One of Bay Area's last Fry's Electronics stores closes

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Tue Dec 31 13:24:27 CST 2019

On 12/31/19 10:34 AM, Tom Gardner via cctalk wrote:
> Palo Alto Fry’s closing
> <>
> .  Sad, but not the end of an era – apparently the loss of lease
> I remember visiting an early Fry’s (first?) in Sunnyvale (541
> Lakeside Dr?, near Oakmead and around the corner from Shugart
> Associates where I then worked).  I marveled at the selection of
> steaks, diet cokes, resistors, capacitors, ICs, etc.  They had
> partially converted a supermarket into an electronics store but I
> heard they at first kept the food to keep some cash flow.  I think I
> bought steaks J  The engineers and technicians at Shugart more than
> once ran over there to get breadboard parts.

I was at the grand opening of the Sunnyvale Fry's.   A great place to
purchase Canfield's Diet Chocolate Fudge soda, which was all the rage
back then.  A friend purchased it by the caselot.

I remember chatting a bit with John Fry who saw the sales margins in
electronics and compared them to food sales his family's supermarket
chain.  He figured that the marketing that worked so well in the grocery
business would be a winner in electronics sales.  Because of his
family's connections, he could also offer popular food items.  High
volume and low margins.

Sigh.  It was a time when factory reps would come and give live
presentations of their good stuff.   And rows and rows of pegboard with
plastic bags of components with red-and-white labels.   At some point
they got some sort of deal with Everex (which was in Fremont) and they
had piles of that stuff cheap for sale.   In that department, however,
their tech support was close to non-existent.  ("Doesn't work?  Here's
another one to try" approach).

But then, the area had lots of surplus electronics places back then,
probably because things were actually manufactured in the Santa Clara

The Palo Alto store was after my time.


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