Fry's comes to Atlanta

by Niel M. Bornstein

I found out in a roundabout way that there is now a Fry's store in the northeast Atlanta suburb of Duluth. Last weekend I packed my son into the car and we took the half-hour drive to Gwinnett Place Mall to see what there was to see.

My only previous Fry's experience was a trip to the Burbank store in July. (That's the alien invasion one, if you're keeping track.)

The two stores could not have been more different in ambience and style, but the basics were the same: lots and lots of geek fodder.

I've been told that the Atlanta store, which opened in late August, is actually the largest in the Fry's chain. I believe it.

I also believe that it must be the shiniest store; every marble surface gleamed, and the staff was resplendent in black and white.

The book section was fully stocked with new and best-selling O'Reilly books. I noticed in particular at least a hundred copies of Digital Photography: Expert Techniques and Adobe Photoshop CS One-on-One. I also noted several dozen copies of Linux Unwired, but, alas, only a single, forlorn copy of .NET and XML and not even one copy of Mono: A Developer's Notebook that I could see.

My shopping experience included only two low points.

One was the checkout process. Like the Burbank store, there appeared to be a single queue for all the cash registers. I assume this is the standard Fry's way of doing things.

However, there actually turned out to be two queues, and they were not clearly indicated. One queue went to the front bank of cashiers, and the other went to the rear.

I had a moment of confusion as an employee waved me toward what seemed to be the restrooms. I demurred and headed back to the other side of the queue.

Later I discovered that she had been waving me toward the queue for the back row of cashiers.

It's nothing a little signage wouldn't fix.

The other low point was my discovery, two days later, that I could have picked up an 802.11g router for free after rebates.

I'd been needing one of those, too.

Is there a Fry's where you live?