Fry's Electronics Closes All 31 Stores Permanently Due to Covid-19, Including Multiple Silicon Valley Stores

Thomas Smith

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On Tuesday, February 23rd, Fry's Electronics announced via a statement on the company's website that the iconic electronics retailer would close permanently. The statement said that the closure was the result of changes to retail, as well as the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Fry's, which is basd in the San Francisco Bay Area and was founded in Silicon Valley, will close multiple local stores, including the stores in Fremont and Sunnyvale.

According to the company's statement, "After nearly 36 years in business as the one-stop-shop and online resource for high-tech professionals across nine states and 31 stores, Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s” or “Company”), has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic."

The closure and wind down process is already underway. Fry's said that "the Company ceased regular operations and began the wind-down process on February 24, 2021." Fry's also committed to an orderly wind down of its operations, saying that it "will implement the shut down through an orderly wind down process that it believes will be in the best interests of the Company, its creditors, and other stakeholders.

Fry's was originally founded in 1985, and was a popular retailer in the Silicon Valley. Many residents of the Valley have fond memories of spending childhoods browsing the shelves of Fry's for electronics and other products. On the popular technology website Reddit, one user wrote that they would miss "going there with my dad on the weekend to explore funky odd gadgets" and another wrote that "I liked the old Sunnyvale Fry's where the floor looked like a circuit board and they had gigantic models of electronic components here and there."

Fry's likely closed because of ongoing challenges with physical retail, impacts of tariffs and other increases in the costs of electronics goods, and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fry's stores could be as large as 180,000 square feet, which was likely hard to maintain with the high costs of real estate in the Silicon Valley.

It was not immediately clear whether the Fry's brand would persist beyond the company's closure, but the company's statement made clear that the closure was permanent.

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Award-winning entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of Gado Images. Thomas writes, speaks and consults about artificial intelligence, privacy, food, photography, tech, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional photographer, Thomas' photographic work regularly appears in publications worldwide. Pitches/news tips: tom@gadoimages.com

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