but you wrote down your order based on the item numbers and whatnot and then went to check out. After checking out, you went to the pickup area where the items came out on a belt directly from the stocked warehouse--they didn't waste effort stocking the products on a sales floor. Today, you could update that model with an amazon store like interface where you simply scan your items and then tell it you want to pick up and then get them at the delivery belt. Maybe a little too connected this way, but you could have small handheld pos units that would do the scanning and totaling and you swipe your card on them and they print a receipt for pickup. And the same warehouse could also work on fulfilling shipment orders in the same manner so the delivery of belt or ship would be the only difference. Too bad Service Merchandise went out 20+ years ago. I still have a lot of stuff we bought from there.

They have responded to every comment on facebook lately. I don't think they are closing, I was thinking the same thing. I think they are getting leaner like Microcenter is. ofcourse microcenter is going to look more filled then frys because the sheer size of frys. They didn't used to respond and Below is finally their response to every customer talking about low stock.

"i! We apologize for the low stock levels in our stores. We are moving to a consignment model with our vendors.

During the transition, we have to temporarily stop ordering product as we put new consignment agreements in place.

As of now, we have over 170 vendors on consignment and adding more every week! We appreciate your patience and support during this transition. ^Billy"
That's awesome that they're able to do things on consignment--that's actually badass. Then their cash requirement and holding costs go way down, and the manufacturer can probably dictate the price which means they are taking the bulk of the profit and frys will need high volume to make serious money. But this sounds like what MC may be doing already as their prices are sometimes too cheap to believe.
 
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Went in there a couple of weeks ago. Shelves were bare

They did however have a bunch of $5 keyboards
 
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Mech or just $5 keyboards? :D
You can't make money selling $5 keyboards. They also had a bunch of really discounted toys, and other junk. The store looks completely different.
 
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Actually for me, I had only ever known Fry’s as an online store (didn’t know they had physical stores). I had bought a number of computer parts from them online over the years. They definitely have a web presence, so that is not the issue.
 

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Actually for me, I had only ever known Fry’s as an online store (didn’t know they had physical stores). I had bought a number of computer parts from them online over the years. They definitely have a web presence, so that is not the issue.
For me brick and mortar, skt A was the build then.
 
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The biggest thing I remember about Frys was their return line.
 
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You can't make money selling $5 keyboards. They also had a buck of really discounted toys, and other junk. The store looks completely different.
You'd be surprised--with a 200-300% margin, it's the junk stuff that really makes money if you can move it.
 
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Only reason I visit a IRL store anymore (for tech products, that is) is MicroCenter usually has cheap Ryzen deals or good Open Box prices, Best Buy/Walmart occasionally screws up and lists stuff for cheap (8750H/1060 laptop for $400) but not often.
 
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The Chicago-area Frys has been going downhill for the better part of a decade.

Their pricing is not competitive, their selection of brands/models has been increasingly poor, their shelf stock is old/outdated but still listed at full launch retail many years later; I could go on. Discrete PC components are affected so badly that they might as well not offer any for sale. "Lets see....for RAM, you have a choice of Patriot Memory or Generic Brand B, both for 70-150% above the going price. Wait, whoops, every single one of them is out of stock. If you're interested, we have this Socket 775 motherboard with all the pins smashed down and a missing heatsink clip for $239.95"

If you actually manage to find something you want and ask for a price-match, they'll add the cost of "shipping" even when said-item includes free shipping from multiple online retailers. With a Microcenter just a few miles away (who, by the way is absolutely killing it as a retailer), there's no reason to deal with this BS. When Frys finally goes out, the only thing of value we'll lose is quick access to several isles of discrete electrical components (resistors, capacitors, switches, etc). To the best of my knowledge, no other retailers offer these in any meaningful capacity, though there's probably a warehouse/wholesaler in an industrial park somewhere who are just much less visible.
 
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Brick and mortar stores aren't competitive on pricing. You can buy anything just about from Amazon and get free shipping as well. The last store I went to looking for PC hardware or games was a Circuit City over 10 years ago and they shut down brick and mortar stores as well.
 
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Brick and mortar stores aren't competitive on pricing.
Microcenter is not just competitive on CPU prices, they're often the best available anywhere. On top that, they give you $30 off a motherboard, and price-match everything else with no fuss. If anything, I've gone full circle and started moving away from online retailers whenever MC has what I need, because they're competitive and make it easy. As an example, I just bought this for a family member within the past few days:

$80 - Ryzen 5 1600 (6/12 @ 3.2Ghz)
$55 (85 with -$30 combo savings) Asus Prime B450M-A Motherboard
$63 - G Skill Ripjaw 16GB (2x8GB) 2666Mhz
----------------
$198 + Tax


That's ridiculous. I'll likely buy another set of the same Mobo/CPU to try with ECC for a NAS.
 
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