This Beloved Chain Is Closing All Its Stores
After 36 years in business, the iconic brand has suddenly shuttered.
While the COVID vaccine is providing some much-needed light at the end of a long tunnel in terms of public health, the pandemic continues to decimate the retail landscape—and the latest victim is one of the most beloved electronics stores out there. After more than three decades in business, Fry's Electronics is closing its doors for good. Read on to discover when you can expect your local branch to close up shop, and for more stores in trouble amid the pandemic, This Popular Department Store Just Filed for Bankruptcy.
Fry's Electronics, a chain known for its themed electronics stores featuring over-the-top displays, first opened its doors in California in 1985, and was most recently operating 31 stores across nine states. In a statement on Feb. 24, the company announced on its website: "Fry's Electronics, Inc. has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic."
Fry's end has been an abrupt one: the news of the chain closing was announced the same day the company began shutting down operations. The company's website was also disabled the same day, other than a page displaying the letter regarding the brand's closure. However, rumors of the chain's closure had circulated on social media the day prior, with Twitter user @Wario64 reposting comments from Reddit in which Fry's employees indicated they were terminated just one day before the chain's demise was made public.
While Fry's Electronics may no longer be operating, if you have merchandise being repaired by the company, you can contact them at email@example.com. Those who have consigned merchandise with the store can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Customers whose items are still under a repair contract with the company can call Fry's at (800) 811-1745.
Fry's Electronics joins a long list of stores to be toppled by COVID; read on to discover which other beloved retailers are closing stores. And for more shops shuttering amid the pandemic, This Iconic Department Store Is Closing Even More Locations.
Toys R Us
Toys R Us closed 700-plus locations in 2018 after filing for bankruptcy that same year, but two locations remained open, thanks to a purchase agreement with new parent company Tru Kids. However, in early 2021, Tru Kids announced that it would be shutting down the iconic toy company's last two locations for good. "As a result of COVID-19, we made the strategic decision to pivot our store strategy to new locations and platforms that have better traffic," a Tru Kids spokesperson explained to CNN Business. And for some good news in the retail sector, This Out-Of-Business Department Store Is Making a Surprise Comeback.
Popular pizza buffet restaurant Cici's filed for bankruptcy in the chain's native Texas on Jan. 25. Cici's has experienced some major hurdles in recent years, with the company's portfolio of restaurants dipping by approximately one third—from 650 to 430 locations— between 2009 and 2016. The addition of the pandemic dealt a "sudden and significant blow" to the brand, Cici's CFO Richard Peabody explained in court filings, and may spur the closure of additional restaurants. And for the latest retail news sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
"Over the past year, we have moved aggressively to address COVID-related challenges head on," L'Occitane North America Managing Director Yann Tanini said in a statement. "We look forward to working collaboratively with our landlords to achieve partnerships that make economic sense in this current retail environment and best position our marquee brand's boutique offering for years to come."
In January, CNN reported that chocolatier Godiva would be shuttering all of its 128 stateside locations. However, the company, which opened its first store 95 years ago, will still sell its confections in the U.S. through supermarkets, pharmacies, and department stores, among other retailers. "We are making it even easier for our consumers to enjoy Godiva, whether that's by treating themselves or gifting, so that everyone can have access to our premium chocolate," said Godiva CEO Nurtac Afridi. And for some other businesses that may not be long for this world, This Iconic Fashion Brand Is Starting to Shut Down Stores.