World's first Apple computer retailer to shutter operations on Mar. 30

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2014
Employees at Minneapolis-based FirstTech, the world's first Apple reseller, learned on Wednesday that the store will be closing its doors at the end of March after 73 years in business.

FirstTech
FirstTech Minneapolis will be closing on Mar. 30 after selling Apple computers for 37 years. | Source: FirstTech


Some 37 years after it sold the world's first Apple computer, FirstTech will close both of its Minneapolis locations on Mar. 30, reports TwinCities.com.

Originally founded as Team Electronics in 1941, FirstTech sold Apple's first personal computer in 1977 and has been selling and repairing the company's machines ever since. Prior to Apple products, the shop sold a variety of analog electronics like radios, televisions and phonographs.

With its close ties to Apple, FirstTech experienced first-hand the tumultuous rise, fall and ultimate resurgence of the Cupertino, Calif., company. Ironically, an important aspect to Apple's recent ascension -- the Apple Store -- contributed at least in part to FirstTech's demise.

In a bid to remain relevant in a fast changing economic landscape, FirstTech opened a second store in 2013 to service an area where Apple retail had yet to reach. The small company also branched out by selling education technology products like digital whiteboards, while growing its tech consulting and repair business.

In the end, however, the small local shop was unable to compete with the five nearby Apple Stores, national big-box retailers and online sales companies. When the shop closes, 75 employees will be out of a job.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 90
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    the world's first Apple reseller, learned on Wednesday that the store will be closing its doors at the end of March after 73 years in business.

    darn it!! only 2 more years and they would have made it to 3/4 of a century. 

  • Reply 2 of 90
    Thank you, FirstTech. Good luck to the employees.
  • Reply 3 of 90
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 153member
    Quote: FirstTech sold Apple's first personal computer in 1972

    Wow, that's truly impressive! They've been selling them since 4 years before the first one was even made!
  • Reply 4 of 90

    Sad day in Apple History....

  • Reply 5 of 90
    arlorarlor Posts: 483member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    When the shop closes, 75 employees will be out of a job.

     

    I bet they have pretty good resumes for the five local Apple Stores that put FirstTech out of business!

  • Reply 6 of 90
    19831983 Posts: 1,142member
    Very sad to read this. I hope the employees (including the guys in the photo) are able to find other employment soon.
  • Reply 7 of 90
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    I'll bet this news will make [@]Dick Applebaum[/@] shed a tear. Always difficult to let something go.
  • Reply 8 of 90
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    OMG no! I took the bus downtown just to visit them in the late 70's when I was in High School! Without giving my identity away, because it's so important ( :rolleyes: ), I grew up in the North Suburbs... that's all I'm going to say about that.... :smokey:

    All good things come to an end sooner or later, and I hope that the employees all find a new rewarding job soon!
  • Reply 9 of 90

    Very sad indeed, but in my books a "small local shop" does not have 75 employees. Like others have said, I am sure they won't have a hard time getting a job in the other stores. It seems like anyone can get a job at an Apple Store and they will be Pros, so they'll get good positions no doubt.

     

    Good luck to everyone who worked there and a bow to the incredible foresight of the owner who started selling the first apple computers - history might have gone down completely differently and haeven forbid I'd be writing this on a crappy PC.

     

    That said, if they were a small local shop selling just PCs they would have been out of business a decade ago. ;)

  • Reply 10 of 90
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member

    That's life.

  • Reply 11 of 90
    nchianchia Posts: 121member
    Retail is hard. Kudos for the years of service.
  • Reply 12 of 90
    obamacaresign2.jpeg
  • Reply 13 of 90
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,875member
    "Employees at Minneapolis-based FirstTech, the world's first Apple reseller, learned on Wednesday that the store will be closing its doors at the end of March after 73 years in business."

    Heck I thought I did well opening an Apple Store in 1978 to sell Apple ][s. These guys must have had a damn time machine which i consider cheating. :D
  • Reply 14 of 90
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,571member
    Look forward, not back.
  • Reply 15 of 90
    Sad to see a local business shut down, but they weren't competitive on price, and slow to turn around repairs.

    Farewell, FirstTech.
  • Reply 16 of 90
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,629member
    Apple forced small business to close. DOJ to investigate stating "why can't Apple be more like Amazon."

    Still, it's a shame they closed. Best of luck to the employees.
  • Reply 17 of 90
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,113member
    The last paragraph of this AI story needs to be expanded. Here's what their product manager said in the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

    ***

    Evans attributes FirstTech's demise to market forces, including shrinking hardware margins amid competition from a growing number of aggressive national vendors.

    These vendors have "basically been willing to sell the computer equipment below cost to go after the national service business," he noted. It became increasingly difficult for "a brick-and-mortar to offer personalized service when we can't make any money off the product you're selling.

    "It has been a dramatic change in that regard, the last couple of years in particular," Evans said.

    Apple Inc., which does not heavily discount its products, had little to do with this trend, he said.

    ***

    http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_25378187/minneapolis-firsttech-apple-retailing-pioneer-is-closing

    I hate to say it, but look to the online discounters featured right here on AI as one of the reasons. The online marketplace is draining sales from bricks-and-mortar stores. So it goes.
  • Reply 18 of 90
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,608member

    There were a number of excellent, small tech retailers that sold Apple products and took care of their customers. But Apple needed to open its own stores in the face of the big box stores like Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Sears, etc. that treated Apple products like a red-headed step child. I vividly remember the shoddy way Apple was relegated to the back corner of those stores. I remember the pimple-faced nerd wannabes who slithered around those stores extolling the virtues of Windows or anything else other than Apple. Apple is STILL dealing with that mentality in Best Buy stores. You walk in the door and you have to ask somebody where the iPhones and Macs are. Samsung is plastered all over the store, probably because they are paying big bucks for the space. 

     

    Anyway, the local retailers like firstTECH have fallen on their swords and that’s kinda sad.

  • Reply 19 of 90
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,113member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    There were a number of excellent, small tech retailers that sold Apple products and took care of their customers. But Apple needed to open its own stores in the face of the big box stores like Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Sears, etc. that treated Apple products like a red-headed step child. I vividly remember the shoddy way Apple was relegated to the back corner of those stores. I remember the pimple-faced nerd wannabes who slithered around those stores extolling the virtues of Windows or anything else other than Apple. Apple is STILL dealing with that mentality in Best Buy stores. You walk in the door and you have to ask somebody where the iPhones and Macs are. Samsung is plastered all over the store, probably because they are paying big bucks for the space. 

    Anyway, the local retailers like firstTECH have fallen on their swords and that’s kinda sad.

    And look what happened to the big box stores in general when they suddenly became little more than display windows for the online retailer/discounters like Amazon. Most Apple products don't come at a significant discount, but look at the prices for PCs and peripherals. The chains you mentioned are by-and-large ... GONE. Best Buy is hanging on with online sales, aggressive specials and store pickup of online orders. For customers who can resist their urge for instant gratification, Best Buy gets beat by the online retailers that can fill orders without charging sales tax. The retail landscape sure ain't pretty these days.

    So then, one can ask, how it is that the Apple Retail Stores continue to succeed. Because they hew to Steve Jobs's vision! Their primary function is not to sell, but to INFORM and EDUCATE. The true strength of Apple products is based in their interoperability, in other words, the ECOSYSTEM. Consumers, especially first-timers, need to become acquainted with the many more things they can do with Apple devices than they may have been aware of when they walked in the door.
  • Reply 20 of 90
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,608member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post





    The retail landscape sure ain't pretty these days.

     

    Except for the shining triumph of Apple’s own retail stores.

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