retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Daily Beast has a story about a New York City store called Tekserve, described as being in many ways the first Apple Store - an independently owned, 25,000 square foot store on West 23rd Street that serviced Apple products long before the computer company got into the retail and Genius Bar business.

"Until the all-conquering advent of the Apple stores—of which there are now seven in New York City—Mac users would deliver their sick and malfunctioning machines to the deft fingers, efficient aid, and warm, concise counsel of the experts of Tekserve," the story says.
But now, 29 years after it first opened, Tekserve is closing its doors for good, and auctioning off the "vintage and esoteric gadgetry" collected by co-founder Dick Demenus over the years.

The sad reality is that the world has changed.

"I love my business, and it’s sad that it can’t make it in this environment,” Demenus tells the Daily Beast. "It’s kind of inevitable. Rents are going sky-high, and it’s a tough business environment for what we do. We're bricks and mortar and up against the internet and seven Apple stores. And we started out as the Apple store.

“Now you can buy a Mac almost anywhere, like the Best Buy on the corner. The internet is the big nail in the coffin. The overhead for that business is so low. They’re in the middle of nowhere. We’re in the middle of Manhattan and we’re one location, so volume is necessarily low, so you can’t compete on price.

“Apple does a good job with servicing now, and computers have become more like appliances, and more reliable and cheaper. There’s less demand for our service. If a computer fails after three years, now you think, ‘Maybe it’s time to get a new one.’”

The store may be closing, but the lesson is an Eye-Opener.
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