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AUSTIN-A Fry’s Electronics store opening in far north Austin could give the area’s retail market a boost as well as provide a new hangout for the high-tech crowd. The store has begun the process of hiring 300 full-time employees for the 100,000-sf store.

The company is not sure when the store, its first in Central Texas, will open, Manuel Calerio, its community relations manager, tells GlobeSt.com. Fry’s, a privately held company based in San Jose, CA usually gets the stores up and running before announcing openings, he says. It has other Texas stores in Arlington, Dallas and Houston with 18 overall in California, Arizona and Texas.

In Austin, Fry’s is refurbishing a former Builder’s Square store in the Parmer Crossing shopping center at MoPac Expressway and Parmer Lane. Williams Industries of Houston is the general contractor. Other stores in the center include a Big Kmart, Roomstore and Hometown Buffet.

Called the technogeek’s superstore, Fry’s offers anything the electronically minded might want from the parts to build a computer to the cola to keep you awake while doing it as well as appliances, consumer electronics and software. The store is in a geeky neighborhood: Dell Computer Corp. campuses fairly close, Sun Microsystem’s operation west on Parmer and National Instruments Inc.’s building a few miles south on MoPac. Competitors include BestBuy and CompUSA. Those stores are near each other in the Gateway Shopping Center at the intersection of Texas 183 and MoPac. Fry’s is about 4 1/2 miles north on MoPac.

Forbes magazine ranked Fry’s at 135 on its list of top private companies with estimated annual revenue of $1.45 billion. Fry’s, which does not have online sales, made a bid in July to buy Cyperian Outpost Inc., a Connecticut-based company that sells computers and electronics over the Internet.

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