Oh The Irony...

september 3, 2006

T-Zone Mouse Pad at Weird Stuff
There is a certain irony to this picture. I was bored stiff today, so I went to Weird Stuff Warehouse to walk around. I haven't been there in ages and it was nice to see how they were doing. While walking around the place, I saw the above T-Zone mouse pad! I know one person who will understand the irony of the picture -- Aaron. For the rest of you, you'll have to know a little technology retail history. There is a place called Weird Stuff Warehouse and they sell all sorts of old stuff, gadgets, and...well junk. They seem to make a good living at it. They are located on West Caribbean Drive, but they were not always located there. Years ago, Weird Stuff Warehouse was located on Lawrence Expressway, opposite the old Sunnyvale Fry's building. They were doing quite well there, they had their niche (old junk) and Fry's had their own (new junk). That is until a Japanese firm named ADO came to the states and bought up the Weird Stuff building! The Japanese firm adopted the name American ADO and they boldly opened up their first retail store named T-Zone -- competing directly with Fry's -- across the street from Fry's! I don't know if "boldly" is the right word to use when one describes a tech retail shop opening up directly across the street from Fry's in the Silicon Valley. Some may use the word "crazy", while others would say..."stupidly". It was a kick in the pants for Fry's though. The two Fry brothers made multiple trips to the T-Zone store (I know because I worked at T-Zone for a year). Suddenly, a few months after T-Zone opened with its tech stuff and international stuff, Fry's had international stuff on their shelves also. It was an all out war. I wouldn't say T-Zone was the reason that Fry's built their larger Sunnyvale store, but I think T-Zone had a lot to do with it. But, if you drive down Lawrence now, you'll see neither Fry's or T-Zone. Fry's has moved a block down into their large (and might I say gorgeous) store. T-Zone? Gone. They closed their doors years ago. Anyways, I guess that's just how life goes.  By the way, T-Zone still lives on in Japan.