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      CommentAuthormaximus
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2014
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    Man what happened to Fry's recently? Last couple of trips I've been there, it has been emptier shelves and lower foot traffic then I'm used to. I remember back in the late 90's/early 2000s Fry's always had the most comprehensive inventory on consumer electronics and PC Components back when they weren't so readily available on the internet. It was always crowded with long lines, fun to shop and had lots of good deals. Also It can't just be due to online pressure because Fry's does have a .com presence with Frys.com. And even if its not as good as newegg.com, Frys had plenty of time to become more competitive in that space by now. Can't the Fry's brothers come up with a better strategy to get more customers to their online and brick and mortar stores? Walmart and Target due not seem to have trouble doing this.
  1.  permalink
    The Frys Bros aren't going to improve anything as long as they're still making profits. From lack of employee training to low minimum wage, bullshit commission rate, and shitty outdated POS hardware and software, it's no wonder people want to go to Frys, be it the customer or employee. For fucks sake, Supervisor only get paid like $11-12/hr and Manager get, what $14/hr? I hope that pay rate for manager isn't that low, even if it's from one of the managers I used to work with.
  2.  permalink
    Frys is maintaining an over 20% gp rate. On paper the stores are running well. In reality they could be aot better. But all they see is the numbers.
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    What is the actual customer satisfaction rate?

    In the past 5 years, I've gone in maybe 3 times. 10 years ago, maybe once a month.
    A large majority like myself buy online mostly.

    I feel like they are Walmart tier and will not go above that. The same dude trying to sell you a PSC or a laptop is the same guy only qualified to stock grocery shelves and bag groceries.
    Everyone in general has the same attitude, "Fuck this place" and won't even attempt to go above and beyond.

    The past 2 times I went, everything looked half full. Staff is totally indifferent and really doesn't care about your business.

    But at least you'll recognize at least a few familiar faces: the foreign cashiers that have been working some position, same shit, for the past decade. (I do feel sorry for those poor Indian women, reporting to some dude who just started 2 months ago)

    When you happen to run into an employee with a well demeanor, I personally get puzzled. But that is like a 1/10 shot ever happening.

    In the end, this whole place is a disaster, and Fry's keeps trying to find the secret recipe... When the obvious things are right in front of them.. A business can die..

    *pours a shot*
  4.  permalink
    I feel sorry for people who still work at Frys! There ARE better opportunities out there! Much better jobs than the ones at Frys! Don't get settled at that shitty retail store. LIFE and HAPPINESS are outside that sweatshop!
  5.  permalink
    Why feel sorry for them? It's their choice to work there. The majority of people that work at Fry's don't have any real skills, and lack the ambition to either look elsewhere or learn something new.
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      CommentAuthorgobo760
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2014
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    The problem is that it's a dying business model. No one cares that there's a frys.com if it's easier to buy stuff on amazon or newegg or wherever. I can't tell you how often I'll go to one website to find what I need, and then once I find it, I pop on amazon and lookup the model number and buy it on there. Why should I hassle with creating an account and all the BS on fry's.com or wherever, if I can buy electronics as well as everything else on a more established e-commerce site that I trust and already has all my billing info stored?  
     
    Right now, Fry's is definitely going down like the titanic, but so long as there are still a few remaining brick and mortar customers to milk (old people who don't understand technology or people who need something "right this second" are now Fry's bread and butter customers), they'll try to prolong the eventual sinking.  
     
    I've thought about this a lot and I honestly don't know what the solution is, and I think Fry's doesn't either, which is why not a lot has changed in response to the shifting buying habits of its customers. Ultimately, I think they're dealing with a shrinking fishing hole, and fry's is like one of those fishing trawlers that's the size of an aircraft carrier, dragging 2 miles of net behind it. At some point, they'll have to say "you know, we have too much store and not enough customer" and downsize considerably until the model is highly profitable again (in comparison to overhead). To do that, they'd have to find a way to stock as much of the stuff that sells as possible into the smallest amount of space/location, staffed by the fewest number of employees possible, while still remaining visible/relevant.  
     
