Cult-favorite electronics store shutters Austin location among nationwide closing
A go-to chain for tech tinkerers looking for an obscure party is permanently closing its doors nationwide.
Fry's Electronics, well-known for outlandish themes at some of its stores, from Aztec to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, said Wednesday, February 24 in an online posting that the COVID-19 pandemic had made it impossible to continue. The statement notes:
The Company ceased regular operations and began the wind-down process on February 24, 2021. 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 store's online presence appears largely to have been shut down. When trying to search the store locator, users are sent to a "404 error page not found" page. Meanwhile, its Facebook page has been taken down.
The popular software and electronics retailer has 31 stores operating in nine states; most are in Texas and California, including one in North Austin.
Fry's opened its first store in Sunnyvale, California, in 1985.
The pandemic has done heavy damage to retailers, but Fry's was already getting hammered by online competition and a battle between heavy-hitters Best Buy and Amazon.
Customers with electronics being repaired in-store are being asked to pick them up and can contact the following email addresses for the following issues:
- For customers who have equipment currently being repaired, email firstname.lastname@example.org, to arrange for return of your equipment.
- For customers with items needing repair under a Performance Service Contract, call 800-811-1745.
- For consignment vendors needing to pick up their consignment inventory at Fry's locations, email email@example.com.