As a kid who grew up in Minneapolis and was enamored with technology, FirstTech was something of a landmark. It's where you went to buy Apple stuff, plain and simple.
And as I grew older and entered the workforce – first for Best Buy, then Circuit City, then CompUSA – it was where you sent people to get their Apple stuff fixed, especially for obscure problems and older equipment.
The store is closing down on March 29 and, to be honest, I'm kind of shocked it's managed to stay alive this long. Big-box stores first squeezed plenty of the little guys out of business, then found themselves squeezed out of business (Circuit City and CompUSA are long gone). It's incredible that FirstTech is just now having to close its doors.
Julio Ojeda-Zapata of the Pioneer Press has an informative write-up of the news; the store's history as being Apple's first reseller is interesting, to say the least. The rationale behind the closing shouldn't be shocking, though: shrinking (non-existent) margins, big-box stores, and the now-handful of actual Apple stores in the area proved to be too much. Still, 37 years as a computer shop is a pretty great streak.
Minneapolis' FirstTech, Apple retailing pioneer, is closing [TwinCities.com via Ubergizmo]