    Either way though, since the fishing hole is now considerably smaller, Fry's isn't going to be making its billions on this boat anymore. So short of buying out amazon or one of their big online competitors (not likely), I guess they'll have to just evolve and find a new business model or industry to go into if "making obscene money" is still important to them. When times change, you can either change with them or go extinct.
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      CommentAuthorA30N
    • CommentTimeSep 24th 2014
     permalink
    Sadly, Fry's is not going to evolve. That would require both a vision of the future and the will/resources to make it happen. I figured that much out after just 30 days working for the company. I wish Forbes or Fortune would write up an article on Fry's on how NOT to run a major company and publicly embarrass them.
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      CommentAuthorfryguy
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2014
     permalink
    A30N: Sadly, Fry's is not going to evolve. That would require both a vision of the future and the will/resources to make it happen. I figured that much out after just 30 days working for the company. I wish Forbes or Fortune would write up an article on Fry's on how NOT to run a major company and publicly embarrass them.
     
     
    You mean an updated article?  
    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/1997/1103/6010086a.html  
    Of note, three of the four competitors mentioned in the article are now out of business.
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      CommentAuthorA30N
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2014
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    Funny, that sensationalist article on Fry's nowhere near describes the slow, lackluster pace and atmosphere of my store. There is tons of BX merchandise still on the shelf from before even I started working there. And LP barely gives me a glance during ready complete. I almost wish my store was more exciting like how the article describes it.
  6.  permalink
    gobo760: The problem is that it's a dying business model. No one cares that there's a frys.com if it's easier to buy stuff on amazon or newegg or wherever. I can't tell you how often I'll go to one website to find what I need, and then once I find it, I pop on amazon and lookup the model number and buy it on there. Why should I hassle with creating an account and all the BS on fry's.com or wherever, if I can buy electronics as well as everything else on a more established e-commerce site that I trust and already has all my billing info stored?  
     
    Right now, Fry's is definitely going down like the titanic, but so long as there are still a few remaining brick and mortar customers to milk (old people who don't understand technology or people who need something "right this second" are now Fry's bread and butter customers), they'll try to prolong the eventual sinking.  
     
    I've thought about this a lot and I honestly don't know what the solution is, and I think Fry's doesn't either, which is why not a lot has changed in response to the shifting buying habits of its customers. Ultimately, I think they're dealing with a shrinking fishing hole, and fry's is like one of those fishing trawlers that's the size of an aircraft carrier, dragging 2 miles of net behind it. At some point, they'll have to say "you know, we have too much store and not enough customer" and downsize considerably until the model is highly profitable again (in comparison to overhead). To do that, they'd have to find a way to stock as much of the stuff that sells as possible into the smallest amount of space/location, staffed by the fewest number of employees possible, while still remaining visible/relevant.  
     
    Either way though, since the fishing hole is now considerably smaller, Fry's isn't going to be making its billions on this boat anymore. So short of buying out amazon or one of their big online competitors (not likely), I guess they'll have to just evolve and find a new business model or industry to go into if "making obscene money" is still important to them. When times change, you can either change with them or go extinct.
     
     
    I agree more about the outdated model. I quit there 2007 and the place has never really rebounded from the recession. I'm glad I got out when I did. Back in the day Fry's was a happening place. People came in droves and even the people that weren't making big purchases were at least buying drinks and junk food. Between the decline of CD/DVD sales cutting down on foot traffic to get people to make impulse buys on more profitable items and rising shifts towards online vendors Fry's is in trouble. They don't have the reputation to survive as a niche retailer and they don't have the volume to compete on prices much anymore either. I've seen them trying to find new sources of revenue (e.g. refill print cartridges, selling cheap perfume/toys,etc.), but I don't think any of the things that they are trying will stave off the bigger losses in computer and TV sales. Profit margins are falling and the market has became very mature on TVs and computers. As the replacement cycle for both stretches out the profit potential is going down. Add that computers are getting replaced by tablets that have even lower profit opportunities and things are going downhill.  
     
