Fry's Electronics in Las Vegas may not make it to the end of the year: RIP, Feb 2021

Not much more to add to the thread title, really.

Fry opened here in 2002 and was insanely popular. It was an alternative to Best Buy and Circuit City for TVs and stereos and stuff but it was also fantastic because they had actual electronic components. They had a huge supply of computers, RAM, motherboards, hard drives, cases, desks, cables, etc. Lines to checkout could take 10 minutes or more to get thru during non-holiday times.

The store is massive, too: 155,000 square feet (with over 70,000 products back in the day).

The parking lots can hold hundreds and hundreds of vehicles and it wasn’t unusual for it to be more than half full mid-day during the week. Saturdays were packed.

I do tradeshows for a living and when people needed things for their show, it was pretty common for someone to make a run to Fry’s in the middle of the day to procure them.

For the past year or so, I’ve actually documented the decline it’s going thru with pictures. I don’t shop there as much as I used to because they don’t have any products to sell. Shelves that were 5 feet tall and packed are now three feet tall and empty. There is no line to checkout at any of the 112 registers. A typical day would see 15-30 registers working as people waited in line; now there are 3 or 4 with no waiting.

When this store closes, there will be almost nowhere in Las Vegas to get perf boards, resistors, switches, diodes, etc. Sandy’s is still in business, but they’re a 1200 sq. foot store with a very limited inventory.

It’s an end that even I didn’t think would come this quickly, this dramatically.

And this isn’t just my opinion. I spoke to several employees including a manager that’s been there for more than a decade and they all agreed that being open in 2020 was a long shot and being open in 2021 was almost certainly not going to happen.

At one time I spent thousands of dollars a year here on computer equipment, TVs and stereos, music, movies, household appliances and other things. Last year I doubt I spent even a hundred dollars there and soon, no one will even have the opportunity to spend there.

I’m going to miss the store, just like I miss record stores (and soon will miss bookstores). There’s just something different and better about being able to walk around and browse items, to be able to hold something in your hand before you buy it. Kids today may never know that type of shopping experience.

The world keeps on changing, eh. Can’t go back; gotta go forward.


I used to go to the local Fry’s quite often. But they really did a bunch of things to discourage me. E.g., the sale price in the ads require you to sign up for something. No thanks.

I’ve been going to MicoCenter just down the road for my local stuff. Sure, not the same array of goods, but it has what I want.

And of course online stuff for a lot of things.

(Just last week I used some wire I bought at close-out at an Incredible Universe that was in the process of becoming a Fry’s. I also used to shop at an American ??? parts store run by Tandy. And it failed, too. What a shock.)

Not just Las Vegas:

Converting most of its suppliers to consignment? Anyone what type stores where this is common?

Thanks for posting that, PastTense. Glad to know that I’m not the only one who noticed and thought to pull out my phone and snap photos.

And they’re obfuscating: this isn’t a sudden thing; I have pics from multiple visits over the past year/year-and-a-half that show a steady decline.

I was bummed when Radio Shack folded. There are still times when I need something that they would have carried and am stumped as to where to find it.

Here in the Boston area you have basically three choices for electronics components:

  1. You-Do-It electronics in Needham

  2. Wait around for the MIT Tech Flea Market on Sundays

  3. Order from DigiKey or some other catalog store by internet.

I’ve been following the threads about Fry’s at

Of course, it’s the internet and thus difficult to verify any of what’s posted. But there are any number of people claiming to be insiders that say despite whatever cheery face is put on a restocking plan, it ain’t happening. True? Not true? Can’t say, but it’s interesting reading.

It’s not dead yet!

They claim to have 500 authorized Radio Shack dealers. (And a bunch of “Radio Shack Express” things inside Hobby Town stores.) Looking at the store locater for the dealers, it seems they are often well away from big metropolitan areas.

Note that these dealers go by other names, etc.

Yeah, they still overcharge on parts.

I’ll be: you’re right. The once close to us and the one downtown both closed, so I assumed they had gone out of business.

I’m sad to see Fry’s falling so far. I live in San Jose, and we’ve visited the Campbell and Sunnyvale stores many times. I bought a computer in Sunnyvale just last year. Around here, Fry’s always had the reputation of having terrible sales staff but everything electronic you might possibly want–so as long as you knew what you wanted, it was a treasure trove with very liberal return policies. And I liked the store themes - Campbell is ancient Egypt and Sunnyvale is some kind of Silicon Valley computer-based theme.

I needed a new computer a couple months ago, and was going to go to Fry’s again until the spouse said he’d heard people at work saying the place was “circling the drain.” So I went to Best Buy instead. I think a lot of people are doing that. Fry’s is downright depressing these days.

