Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) first retailer is closing its stores in Uptown Minneapolis. FirstTech, which was founded more than 70 years ago, announced on Thursday that it will close down on March 29. Presently, FirstTech is run by the Zuckman brothers, who inherited the store from their parents. The business was started as radio-repair store in 1940, as reported by Pioneer Press. It has been selling Apple products since the 1970s. The business transformed into an electronics store in 1977 before becoming the first-ever Apple dealer in the world.
Market changes to blame
On its website, an independent electronics business expressed “deep regret” for closing the store down, but said it is for the best.
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“Sales at the Rochester location ceased on Wednesday. Staff will be on site at Apache Mall through the end of the week for customer pickups,” FirstTech informed, and added that the Minneapolis store will be open for retail sales and “and customer pick-ups through Saturday, March 29.”
On the website, the store wrote that the industry has changed rapidly and dramatically in the last two years, with rising competition and squeezing margins. Such a scenario has made it difficult for the business to run profitably, and provide the best level of services that the brand is known for.
Apple store in neighborhood
Another factor that might have contributed to the closure is an upcoming Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) store just down the street on Hennepin Avenue.
“It had one little corner which was 6 foot by 6 foot — one computer, one screen and demo program running on it,” Keith Madonna, a regular customer, recalled. “It was an Apple 2 and had serial number 289.” Madonna has been visiting the store for years, and has been friends with the original owners. He said that the store treated him like family.
A 26 year old employee of the store, Fred Evans said that changes in the industry are to blame for the closure of the store. Big brands are offering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products at below cost, which is not possible for FirstTech. So, “we were left with an option to do a bad job or to close down, and we chose to go out on top,” Evans said.