Tekserve, known as "New York's mom-and-pop Apple shop," has been around since 1987. Rumor has it, they won't be around much longer. (*See update from management below)
Reliable reader Simone reports that she heard from three different employees they are closing shop in August. They say they're hoping to relocate in Chelsea. But, of course, rents are sky-high in a city full of corporate chain stores.
When they opened 29 years ago, founded by three former engineers at public radio station WBAI, they filled their space with antique radios and stereoscopes, along with that old Coke machine that dispenses real glass bottles. They were quirky, homey, local. Back then, there were no shiny Apple Stores. Now there are--how many?
"What're you gonna do," said one employee to Simone. "It's part of Apple's business model to streamline things, cut out the middleman so they'll have complete control."
As a long-time regular at the shop, I'll be very sorry to see Tekserve close.
I go there to avoid the sleek, corporate "pod people" atmosphere of the Apple Store, to get humane and reliable service, and enjoy an ice-cold bottle of Coca-Cola while I wait--sometimes in a state of post-motherboard apocalypse trauma.
If Tekserve does find a new location and reopen, says Simone, "They will continue to do repairs but no more retail sales, since people are mainly purchasing online."
*UPDATE: CEO of Tekserve Jerry Gepner got in touch to fill us in on the details. He writes:
"I want to state clearly that Tekserve has no plans to close, but we will morph with the times.
Tekserve was founded to provide service and data recovery to the Apple community. We intend to preserve and in fact, to grow our service operation. We were the first to provide repairs for Apple users in New York and continue to pride ourselves on the quality of our service and data recovery teams and the trust that so many customers place in us every day. It is a trust we do not intend to breach. In addition, we have a growing business that sells Apple based solutions to small and mid sized businesses (SMB) in New York. Going forward, we will be focused more heavily in this area as well. At the end of the day we fully intend to continue selling and servicing Apple products and accessories.
We are indeed winding down our retail store operation. This is not due simply to major vendors squeezing margins for their resellers and channel partners, but more down to the changing face of retail in general. Over the past several years, consumer buying habits and options have changed, particularly with respect to consumer electronics. The small specialty retailer is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and Tekserve is no different in that respect.
We do have plans to relocate in the fall. You (correctly) point out that business rents in New York City are high and have been rising for the past several years. This presents a challenge to all small businesses, but we are confident that our repair service and SMB sales activities are excellent businesses and we intend to stay in Manhattan with both of them. Our hope is to stay in or near the Chelsea neighborhood that has been home to us for so many years, but it's too early to tell if that will be possible.
In summary, Tekserve will still be the best place for New Yorkers to buy a Mac, get their Macs fixed, get expert advice about Apple products and for small businesses - the very best place to get an Apple business solution that works right out of the box. Change is never easy, but evolution is necessary-- and in our case, the evolution is very much a 'back to the future' move--but one we are excited to make."
museum of Macs
A little historic reading, from New York magazine, 1991: