Apple’s First-Ever Reseller Is Closing

March 19, 2014

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, 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.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick March 20, 2014 at 1435

It was the Mall of America store that first opened in Minnesota on August 1 1th (I think) 2001 as the 4th store in the company.


Gary Allen March 20, 2014 at 1854

Thanks for the correction on the region’s first mall. MOA was the fourth store in the chain, which reinforces the story’s point even more that Ron Johnson’s home territory received a gift of an early Apple store. Darn the luck for FirstTech. I also corrected the year of first delivery to 1976.


Daniel March 20, 2014 at 1439

They were Apple’s first reseller four years before Apple was founded? Amazing foresight on their part.


Agustin March 20, 2014 at 1504

They became Apple resellers, four years after opening.


Mikelangello March 25, 2014 at 0610

That Apple has seemingly never thought to somehow offer these mavens (within the larger iCommunity) integration and/or opportunities at their own Apple Stores is stunning to me. I just really do feel like it shows a considerate lack of positive community entry. Just me.


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