Even as one well-known Apple reseller is poised to return from the dead, another is slimming down its operations amid the challenging environment for reselling and servicing Apple products.
At least four stores from authorized Apple reseller partner Simply Mac are closing, according to media reports.
A spokesperson for Simply Mac – which is owned by GameStop, and also provides services such as repairs of Apple products – said in a statement that the parent company is "evaluating and closing non-productive locations."
The spokesperson did not respond to CRN queries about how many Simply Mac stores in total are slated for closure.
The closures come as the Tekserve Apple reseller brand may be revived under new ownership by solution provider Axispoint.
Tekserve's well-known Manhattan store closed in August, but the brand and an affiliated company, T2 Computing, were acquired this month by New York-based Axispoint, No. 193 on the CRN Solution Provider 500. Axispoint is weighing the possibility of bringing back the Tekserve name, Axispoint President and CEO Dan DiSano told CRN.
Jerry Zigmont, owner of MacWorks LLC, an Apple consultant based in Madison, Conn., said his company has evaluated becoming an Apple service provider in the past but found there was not enough upside. "I think most of the Apple authorized service providers in existence right now have been clinging on for dear life for a number of years," Zigmont said, amid competition from Apple's own retail and services stores.
"The lack of success they're having is nothing new," he said.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment on the business environment for authorized Apple partners.
According to media reports, Simply Mac locations in Billings, Montana; Midland, Texas; Cherry Valley, Illinois; and Fargo, North Dakota, have all been slated for closure as of this month.
GameStop is currently "right-sizing our global store portfolio across all our retail brands," the company said in its statement. Simply Mac's web site reports that the company has 76 stores in the U.S.
For the final nine weeks of 2016, GameStop reported that its total global sales were down 16.4 percent, year-over-year, to $2.5 billion.