Like other once-thriving brick-and-mortar retailers, Fry’s Electronics stores seem to be slowly disappearing. The latest casualty for the San Jose-based chain is its store on Hamilton Avenue in Campbell.
The company made an announcement on Twitter on Tuesday that the store was now closed. It also said it would somehow repurpose the property in the near future but no plans were released.
The post also thanked shoppers and urged them to visit other Fry’s locations in San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Fremont.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Fry’s closed its Palo Alto location in January, and an Anaheim store in March.
Fry’s stores are known for their unique-themes that were different at each location. The Palo Alto store was Western-themed, and the Campbell store was modeled after ancient Eygpt.
According to the Mercury News, as Fry’s stores started reopening to customers around the country, many customers complained on social media that the locations had empty shelves and were out of stock on dozens of items.
Fry’s denied being in financial trouble before the pandemic, per the Chronicle, and the company is still reportedly struggling as it tries to shift into a new consignment-based business model with its vendors.
The closure of the Campbell location brings the total number of Fry’s stores left in the U.S. to 30, with 14 of them here in California.
But the days could also be numbered for the Fry’s location on Brokaw Road in San Jose. Plans are in the works for that property to become a massive, new tech campus as reported by the Mercury News in April.
When all the construction is finally done, several new buildings featuring an estimated 2-million square feet of office space would span the 20-acre site.
Electronics chains similar to Fry’s, like Circuit City and CompUSA, bit the dust years before the pandemic, and with the devastation the recession has already had on the retail sector, it makes sense that large electronics retailers like Fry’s would be losing ground against competitors like Amazon. Best Buy has been held up as an example of how a big-box electronics store has succeeded in fending off Amazon competition, but Fry's doesn't seem to be thriving in the same way (and even some Best Buy locations don't seem long for this world).
It remains to be seen whether Fry’s Electronics ends up surviving the pandemic, or continues a downward spiral.