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World's first Apple reseller to close after 37 years, and other news for March 20, 2014

The first Apple reseller is closing its doors next week after 37 years in business. Minneapolis-based FirstTech's last day of business will be March 29th with a going-out-of-business sale beginning today. The company (originally known as Team Electronics) began selling Apple computers in the late 1970s, becoming Apple's first reseller in the process. FirstTech's owner says he's closing up shop because the independent reseller can no longer compete with national chains. As reports:

Evans attributes FirstTech's demise to market forces, including shrinking hardware margins amid competition from a growing number of aggressive national vendors.

These vendors have "basically been willing to sell the computer equipment below cost to go after the national service business," he noted. It became increasingly difficult for "a brick-and-mortar to offer personalized service when we can't make any money off the product you're selling.

"It has been a dramatic change in that regard, the last couple of years in particular," Evans said.

FirstTech actually predates Apple by a good thirty years, opening in 1941 selling radios, televisions, and phonographs. The company has seen a lot, so it should be no surprise they have an interesting bit of Apple history to tell:

The company's entry into the Apple business is legend.

Apple was so new to computer selling, it did not have its own paperwork for consummating deals, Evans said. So FirstTech grabbed one of its older contracts, removed the customer name from it and added Apple's name.

Pete Paulsen, who sold the company's first computer shortly afterward, went on to become FirstTech's general manager.

"The person who bought that first Apple II also bought our first Lisa (computer) and our first Macintosh," Evans said. "To this day, he is still our customer."

In other news:

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