    I give Fry's maybe 5-6 years tops before most of the stores are closed. If they are still in business in 10 years I will be surprised. Maybe they can transition to an online only vendor, but even that seems iffy. Unless they cut down on their selection and try to make money off of volume I don't see how they survive imho.
  7.  permalink
    They missed the boat. Frys website is STILL a convoluted mess. Their "fuck the customer" attitude flew when they were basically the only game in town...now that online companies are so large, and actually have their shit together, with better brands and prices, its a matter of "fuck FRYS"... because customers remember all the bad experiences they had there, and would not go back even IF their prices were lower. You reap what you sow, and Frys is reaping the big one.
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      CommentAuthormaximus
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2015 edited
     permalink
    I was thinking about this the other day. Part of the problem with Fry's is that they don't really offer anything that you can't get at either Best Buy or Amazon and NewEgg for less. The experience shopping there is also very lacking nowadays. Add the rising price of fuel, in a still a recovering economy, just makes it too much of a hassle to go down there just to be disappointed. Also most Fry's Electronics are Free Standing Stores with nothing adjunct that you'd want to goto before or after. On the contrary, warehouse clubs like Sam's or Costco Wholesale still thrive in a marketplace that is becoming online dominant. It's still incredibly crowded, and many of the items are actually less than ordering from Online. Some recent calculations show that they are usually just 14% more than their wholesale price because they have such few SKUs. There is also a nice experience at Costco, as you can get cheaper than Market gas, has nice lunch items that can feed the family for not much money, tires at discounts etc. Plus tons of free samples to see if the food is something you like. Costco also has a revenue stream of membership fees which result in profits for people that don't come very often. Maybe if Fry's had less items, but cheaper and exclusive items, it could survive, but their current business model won't support that.
  8.  permalink
    maximus: I was thinking about this the other day. Part of the problem with Fry's is that they don't really offer anything that you can't get at either Best Buy or Amazon and NewEgg for less. The experience shopping there is also very lacking nowadays. Add the rising price of fuel, in a still a recovering economy, just makes it too much of a hassle to go down there just to be disappointed. Also most Fry's Electronics are Free Standing Stores with nothing adjunct that you'd want to goto before or after. On the contrary, warehouse clubs like Sam's or Costco Wholesale still thrive in a marketplace that is becoming online dominant. It's still incredibly crowded, and many of the items are actually less than ordering from Online. Some recent calculations show that they are usually just 14% more than their wholesale price because they have such few SKUs. There is also a nice experience at Costco, as you can get cheaper than Market gas, has nice lunch items that can feed the family for not much money, tires at discounts etc. Plus tons of free samples to see if the food is something you like. Costco also has a revenue stream of membership fees which result in profits for people that don't come very often. Maybe if Fry's had less items, but cheaper and exclusive items, it could survive, but their current business model won't support that.
     
     
    I don't know that I would say that there aren't things that I can get at Fry's that I can't get at Best Buy, but honestly with the rise of Amazon Prime and NewEgg I think that running retail electronics is much harder than it used to be. Most stuff in Fry's to quote a former manager when I worked there people don't need. i.e. they could wait a day or two. I will agree with you that Fry's stores being largely afaik free standing stores does slightly work against them. It is much harder to justify the trip when you can't as easily bundle your trip with other purchases at other retail stores whereas many if not most Best Buy stores try to integrate into larger retail centers.  
     
    I think that the problem is that Fry's has been very slow to change. It took them a long time to support American Express. It took them a long time to realize that most of their book section had books that were outdated and should have been fire sold years ago and that the rise of ebooks made a book section even less logical. Ironically for an electronics store they have always been very cheap in investing in their IT infrastructure that often makes transactions take longer than they should. They've had a web site for a long time, but it took them a long time to update the old Outpost.com site that they purchased to get into the online space. They took forever to get their website to allow willcalls, which I think is critical to modern retail unless you are really high end.  
     
    I like the analogy to Costco though about how Fry's could keep their retail division making money. Fry's frankly carries too many SKUs. I remember when I worked there a customer joked that Fry's had 100 USB hubs, which while a slight exaggeration I don't think is still a valid criticism. It consumes more time/money to merchandise and it hurts the economies of scale. The era where it made sense to try to cover everything under the sun has passed because unless someone needs some obscure SKU most people will just order it online. Trying to shift to a membership revenue model like Costco would be neat except for that Fry's doesn't have a good enough reputation to ever realistically pull that off. That being said trying to sell fewer SKUs like Costco I think could allow them to get enough economies of scale to stay competitive.