While reading news articles, forum posts and viewer comments about the future of Fry’s Electronics, I kept coming across a specific date for when the entire chain is to shut down for good: Monday, January 20, 2020. Which happens to be tomorrow. It’s also Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday in the United States. Will Fry’s Electronics — the entire chain and not just a few stores — shut down tomorrow?
The January 20, 2020 date came up in a viewer’s comment on my last Fry’s Electronics video.
“Google ‘Fry’s electronics closing’. The first thing you see is the sentence: ‘Fry’s Electronics will be closing all stores by January 20, 2020.’ No article and nothing to say this is true or not. Just thought I would let you know.”Taoist40 @ YouTube, 01/11/2020
When I did a Google search for “Fry’s electronics closing” last week, it showed that info from the website, The Layoff, where people can post anonymous comments about companies going out of business. By following that rabbit hole all the way to the bottom, I found a comment that someone heard the 01/20/2020 closing date from a Los Angeles TV news show.
That’s typical of what I’ve been seeing elsewhere. Some news outlets are confusing the closing of the Palo Alto store with the rest of the chain. It’s just sloppy reporting by reporters not double checking their facts. I haven’t found any official sources to back up that date.
A Google search for “Fry’s electronics closing” today brings up the summary for a Venture Beat article with different information than presented by The Layoff.
“Fry’s is not going out of business or closing any stores (except Palo Alto, California in January 2020, due to lease expired). No plans to close any other stores.”Google Search, 01/17/2020
I have hunch on why that is different today than it was last week.
After my last Fry’s Electronics video came out about the Palo Alto and Duluth store closings, @FrysHelp on Twitter responded to my video with this tweet.
“Hi CD, we appreciate your interest in the company! We have no plans to close down our business as we transition to this new consignment model. As you noted, Palo Alto’s lease expired with no option to renew. For Duluth, we determined we were over stored in that market. ^Billy”Twitter, 01/09/2020
It’s quite possible that this same person may have also read the comments on my video, saw the search results for The Layoff, and contacted Google to change that first search result.
Why would Google change the first search result for Fry’s Electronics?
The first search result is a Google feature called “Featured Snippets” that the automated system deemed as highly informative. There is a feedback link with several options and a comment box. That the Featured Snippets had highlighted an anonymous comment that Fry’s Electronics would close all its stores on January 20, 2020 could be “misleading or inaccurate”. Someone had obviously reported this item and Google changed it to be accurate.
Does that mean Fry’s Electronics won’t shut down tomorrow, January 20, 2020? Probably not. Whether or not they will continue to stay open in 2020 is anyone’s guess.