September 07, 2004
Fry's in Atlanta
Take one Best Buy, add a Micro Center, a Radio Shack and a coffee shop, plop it down next to Gwinnett Place mall, and you've got Fry's Atlanta.
The geek's choice of big box retailers has come to the Deep South, and I checked it out over Labor Day weekend. About the only thing that kept my wallet in my pocket was the fact that I had just bought a G5 (about which, more later).
This is an almost comically big store. I would guess it's 4 times the size of the average Best Buy.
There are a lot of things at Fry's you could chase all over Atlanta looking for: electronic components, model rocketry supplies, kites, PC components, digital and analog cameras, TVs of all screen sizes, refrigerators, microwaves, technical books, surveillance/security hardware, and software. They carry a jillion different kinds of flashlight, electronics tools and meters, and the Victorinox Cybertool line, whtich I rely on almost every day.
They've got a Mac section, including Apple hardware, a smallish Mac software section, and a reasonable number of accessories; I would place their Mac section roughly on par with Micro Center, and smaller than CompUSA.
Prices across the board seemed competitive, but not "so low they're INSANE!" except on their doorbuster specials, which really are amazing. Their ads have been featuring a 250-gig hard drive for $119.99 (after mail-in rebate) this week, a 512-megabyte stick of DDR400 RAM for $59.99 (limit 1 per customer). I saw somewhere that they were selling a Duron 1.6-Ghz system for $99.
CD prices looked competitive, but I didn't really check out DVD prices.
Looks like a place you could take the whole family; there are a fair number of science toys for older kids, the videos for younger, and the coffee shop if the family runs out of steam before you do.
If I were young and single with the freedom to throw away a chunk of my paycheck every week, Fry's would likely take its share. Internet buzz on the chain suggests their customer service is somewhere between average and abysmal, but for a lot of projects, they provide a one-stop resource.
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Fry's has the stuff, too bad they don't trust their customers more! If you write a check at Fry's be ready to spend 15 minutes or more waiting while they make copies of all your credit history, color of pubic hair and do and an eye scan! They be prepared to be body searched as you leave the store! I stopped shpping at Fry's because of the hassel, I had rather pay more where they don't treat me as a thief!
Posted by: merlyn compton at Sep 11, 2006 9:44:31 AM