Apple retailer Simply Mac is shutting down

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple authorized retail and service provider Simply Mac is shutting down after sixteen years of business because of pandemic-related financial difficulties -- leaving employees and potentially customers with repairs out in the cold.

Credit: Simply Mac
Credit: Simply Mac


In a letter to staff members seen by AppleInsider, and acquired from multiple sources, Simply Mac CEO Rein Voigt said that it is shutting down its operations and terminating all employees effective immediately.
Since our acquisition of Simply Mac from GameStop on September 25, 2019, we have worked hard as a team to grow our company to be North America's pre-eminent Apple Partner and provide our customers with transformational experiences that drive long-term loyalty. However, we could not have possibly foreseen that on December 12, 2019 in Wuhan, China a worldwide pandemic would start and ultimately cause us to layoff half our workforce and close many of our stores.
Citing funding issues, Voigt said that Simply Mac is unable to adequately stock its shelves with products or "stay current with our financial obligations." The company is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will be completely liquidated.

Simply Mac operated 53 brick-and-mortar retail outlets in the U.S. Most of Simply Mac's locations were underserved by Apple itself, and the closures will leave enormous voids for relatively local sales and support.

Voigt said that the company will be unable to pay employees - who were expecting to be paid on July 10 for the previous pay period that ended a week ago. However, he said that all staff members will receive a notice from the bankruptcy court and will be able to submit a claim.

It's not clear when the bankruptcy court will rule, nor when or how the liquidation will begin. Also not clear is the retrieval process for machines under service, or existing orders.

We have also received emails from customers that have been put off for days asking for status of repairs. While it is still early for most of Simply Mac's geographical areas, so far today, these calls have been ignored.

AppleInsider has reached out to Simply Mac, and has not as of yet received a response on how it will deal with outstanding customer issues.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    kendalskendals Posts: 4member
    wow!  I just got my Mac Studio from there about 1 month ago...good thing I got it or my $$$ would have been gone...
    skippingrockwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    kendals said:
    wow!  I just got my Mac Studio from there about 1 month ago...good thing I got it or my $$$ would have been gone...
    I had a Mac Studio while I waited for my MacBook Pro to come in due to the Shanghai delay. It’s a pretty good computer. I almost kept it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    ncrx93ncrx93 Posts: 2member
    Don’t let SimplyMac lie to you. It wasn’t due to “pandemic reasons”. No they are Bankrupt due to the rampant time card editing and literal payroll fraud going on company wide. They had to pay fines to the federal government for every changed time card. They had to pay every employee they STOLE from the overtime pay. Most people didn’t even get the full amount owed. 
    Don’t let them be the victim. They abused employees, ignored sexual harassment reports, and committed fraud. They are the Villain here, they did this to themselves. 
    I left when I could but my heart goes out to the employees who are yet again being STOLEN FROM. I bet the higher ups get their pay for the last 3 weeks. 
    magman1979Alex_Vmaximararonnnarwhalwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Steve HumistonSteve Humiston Posts: 9unconfirmed, member
    ncrx93 said:
    Don’t let SimplyMac lie to you. It wasn’t due to “pandemic reasons”. No they are Bankrupt due to the rampant time card editing and literal payroll fraud going on company wide. They had to pay fines to the federal government for every changed time card. They had to pay every employee they STOLE from the overtime pay. Most people didn’t even get the full amount owed. 
    Don’t let them be the victim. They abused employees, ignored sexual harassment reports, and committed fraud. They are the Villain here, they did this to themselves. 
    I left when I could but my heart goes out to the employees who are yet again being STOLEN FROM. I bet the higher ups get their pay for the last 3 weeks. 

    I looked this up.. looks like it happened in 2017, prior to the new ownership: https://www.classaction.org/media/lotz-v-simply-mac.pdf


    edited June 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    ncrx93ncrx93 Posts: 2member
    It did happen then and then again in 2021. I was there, I was the whistle blower
    Alex_Vdarkvadernarwhalwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    ncrx93 said:
    Don’t let SimplyMac lie to you. It wasn’t due to “pandemic reasons”. No they are Bankrupt due to the rampant time card editing and literal payroll fraud going on company wide. They had to pay fines to the federal government for every changed time card. They had to pay every employee they STOLE from the overtime pay. Most people didn’t even get the full amount owed. 
    Don’t let them be the victim. They abused employees, ignored sexual harassment reports, and committed fraud. They are the Villain here, they did this to themselves. 
    I left when I could but my heart goes out to the employees who are yet again being STOLEN FROM. I bet the higher ups get their pay for the last 3 weeks. 

