Blessed by being Apple’s first reseller of personal computers in 1976, but cursed by the proximity of five of Apple’s own retail stores, FirstTech Computers (Minneapolis) is closing down by month’s end, the latest in a string of resellers who could not compete. As reported by TwinCities.com, 75 employees at two locations will lose their jobs on March 29th. Since their first delivery of Apple II computers, FirstTech prospered and had the retail market to itself. But in August 2001 Apple opened a retail store at the Mall of America. It was the chain’s 4th store and, not coincidentally, was located near then-Sr. VP Ron Johnson’s home town of Edina (which hosted its own store, Southdale, in 2002). Since then, four more Apple stores have opened in the region, including the Uptown store just five blocks away. Like other resellers in the United States, FirstTech felt the pressure from Apple’s stores. It was often difficult to obtain sufficient products, product manager Fred Evans told TwinCities. FirstTech tried to stay relevant by offering a wider range of services than Apple, including setting up Windows computers. But now, after 37 years, FirstTech will close and become part of Apple’s continuing retail legend.