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Fry’s Electronics Closes Aztec- And Golf-Themed Stores In Phoenix, Tempe

By Christina Estes
Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 10:58am
Updated: Monday, April 19, 2021 - 1:06pm

Phoenix Fry
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
A diorama of mannequins at the Phoenix Fry's Electronics store (shown in 2017) frequently drew criticism for its portrayal of Aztec culture.

After more than 35 years, Fry’s Electronics permanently closed all its stores overnight, including two in the Valley. The California-based chain blames changes in the retail industry and challenges posed by the pandemic. 

The company had 31 stores in nine states. Many stores were designed or decorated based on themes — the Phoenix store near I-17 and Thunderbird had an Aztec theme, and the Tempe location on Baseline Road west of I-10 had a golf theme. Both stores opened in the late 1990s.

Fry’s big-box stores specialized in electronics and computer components and accessories. The company is owned by the Fry family who used to own Fry’s Food and Drug before selling the grocery chain to Kroger.

Jean Clare Sarmiento/KJZZ
Golf-themed tables fill a nearly empty Fry's Electronics in Tempe in August 2020.

On Wednesday, Fry’s Electronics website only contained the company’s announcement. It read in part: “It is hoped that undertaking the wind-down through this orderly process will reduce costs, avoid additional liabilities, minimize the impact on our customers, vendors, landlords and associates, and maximize the value of the Company’s assets for its creditors and other stakeholders.”

Last year, Fry’s Electronics changed to a consignment model, which meant suppliers were only paid after Fry’s sold the items. On its website, the company says it’s reaching out to vendors and customers with items being repaired. 

Customers who have equipment currently being repaired are asked to email [email protected] to arrange for the return of their equipment. Consignment vendors needing to pick up their inventory from the company should email [email protected].

Business Retail + Consumer