FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. — Fry’s Electronics, a big box chain store specializing in selling high-tech and consumer electronics, is closing for good.
The San Jose-based company posted a message on its website at midnight Wednesday announcing that it would close all 31 of its stores across nine states. Fry’s had at least five locations in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
“[Fry’s] 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 statement read. “The company 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.”
The closure comes amid the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus catalyzed downturn, along with the rise of e-commerce and other tech competitors, was the final nail in the company’s coffin.
Founded in the mid-1980s in Sunnyvale by John Fry and his brothers, Fry’s quickly grew into a consumer electronics retail powerhouse as a one-stop-shop store for all types of electronic goods.
At its height, Fry's had more than 34 stores and 14,000 employees across the nation. The stores ranged in size from 50,000 to 180,000 square feet of space, and each was individually themed with a quirky design.
In 2011, the privately held company reported more than $2 billion in revenue, according to news reports.
But in the past several years, Fry’s has struggled to adapt to a changing consumer landscape.
The rise of Amazon, e-commerce, and a more competitive retail marketplace — and paying for large retail spaces in a pandemic where foot traffic is limited — all contributed to the company's downfall.
In the past two years, the company began closing other stores, including a 144,000-square-foot store in Anaheim. There were reports of people walking in the cavernous Fry’s store and seeing barren and empty store shelves leading up to the announced closures.