Will Real Estate Developers Close Fry’s Electronics in 2021?

A clear pattern has emerged with Fry’s Electronics store closings since 2019. Almost every store closure resulted from a real estate developer buying out the lease and/or property. The exception being the North Sacramento store that “temporarily closed” after looters broke in last June. Here are four new stories about our favorite zombie retailer.

Themed Stores Disappearing

SFGate wrote about Fry’s Electronics themed stores disappearing from the Bay Area. Unlike the other big box cookie-cutter stores, each Fry’s store has or had a different theme. The Palo Alto store that closed a year ago had an Old West theme. The Campbell store that closed in November had an Egyptian theme. The San Jose headquarters has a Mayan theme (the image I used in my video was the Aztec theme from the Phoenix store). The design for each 150,000-sqft store cost up to $1.5 million USD.

Walled Off Empty Stores

POC Network wrote that Fry’s Electronics closed off large sections inside their stores. Nothing screams like going out of business than having row after row of empty shelves. There’s only so much inventory that can be shuffle from closed stores to open stores.

Full Parking Lot At Anaheim Store

A Los Angeles Times reporter noted that the Fry’s Electronics store in Anaheim had a full parking lot in early December. He was on his way to Kaiser Permanente to get a coronavirus test. With only six people in line, he thought everything was great. Except that was the line for getting a flu shot. The line for getting a coronavirus test began at nearby parking lot. The Fry’s Electronics parking lot. The Anaheim store closed last March after the new property owners terminated the lease.

Developer Proposal for Renton Store

The Puget Sound Business Journal wrote that the Fry’s Electronics store in Renton, Washington, will become a 1,000-unit mixed development. A mixed development has stores on the ground level and four stories of apartments or condos above. Mixed developments are most often located near a major public transit line and/or hub. No doubt that the 1,000 units will be luxury condos due to the higher profit margins. The developer, Bay West Development, has a proposal to turn the San Jose headquarters and flagship store into an office campus.

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