Tech bloggers have expressed nostalgia because many of whom grew up in Silicon Valley going to Fry’s. That wasn’t me and perhaps that is why I haven’t felt the same way about their closing. I went a few times to the Fry’s in North Houston, but I wasn’t terribly impressed. Their prices weren’t spectacular, their selection was OK, and I guess being able to purchase Astronaut Ice Cream didn’t really make the difference for me. I actually preferred MicroCenter when I was living in Houston. My go to computer hardware store in San Antonio was and still is Altex Electronics. Speaking of nostalgia, I bought my first modem from Altex when I was in college. A blazingly fast 2400 baud modem that I used in my dorm room to connect to the IBM 370 series mainframe at Trinity University. Those were the days. I was doing Assembler and PL/I coding and instead of walking all the way across campus every night I was able to work from my room.
With the loss of Fry’s, the loss of Blockbuster, and what we see happening with Best Buy struggling, one wonders if the big box store has a future in the world of Amazon.com and other web retailers one wonders if any will survive. My son starts in-person classes next week, so we purchased him inexpensive laptop. I first opened up Amazon and looked at Dell and Lenovo’s websites and took a look, but then we ended up at OfficeDepot near our house and found a value that was as good as on-line and I didn’t have to worry if it would show up by Sunday (since most of the places on-line couldn’t get us one until at least mid-next week. So, there still is a use for the brick & mortar store…for how long…that I do not know.