Trying to catalog all the products this superstore carries could fry your brain. Fry's Electronics is a top big-box retailer of computers, consumer electronics, and appliances with some 35 stores in about 10 states. The chain's extensive inventory includes computer software and components, industry magazines, movies and music, refrigerators, washers and dryers, small appliances, stereo equipment, and televisions. Each store also typically stocks a variety of snacks and other impulse items. The technogeek's dream store began in 1985 as the brainchild of CEO John Fry (with brothers Randy and Dave) and VP Kathy Kolder. The Fry brothers, who got their start at Fry's Food and Drug Stores, still own the company.
Fry's Electronics' strategy is to stand out from the competition and it succeeds in catering to a loyal niche customer through its unique retail concept. Its mammoth stores, some swallowing almost 200,000 sq. ft., serve the intensely technical shopper. Fry's stores stock more than 50,000 low-priced electronic items and are known for their decor and displays. Each location follows a theme, from Alice in Wonderland to a UFO crash site. Fry's product selection ranges from silicon chips to potato chips, from Byte magazine to Playboy, and high-speed PCs (plus software and peripherals) to CHI hair straighteners (and other health and beauty items). The extensive inventories at Fry's stores are said to be the company's strongest draw.
In addition to its retail outlets, Fry's sells electronics online at Frys.com, replacing Outpost.com (its online subsidiary acquired in 2001). The company also offers dial-up and high-speed Internet access services in more than 40 states. – less