[conspire] Fry's Electronics Palo Alto, 1992-2019

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jan 8 14:30:53 PST 2020

Quoting Paul Zander (paulz at ieee.org):

> Yesterday evening, I encountered less heavy traffic enroute to a
> gathering in Sunnyvale.  I went to the Fry's store just to look
> around.   Many bare shelves and hooks.  In the back was a prominent
> display for Go Pro.  I think there might have been one camera.  The
> rest was just accessories.  Several aisles of shelves had been
> totally removed.  Only the traffic pattern in the carpet gave a clue
> as to what had been there.  The only department that was not mostly
> empty was appliances.  There were many stoves and clothes washers in
> boxes.  

Obviously, something very weird and potentially terminal is (still)
going on, chain-wide, and the same pattern (as what you describe) is
also reported at Fry's locations in the other Fry's states such as
Arizona and Washington.  The employees and spokescritters, when
questioned, will consistently respond with seeming openness about what
they know, which is that (a) they claim there are uncertainties and
difficulties related to trade/tariff issues with China, and (b) that
Fry's management have been transitioning a significant percentage of the
carried inventory & shelf space to a consignment business model.  And
that is the whole explanation that's been on offer, to my knowledge,
over the past year-ish that this weirdness has been noticed.

Noticed by, most recently, one of the SF Chronicle's busines reporters:


   Is Fry’s Electronics in trouble? Company denies it, but empty shelves
   tell story
   by Shwanika Narayan
   Jan. 2. 2020

Article quotes a retail analyst as speculating that a sudden shift to a
consignment model suggests a cash crunch.

I cannot help noticing that the flurry of articles from Bay Area news
outlets about the empty-shelves-at-Fry's story over the past year
inevitably say that customers have migrated to Best Buy and to online
vendors, but never mention Central Computers -- which just goes to show
that the reporters covering the 'technology' beat just aren't
computerists at all.

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