Fry's Electronics' Abrupt Closure Of All Stores Nationwide Was Accelerated By COVID-19

frys electronics stores closing
Fry's Electronics was once a prime destination for enthusiasts looking to grab the latest gear for their PC gaming rigs (among other things). However, in recent years, the family-owned retail chain has become a shell of its former self. The remaining stores have mostly looked like ghost towns with barren shelves, and the product left behind was often outdated. However, it now appears that the COVID-19 pandemic has put the final nail in the coffin for the 35-year-old retail chain.

In a note on its website, Fry's Electronics confirmed that its remaining 31 stores scattered across 19 states are being closed for good. The company cites two primary causes for ending operations: the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and "changes in the retail industry."

Fry's Electronics goes on to say that it "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." But what about the company's loyal customers? Fry's Electronics says that the "wind-down" phase for ending its operations started today, and that it is currently contacting "customers with repairs and consignment vendors" to inform them of the company's next steps.

However, all is not lost if you're a customer with a system in for repair or if you purchased a Performance Service Contract. Fry's Electronics says that you can email to arrange for your equipment to be returned to you. Given the company's status, you may receive a device that hasn't been repaired yet. For those under a Performance Service Contract, Fry's asks customers to contact (800) 811-1745.

Fry's Electronics joins a long list of brick-and-mortar stores that have closed over the years that have been unable to adapt to market forces. We've seen the demise of CompUSA, Circuit City, Radio Shack, and most recently, the Microsoft Store (which wasn't even around all that long). While many have blamed the massive online retail behemoth Amazon for killing off these legacy brick and mortar stores, Best Buy has been able to adapt and thrive with both physical locations and an extensive online presence.

(Top image courtesy Harry McCracken via Twitter)