Re: Fry’s and sales staff.

This is about 15 years ago. A friend of FtGKid2 worked in the computer dept. at our Fry’s. The kid was good at it. So good that the salary + commissions was higher than the dept. boss was making.

So guess what happened? That’s right. They changed the rules on commissions putting in limits. The kid’s salary went way down. So the kid left. And that wasn’t the only one.

So, you change the rules to drive away your best sales people? Good thinking.

Circuit City also did a thing to get rid of good, experienced sales people and look at how well that worked for them.

(It was nice to have someone you know working at a place like that. Made sure I got what I needed for the best price.)

20+ years ago, I lived in Southern California, a dozen blocks from a Fry’s, which I visited often for electronic parts. I also attended “Clone Fairs” (my term) on weekends, where a large hall was rented out to mom&pop parts dealers. I built umpteen computers and devices from those sources; one of the perks about Clone Fairs was if something seemed too expensive this month, it will be cheaper the next.

Moving to the Midwest, I despaired of finding any store or location within driving distance that offered the same product selection and prices. But the internet took over, and that’s where I buy 99% of my stuff now. In my case, it’s been a lifesaver.

Yes, holding an object in your hands or seeing it demonstrated in person has its advantages, but offerings online provide so much more information about a product. Ever try to get a data sheet in a store without opening a box? Or doing comparison shopping among vendors?

I don’t think the Clone Fairs exist anymore, so even if I had not left So Cal, I probably would use the internet now anyway. Hard to be sad about that.

Yeah–for me there were two reasons to go to Fry’s: the array of components you could get immediately, and the ability to do hands-on comparison shopping for devices with a fairly good selection in-store. If the quality of sales people hadn’t diminished more and more, I might still be going there–even with the increasing convenience of online shopping. Also, they weren’t really offering such great deals on machines. My last few visits there left a bad taste in my mouth that has kept me away for several years.

“Your best buys are always [PEW, PEW, PEW] at Fry’s! Guaranteed!” Endemic ad throughout the 90s in Silicon Valley.

Yep. Terrible, actively hostile staff and security, but almost every electronic component you could think of wanting. The Webster, TX store has a scale mockup of the ISS, or at least the hab modules, hanging from the ceiling.

When do the going out of business liquidation sales start?

My nearest Fry’s is the one attached to their corporate headquarters in north San Jose. It’s really sad how it has changed over the last few years I have been living here. The place is about 3/4 empty. If the store that is where their headquarters is is that bad off, the other ones must be really desperate.

Every year, I wonder if this christmas season is going to be the last one for them.

Be careful of those. I remember when some of the other big consumer electronics stores started to fold, the prices at their liquidation “sales” were often higher than their regular prices. When places like this go into liquidation or bankruptcy, they’re generally overseen by administrators who want to wring as much money out of them as possible.

Lots of games to cheat people. List discounts off of inflated, irrational prices. “Look, it’s 50% off! Hmm, but still more than they used to sell it for.”

Another horrible thing is they throw junk in a box, tape it and then sell it. You have no idea if the thing in the box is what’s shown on the outside, let alone if it works. And of course no refunds.

And the “close out sale” goes on for a remarkably long time because they keep bringing in stuff from who-knows-where to restock the shelves. So you’re not getting stuff from the actual closing store.

The wire I bought at a Incredible Universe->Fry’s sale was fine since I could see it was wire, it had Radio Shack product numbers on it and I knew the price that sort of stuff went for.

Let’s see, the two closest Circuit Cities to me became a bunch of small store fronts and a movie theater/restaurant thing, resp. The CompUSA became a thrift store. (As did a closed Best Buy.) I don’t see good things for the Fry’s near us. Next door is a closed movie theater. Been vacant for years. A car dealership stores cars in the parking lot. The area around it is dying and it’s off the main road. Maybe a warehouse/dist. center type thing.

Oh wow.

First: I had no idea that website existed or that a website about that subject even existed. That’s pretty cool; thanks for the intro.

Second: oh wow. Not just the Las Vegas store. There are posts from all over the place on that site.

Is there any reason for, or advantage to, going to Fry’s one last time during this slow-motion liquidation before they close? If the prices aren’t discounted, and the merchandise is of dubious quality? Maybe only for nostalgia’s sake, and to see the alien invasion decor one last time.

The Wilsonville OR store is a shambles/zombie wasteland too and has been for months. I went there looking for some damned thing and was absolutely shocked at how bare the place was and that they’d given over a huge amount of what used to be valuable floor space to a massive array of knock off fragrances. Damned shame, I’ve spent a lot of time and money in that store but it’s apparently heading for the dustbin of history.