First Apple Retailer, FirstTech, to Shut Down

FirstTech may not be a familiar name, but it holds a special place in the history of technology because it was the very first store to sell Apple's personal computers. Time marches on, and now the Minneapolis-based retailer is closing its doors after more than 35 years in business, and will be taking a little bit of the glory days of the personal computing frontier days with it.

FirstTech was the first Apple II reseller, and is going out business after more than 35 yearsFirstTech was the first Apple II reseller, and is going out business after more than 35 years

FirstTech was known as Team Electronics when it became the first Apple reseller in the 1970s. The store has been selling Apple products ever since ranging from the Apple II up through the latest Mac computer models.

Employees found out on Wednesday that the store will close its doors for the last time on March 29, becoming yet another independent Apple reseller that couldn't compete with national electronics chains that sell products below cost.

Product Manager Fred Evans told the Pioneer Press the national vendors "basically been willing to sell the computer equipment below cost to go after the national service business." That made it more difficult for independent shops to compete, and has been driving them out of business.

Apple's own retail stores -- there are five in the Twin Cities, one of which is just blocks from FirstTech -- didn't help, although Mr. Evens didn't see that as a major factor in his store's decline. The Apple stores would even send business their way when customers would come in with older Macs needing service.

FirstTech managed to keep loyal customers over the years. "The person who bought that first Apple II also bought our first Lisa (computer) and our first Macintosh. To this day, he is still our customer," Mr. Evans said.

With only nine days left in business, there isn't much time to pay a visit to FirstTech. If you happen to be in the Twin Cities area, swing by and thank them for their long time contribution to the Apple community.