    I looked this up.. looks like it happened in 2017, prior to the new ownership: https://www.classaction.org/media/lotz-v-simply-mac.pdf


    He's right. My wife was store manager of the one where we live. They adjusted timed cards for two of her employees twice before she became manager. They also recently bought an electric scooter company and were pushing those to be sold and making those priority over their apple products and Apple didn't like it. Their lack of inventory is because their department that handled orders and preorders didn't submit for any inventory for over six months and upper management missed it. The store here had over 25k stolen from a third party fed ex delivery service, and her manager at the time ignored it and fudged inventory stock to make him look good so he could get district manager. She corrected those issues, we would both stay past closing time several days so she could try to catch up because they issued a hiring freeze, and let management know what was going on, and to reward her they fired her. It's been two months and she hasn't gotten any unemployment because they have been requesting more time and forgetting to file paperwork even though she has 7k accrued unemployment benefits. This company has been very shady to say the least, she believed if she moved up then maybe she could talk to the right people and help turn it around, but they drove that company into the ground and we are laughing hysterically at the fact that they have gone bankrupt. Her friends that are being screwed on the lack of last weeks pay are pretty pissed and we feel sorry for them, but that company has been an absolute p.o.s. company. 
    Alex_VdewmemaximaraMacsWithPenguinsronnnarwhal
  • Reply 7 of 20
    I was a 4 year employee of Simply Mac. I was let go last year after being accused of theft by someone one or two rungs from the top of the company, with no proof. They treated me like an absolute dog.

    They fired my boss for wanting to close in those very early days of the pandemic, when we had a very early case of COVID and no protocols were established. They berated and insulted her to the point of her being let go for insubordination, a store manager. I picked up the pieces and through two failed store leaders.

    I managed to keep it going and I was let go for one troublesome count. At the same time a half dozen other 4+ year vets from a bunch of stores were also let go for minor issues. This company deserved to fail terribly.

    I can also confirm that one store had a service leader who was abusive to female customers and coworkers to the point he was let go despite him being the only management the store had. 

    I'm so so so sorry to the people who are being shafted - but the company never planned for how to survive. They tried expanding during an incredibly unreasonable time, and used PPP funds to line pockets rather than sure up business. Good riddance to the company.
    Alex_VmaximaraMacsWithPenguinsronnnarwhalwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    Dybarra1317: I can agree with and confirm everything you've said. Give your wife my deep condolences for her treatment, I hope with the bankruptcy they lose the ability to fight the unemployment. 
    Alex_VMacsWithPenguinsnarwhalwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    neilmneilm Posts: 961member
    Wow! Who knew?

    We have a Simply Mac store where I live and I've been glad of it. The nearest two Apple Stores are each about 100 miles away, so having a local Mac store, especially for repairs, has been useful. I've had both an iMac Pro and a 27" iMac repaired there — these are not models you want to be shipping if it can be avoided. As far as product sales go, our Simply Mac has certainly suffered from the two local Best Buy stores, which are also in better locations, and their Apple "store-within-a-store" setup.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 920member
    So, apparently Simply Mac had lots of issues, but there's a big one that nobody's mentioned yet:

    Apple is EXTREMELY abusive to authorized resellers/service providers.  Warranty repairs are reimbursed at unsustainably low rates.  Provider part cost for out of warranty repairs is frequently EXACTLY what an Apple Store would charge for the entire repair.  And of course you're not allowed to actually repair anything, you're only supposed to do board swaps, and only supposed to use parts from Apple.  Back in the hard drive days that meant authorized shops were technically not allowed to do RAM upgrades or hard drive upgrades, and were only supposed to do like-for-like swaps with Apple parts (most ignored rule ever, obviously).

    Sales had insanely low margins.  A dealer would typically not make more than 5%, and in worst case sales (Remember the $500 mini?) selling a Mac when the buyer paid with an AMEX card would actually LOSE money making a sale.  Getting product was a nightmare too.  After a new model launch, an authorized dealer could wait months to actually get a new model.  Catalog resellers got product first, then big box, then independent authorized dealers.  Once Apple opened their own stores they immediately got product, sometimes they had new models ready on launch day, while dealers couldn't even order until a day or two after a launch.

    So I'm not ever surprised when an Apple dealer/service provider goes out of business.  Louis Rossmann got it right, the only way to make money fixing Macs is to be completely unauthorized and actually fix them, not just swap boards like Apple wants.
    tobianMacsWithPenguins
  • Reply 11 of 20
    tobiantobian Posts: 135member
    darkvader said:
    So, apparently Simply Mac had lots of issues, but there's a big one that nobody's mentioned yet:

    Apple is EXTREMELY abusive to authorized resellers/service providers.  Warranty repairs are reimbursed at unsustainably low rates.  Provider part cost for out of warranty repairs is frequently EXACTLY what an Apple Store would charge for the entire repair.  And of course you're not allowed to actually repair anything, you're only supposed to do board swaps, and only supposed to use parts from Apple.  Back in the hard drive days that meant authorized shops were technically not allowed to do RAM upgrades or hard drive upgrades, and were only supposed to do like-for-like swaps with Apple parts (most ignored rule ever, obviously).

