updated 09:41 am EDT, Thu March 20, 2014
Encroachment of Apple Stores may to be blame
The world's first Apple reseller, Minneapolis' FirstTech, will be closing down both of its locations on March 30, reports say. Although it first began its life as Team Electronics in 1941, selling more general products, it started carrying Apple products in 1977 and then switched into its current specialization. The second outlet opened just last year in a bid to pick up sales in an area outside of the reach of Apple Stores.
Apple's own chain is believed to be at least partly responsible for FirstTech's failure. There are now five nearby Apple Stores, and on top of that FirstTech has had to compete with big-box retailers and online vendors. In 2013, the company tried to reduce its dependence on Apple products by selling educational offerings, like digital whiteboards, and putting more emphasis on its consulting and repair services.
Seventy-five people are losing their jobs as a result of the closure. Many other resellers have also come under pressure in recent years, as Apple retail is now thoroughly entrenched in the US and continuously expanding internationally. There are over 420 Apple Stores worldwide.