Is Fry's Electronics Headed Towards Bankruptcy?

The number of brick-and-mortar electronics shops available to do-it-yourself (DIY) system builders and consumer electronics (CE) junkies has fallen dramatically in the past several years. First it was Good Guys that fell by the wayside in 2005, then CompUSA that sunk itself into financial trouble a year later before being bought out by Systemax, and finally Circuit City, which Systemax also scooped up after the chain filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Could Fry's Electronics be next?

Take this with a grain of salt, but a popular news and rumor site claims to have heard from sources (and confirmed with store employees "more than willing" to broach the subject) that Fry's Electronics has fallen behind in payments to vendors by several months. These aren't rinky-dink vendors either, but big-name suppliers like Seagate and Western Digital.

Fry's Electronics
The oldest Fry's Electronics store in existence, seen here, is located in Palo Alto, California.

"At least one San Francisco bay area store's shelving and stock resembled the last days of Circuit City, and The Good Guys as they prepared to be shuttered," the site indicated.

Fry's Electronics has mostly been able to keep itself out of the headlines, save for a recent settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in which the company forked over $2.3 million to settle sexual harassment charges.

If Fry's Electronics was to fall -- and we're not saying it will or won't -- it would leave Best Buy and Micro Center as the last ones standing, plus a spattering of Circuit City 41 CompUSA and retails stores under Systemax's leadership (as Systemax pointed out to us in a followup email). The Internet boom has proved rough for brick-and-mortar electronics shores, while online vendors like Amazon and Newegg continue to thrive.