The coronavirus pandemic has been the perfect storm for Fry’s Electronics. Closed stores offered only curbside pickup and deliveries. Opened stores had less inventory and fewer employees than before. Since every retailer is zombie retailer these days, there’s nothing special about Fry’s Electronics. I’ll cover six little known updates about Fry’s Electronics.
Sacramento Store Looting/Closing
During the George Floyd protests last June, looters looted a Sacramento strip mall. One of the looted stores was a Fry’s Electronics. I know what you’re thinking: “But Fry’s doesn’t have anything to loot!” The looters, of course, realized their mistake and looted the nearby Dollar Store. The Dollar Store had a much better selection to loot from. Management “temporarily closed” the store and transferred the inventory to the Roseville store. Five months later, the store is still closed. I’ve mentioned in my previous videos that real estate developers are closing stores. That’s not the case this time. Management decided that boarding up the store was cheaper than repairing the damages.
Palo Alto Store Update
An update to the Palo Alto, CA, store that closed in earlier this year. The city’s plan to turn the location into a mixed development of housing and retail fell to the wayside. The owner/developer requested a zoning change to bring in a Target store. Having a Target store in Palo Alto would be a big deal. Palo Alto doesn’t have any big box stores within its borders. Residents have to go to East Palo Alto, Menlo Park or Mountain View to shop at a Target store. A group of residents want to the city to buy out the property to build affordable housing instead. It’s all up in the air now.
Woodland Hills Store Update
An update to the Woodland Hills, CA, store that closed earlier this year. The new owners have filed a proposal with the city of Los Angeles in September to build 800 apartments and a hotel. Nearby is a $1.5 billion USD redevelopment for new housing, retail, office, hotel, and small stadium.
California Distribution Center Closing
Fry’s Electronics announced the closure of their Hanford, CA, distribution center in October. Hanover is halfway between northern and southern California in the Central Valley. When most of your stores are empty, it doesn’t make sense to keep an empty warehouse in the middle of nowhere. Fry’s operated the distribution center with 150 employees since 2013.
The War With Grandpa Store
You may have noticed a Fry’s Electronics store in the trailer for The War With Grandpa. A store with stocked shelves, customers looking around, and employees being helpful. Where was this miraculous store located at? The movie filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2017. Fry’s was still very much in business back then. It’s unclear if this was the Milton or Duluth store in the movie. The Duluth store closed last year because there were too many stores in the area. Never mind that Fry’s had only two stores in the entire state. A pre-owned car dealership took over the location.
Campbell Store Closing
Fry’s Electronics tweeted the closure of the Campbell, CA, store last week. They “will repurpose the space in the near future.” What does that mean? The city of Campbell is looking at that area as a future redevelopment zone. If Fry’s owns the property, I expect them to file a mixed development proposal at city hall. That’s what they’re doing with their San Jose headquarters. Unlike all the other store closings, the Campbell store hurts the most. This was my store for over 25 years.
Fry’s Electronics is down to 30 stores in a handful of states. I expect real estate developers to close more stores in 2021.