Joel Lukacher has had enough. Between the looters looking to take advantage of Hurricane Frances, the impact that Frances, Ivan, Charley, and Jeanne had on Florida businesses, and most importantly, the lack of Power Mac G5s from Apple, Mr. Lukacher had to close The Mac Store, his Apple Specialist retail store in Cooper City, Florida. From The Mac Storeis Web site:
For the last 11 years, our customers have allowed me, and my staff to enter their personal lives and businesses. Words cannot express how we will miss you all.
There are many reasons why we cannot continue. The slow economy, the 3 hurricanes, the break-ins, and the lack of G5s and iMacs for many months, are some of the elements that played against us. The store may be gone, but its customers and staff are better for their time together.
The break-in referred to in The Mac Storeis goodbye note took place on the morning of September 2nd, when 6 vandals used a truck to tear the front door off the hinge. They werenit able to steal any Macs, however, because they had all been wrapped up in plastic and put away in a 10i x 10i vault at the back of the store. That didnit keep them from doing more than US$10,000 in damage to the property, though, and that was a sore blow to a struggling small business.
The Mac Observer spoke to Mr. Lukacher who said that all three issues, the hurricane, and the lack of his bread and butter product, the Power Mac G5, contributed to his companyis problems, but that it was the G5s that hurt the most.
Catering mostly to prosumers and business customers, The Mac Store sold more towers than any other Mac model, but derived an even larger share of its profits from the units.
"When youire selling a product with a small margin, you have to keep product flowing," he told TMO, and for the past four months, he couldnit get any Power Mac G5s at all. "Thatis a double-edged sword, too, because when you canit sell the tower, you also lose all of the peripheral sales," he said.
The Mac Store isnit the only local Mac retailer with G5 supply problems. When he referred one of his business customer in desperate need of a new G5 to CompUSA, the computer super store ended up selling him its display model. "Itis the same all over," said Mr. Lukacher, and he says that the reason he was given for the shortage by his suppliers is that Apple couldnit get enough G5 processors from IBM.
The Mac Store was open for business for 11 years, and while many might be bitter, Mr. Lukacher is not, nor does he subscribe to any conspiracy theories. "I believe that the people working the channels are sincerely doing the best they can to get us what we need in less than ideal conditions," he said.
He also notes that he has some free time on his hands, noting, "If apple wants me to be a general manager for an Apple Store, Iim probably pretty qualified for that." In the meanwhile, heis available for consulting and technician work.