    Sales had insanely low margins.  A dealer would typically not make more than 5%, and in worst case sales (Remember the $500 mini?) selling a Mac when the buyer paid with an AMEX card would actually LOSE money making a sale.  Getting product was a nightmare too.  After a new model launch, an authorized dealer could wait months to actually get a new model.  Catalog resellers got product first, then big box, then independent authorized dealers.  Once Apple opened their own stores they immediately got product, sometimes they had new models ready on launch day, while dealers couldn't even order until a day or two after a launch.

    So I'm not ever surprised when an Apple dealer/service provider goes out of business.  Louis Rossmann got it right, the only way to make money fixing Macs is to be completely unauthorized and actually fix them, not just swap boards like Apple wants.
    Sales margins on Apple stuff were up to 13% for Premium Resellers in central Europe.

    However, repair tiers are really low. My employer once even reached Premium Service Provider status for a while, but I’ve been still forced to do frauds. Like scratching antireflective coating on broken screens in order to get one free (but charging customer full price for it), pushing applewatch batteries to puff using glow lamps, to get one free (but charging customer for whole unit exchange), etc.
    I’ve been forced to do this from the beginning on behalf of my own Apple TechID. I felt terrible, that I’ve ended up cheating Apple and worsening all what Apple stands for.. carbon footprint, perception of quality, etc.. until, after couple of visits of Apple AASP representative, I realised they know about it but doing nothing with it. It seemed they play together. 

    Never again.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,938member
    It is very expensive to have a physical retail store in this economy.

    Regarding the employee situation... employees need to realize just how expensive they are to a company. They need to work *hard* to earn their pay. Do I sound jaded? Yes. I have employees that sit on their butts (when not supervised) waiting for customers to come in, and yet expect to be paid for that unproductive time. It's shameful. To demand full pay for half work is disgusting.

    I'm not saying that this applies to the Simply Mac employee situation, but I'm sure that the cost of employee wages alone was a big factor in them shutting down. If every employee worked harder to earn their pay, maybe the company would have had a better chance at surviving.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    Does anyone have anymore information on what current customers should expect? I dropped $4,000 2 months ago on a custom MacBook Pro and it’s still not delivered. Wondering if it ever will be or how I can recoup my money back… :( 
    narwhalwatto_cobrabcsChristine_m_l
  • Reply 14 of 20
    titantigertitantiger Posts: 300member
    Well that sucks.  Nearest Apple Store is 1 1/2 hours from here.  Simply Mac was great to have around.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    Sounds like a real sh** show over there.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    bcsbcs Posts: 1member
    I left an IPad Air 4 at Simply Mac on May 21.  Because it took no charge the associate recommended replacement.  Now, on June 28 I am still without  an IPad.  MANY phone calls on my part resulted in my learning that I was not the only one this happened to, and that it was unknown when this would be resolved.  It seems to me that Apple would have a responsibility to take care of customers immediately and then solve their problem with Simply Mac.  
    Christine_m_l
  • Reply 17 of 20
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,307member
    bcs said:
    I left an IPad Air 4 at Simply Mac on May 21.  Because it took no charge the associate recommended replacement.  Now, on June 28 I am still without  an IPad.  MANY phone calls on my part resulted in my learning that I was not the only one this happened to, and that it was unknown when this would be resolved.  It seems to me that Apple would have a responsibility to take care of customers immediately and then solve their problem with Simply Mac.  

    What problem does Apple have with Simply Mac? If I were you I would get my device back and either get it too an Apple store, or mail it in for service after speaking with Apple and making them aware of the situation. If it's still under he original applecare warranty or you have applecare+ you should have no worries. Simply Mac is liquidating and hasn't paid employees properly... I wouldn't ask them to do anything else except return your device immediately so it can be replaced and you can move on with your life.
    Christine_m_lmuthuk_vanalingamFlytrap
  • Reply 18 of 20
    Do you know how to get our devices back? I’ve called the number that was left on the store out of business sign. I call everyday…so far, they have not communicated. I took a MacBook Pro in for repair (Apple defect with repeating keys). I thought a preferred partner would be safe. It is June 28 and I would just like my computer returned.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,553administrator
    Do you know how to get our devices back? I’ve called the number that was left on the store out of business sign. I call everyday…so far, they have not communicated. I took a MacBook Pro in for repair (Apple defect with repeating keys). I thought a preferred partner would be safe. It is June 28 and I would just like my computer returned.
    Right now, pinning what's going on with Simply Mac down is like trying to nail jello to the floor. We're working on it.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    EFF3XEFF3X Posts: 1member
    Hey is anyone else still waiting for a custom MacBook Pro from simply mac. I ordered a maxed out 16in in February and it never showed up smh I called Apple and they don’t know how to help me… at this point I’m coming to the realization that I’m going to be out almost 7k
    edited July 14
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