Re: Funky electronics chain Fry’s is no more (Seattle Times)

Gavin Scott gavin at
Wed Feb 24 22:53:11 CST 2021

On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 10:07 PM Al Kossow via cctalk
<cctalk at> wrote:
> The worst were the Fry's sales people on the floor that would ignore you, then badger
> you to let them write a sale up so they'd get sales credit if you made the mistake
> of asking them where something was.

And of course that process required them to get you over to the
computer, ask for your phone number, enter the item#, and wait for the
LaserJet to spit out the proto-invoice. The dumb/lazy ones would then
hand you the paper along with the item and tell you to show it to the
cashier. Of course you had the item so you could just throw the paper
away and they would get nothing. The crafty ones though would give you
the invoice and then walk the item up to behind the register area
where the cashier would have to go retrieve it so you were stuck.
Basically you wanted to avoid interacting with them if possible.

The fact that most stores had the ability to have 80 active cashiers
has to be some sort of record, though I don't think I ever saw the
registers on the far side get much use even at Christmas.

And then there was the "Fry's seal of quality" as we called the
return/restock slip plastered to items on the shelf that had already
been returned (at least) once. No sane person ever touched those
unless completely desperate.

My first Fry's story though comes from the early 1980s when I was
visiting HP in Cupertino and went to the original Sunnyvale Fry's and
only had a check for payment and they weren't going to take an out of
town check until they asked what I was in the bay area for and I said
"visiting HP" and then it was "oh, that will be fine then". It says
something about HP's reputation at the time that even their customers
were considered more trustworthy by a Fry's manager.

I also remember on that visit that the aisle-long magazine rack at
Fry's had many different nerdy publications but only two which rated
an entire double column of rack slots. They were Byte and Penthouse

We all had a love/hate relationship with Fry's, but they were an
institution and will be missed.

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