A half full (or empty) parking lot, half the items on the shelves, half the staff available, and only one register open for checkout. This is a summary of my last two visits with two of my favorite Fry's Electronics. One in Anaheim and the second in Houston near I-45. My third fave is the Las Vegas location off I-15. It's been but a few short years since I shopped at Fry's, but what made Fry's the place to go-to place for all my PC, tool, car audio, and other gadgetries are gone. Only for now I hope because Fry's was my Disneyland. I could spend all day and way more money than I planned on. Part of this was due to Fry's magical ability to transform my wants into needs. They did this thru their excellent, knowledgeable, and reasonably available staff and abundantly stocked items. I often didn't realize how absolutely helpful an item or tool was until I saw it. To me, that's inspiration, or brilliant manipulation. At least Fry's theme park-like atmosphere is intact. I like this part of my shopping experience. Each store I've visited, had its own theme. Such as, Houston's indoor oil rig with uniformed mannequins. Anaheim has a space shuttle command deck. And, Las Vegas of course, has a slot machine façade with working giant screens to indicate you're a winner. Inside, there was a grand piano. When not being played, the piano played remotely to keep the ambiance going. Additionally, each store has a café. Fry's layout accommodated either the in-and-out shopper who easily found what they needed (or wanted), or someone who wanted to take their time and take in all the sites. There was never enough time in any one day for me to see, sample, and inquire about everything. However, I always left happy, inspired, and eager to come back. All these positive experiences were some years before I joined the online reviewing community. So, when a staffer performed beyond my expectations, I filled out the specific Fry's form. It was my pleasure to do so.
That was then. Now, I shopped at Anaheim and didn't find what I needed. I picked up a few things however, I left the items at the only open register because the nice lady couldn't get the register to work. I successfully bought the same items at the Houston location but still didn't find the main item I needed. Gone is the inspiration and reason to spend the time and the fuel driving to Fry's. After talking to a few associates, they believe Fry's management is going thru a transitional period. I'm hoping they're right and Fry's transitions back to its former self. I'm not mad writing this. I just want to see Fry's do better. It's one of the "brick and mortar" places I hope does better.