Who owns Fry's Electronics? Retailer chain shuts down after 35 years as sales hit all-time low amid pandemic
The growth of the company boomed after 1985 with the number of employees eventually reaching 14,000 and annual sales clocking an approximate $2.3 billion
Fry's Electronics, one of America's largest chain of electronics superstores, is officially shutting down its business after 35 long years. The company, which happened to be one of the last existing electronic retail chains in the country, is believed to be another victim of the growing dominance of e-commerce, aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Americans bid adieu to their favorite electronics store associated with many happy memories, here's a look at the Fry in Fry's Electronics.
Who owns Fry's Electronics?
Fry's Electronics is actually not owned by a single individual. It is co-owned by three brothers — CEO John Fry, William Randolph "Randy" Fry and David Fry, along with John Fry's former girlfriend Kathryn Kolder.
The headquarters of the company is located in San Jose, California. The company operated a chain of 28 electronic superstores across the US, with their first-ever store being located in Silicon Valley. The Fry's outlets are iconic for their enormous floor area ranging between 50,000 square feet to 180,000 square feet and unique themes adorning each store.
Fry's Electronics @ Burbank, CA (opened 1995) pic.twitter.com/Kj5yqorQ7K— Froyo Tam 💽 #BlackLivesMatter (@FroyoTam) February 24, 2021
Fry's Electronics @ San Jose, CA (opened March 1996) pic.twitter.com/BqUunMu6WF— Froyo Tam 💽 #BlackLivesMatter (@FroyoTam) February 24, 2021
Just heard Fry's Electronics is immediately going out of business tonight, here's some of my favorite themed Fry's locations:— Froyo Tam 💽 #BlackLivesMatter (@FroyoTam) February 24, 2021
@ City of Industry, CA pic.twitter.com/gOorSYACNM
Way back in 1954, Charles Fry, the father of the three Fry brothers, launched a supermarket in Contra Costa County, California. In the next ten years, his supermarket business flourished as he established a chain of 41 Fry's Food Stores in different states. In 1972, Charles Fry sold the business for $14 million to Modesto but continued managing the chain of stores till 1983, while simultaneously exposing his eldest son John to the tricks of the trade.
Much later, John Fry decided to introduce the supermarket model in the field of electronics. He brought his brothers on-board to pool in their shares of money inherited from their father, who reportedly gave each son $1 million. Together, the brothers started Fry's Electronics on May 17, 1985, with the first store in Sunnyvale, California. John Fry's former girlfriend Kathryn Kolder also joined as a partner of the firm from the beginning and went on to become the executive vice-president.
Around 2014, Fry's Electronics owned 34 stores nationwide. However, the slow decline in their demands and sales started with the increasing popularity of online electronics retailers, especially Amazon. In fact, like many other offline retailers, they struggled to keep up with the extra discounted prices offered online.
Seriously gonna miss Fry’s Electronics , so many memories of getting PC components, games, movies etc. it’s like losing Best Buy’s little brother, RIP pic.twitter.com/n6p6OxM648— Emil Sayad (@egeek84) February 24, 2021
Many of Fry's stores had been shutting down since January 2020, and empty aisles on many others, especially in the post-pandemic times, hinted at a possible end for quite some time.
What is the net worth of Fry's owners?
The growth of the company boomed after 1985 with the number of employees eventually reaching 14,000 and annual sales clocking an approximate $2.3 billion, stated Forbes.
At the time of closure in February 2021, the annual revenue and worth of Fry's Electronics were estimated at a low $500 million, with the employee size reduced to a mere 1000, reports Incfact.
The owners of the company have always been very private and little is known about their personal and professional lives. In an update, around 2 am PT on February 24, the Frys.com website confirmed their shutdown with an elaborate statement posted online. Their social media accounts were also suspended while their Instagram had remained inactive for more than a year.