Number of the Month – Cash Registers at Fry’s

Around the first of the month I publish the number of the month, a random bit of local trivia.

66

The number of cash registers at Fry’s Electronics in Milton. Compare that to only 28 at the Walmart supercenter next door.

Like any nerdy cubicle dweller, I enjoy strolling through Fry’s over a lunch break. But there is a lot about this retailer and their operations that leaves me scratching my head. Their staggering array of cash registers makes no sense. I doubt they use them all, even on Black Friday. Their cage security structure, large (yet still unhelpful) workforce and odd product pricing also puzzle me.

Photo Credit: MysteriousMystery (creative commons)

8 comments on this post.
  1. Trent Cornwell:

    I have thought the same thing on many occasions. It also seems that the job description at Fry’s requires you to be over confident in your computer knowledge but does not require you to look at people in the eyes and say hello.

  2. JB:

    And for some reason can’t process a debit card. They use some ancient green screen dos based POS. I like shopping there but take cash to minimize the hassle.

  3. phatnate:

    And why does it seem Fry’s has more sales clerks than customers?

  4. Greg:

    I’ve never understood how they can survive carrying all of that inventory, but I love being able to go there and try out almost every tech product in person. It’s also a great place to find really odd parts and components.

  5. Raj Gondhalekar:

    I love love love living so close to Fry’s. They deals they offer are usually very good, and they even match online prices from Amazon and NewEgg, so I can pay a little extra sales tax, and get the item right there, instead of waiting days for delivery.

    The processing system they use is ancient, but one sales clerk told me that it was designed by the Fry’s brothers, who still own all of the company and the stores. They have processed debit cards before for me allowing me to enter the PIN. Lately they seem to want me to sign the paper instead, but why is that a big deal anyway?

  6. DRW:

    Whatever you do, do NOT try to write a check there. It takes a minimum of 10 minutes. Of course, who uses checks anymore these days?

  7. Travis Allen:

    They always have to hassle you at the front door. I hate being bothered and made to feel like a criminal.

    No problems asking me for my receipt so you can make sure I didn’t buy a TV for $1.00, but don’t try to look in my bag, it’s my bag, you gave it to me, and what I put in it that I just purchased from you is MINE!

    http://consumerist.com/2011/03/calm-man-successfully-buys-tv-and-denies-walmart-receipt-checkers.html

  8. JoshR:

    Travis – I’ve got to agree with you. I get that they need to protect themselves from dishonest people, but I think that it could be way less invasive. If I just walked over from the area with 66 cash registers and I’m carrying a small bag, you probably don’t need to open the bag and compare both items to what is listed on my receipt. At this point, I have paid for and own what is in the bag. I am not a thief, and if I was trying to steal something, odds are pretty decent that the RFID sensor/alarm at the door will go off. If it does, then we can talk. I like Fry’s, but there are a few creepy elements associated with the experience of shopping there :)

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