A long-running store that provided Apple-related products and services is preparing to shut down in New York City, after 29 years of operation. Founded in 1987 and predating Apple's own retail empire by more than a decade, Tekserve
has confirmed it is preparing to shutter its store and wind down its service center over the next two months, with around 70 people losing their jobs from the West 23rd Street store's closure.
The New York Times reports
the store's service center will be open until July 31, with the retail side of the operation shutting its doors for the last time on August 15. The company itself will continue to function, but offering corporate sales, professional services, and a greater focus on small and medium-sized businesses, said to be a growth area for the organization.
A cultural touchstone for some, Tekserve originally operated between Sixth and Seventh Avenues on 23rd Street, before moving halfway through its life to the current 10,000 square foot establishment. The store was a meeting place for fans of Apple, with CEO Jerry Gepner calling the frequent gatherings the "cult of Mac," where knowledge was shared alongside a "museum" of Apple computers.
As for why it is closing, there are two main reasons described in the report. Rents are becoming too high to keep the store sustainable, a statement from the store advises. The "cultural shift," as described by Gepner, making Apple such a major company also means that there are many more avenues for consumers to go for their Mac and iOS needs, with online options accompanied by six Apple Stores in Manhattan alone, and a Best Buy on the over side of Sixth Avenue.
This cultural change wasn't unexpected, as Gepner was brought on by the owners to see if the retail operation could be salvaged in 2014, but all parties seemed to think "the trend wasn't going to reverse." Ultimately, Gepner sums up the closure as "not a failure of the business. It's like this giant wave finally crashed down upon us."