Thursday, June 9, 2022

[BANKRUPT] Apple Authorized Sales and Service Provider Closes All Stores, Blames COVID

Apple authorized retail and service provider Simply Mac is shutting down after sixteen years in business.  The company is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will be completely liquidated, according to materials reviewed by ToNeTo Atlanta Thursday.  

Cool Holdings, Inc. acquired Simply Mac, formerly a division of GameStop (NYSE: GME), in September 2019, with plans to grow what was then a 41 unit chain into 200 locations.  There were most recently 53 Simply Mac stores nationwide.  

In a letter to staff members seen by ToNeTo Atlanta, and reported first by AppleInsider, Simply Mac CEO Rein Voigt said that it is shutting down its operations and terminating all employees effective immediately.  Phone calls to Atlanta area stores went unanswered Thursday and it's unclear what the company is doing to allow for the retrieval of devices being serviced, or existing orders.   The Simply Mac website was down as of Thursday afternoon with a message indicating that it was "Under Maintenance."   

"Since our acquisition of Simply Mac from GameStop on September 25, 2019, we have worked hard as a team to grow our company to be North America's pre-eminent Apple Partner and provide our customers with transformational experiences that drive long-term loyalty. However, we could not have possibly foreseen that on December 12, 2019 in Wuhan, China a worldwide pandemic would start and ultimately cause us to layoff half our workforce and close many of our stores."

The company blamed its failure on "pandemic-related financial difficulties," adding that Simply Mac is unable to adequately stock its shelves with products or "stay current with our financial obligations." The company also revealed that it will be unable to pay employees - who were expecting to be paid on June 10 for the pay period that ended a week ago. Voigt did indicate that all staff members will receive a notice from the bankruptcy court and will be able to submit a claim. 

Cool Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: AWSM)  announced on October 13, 2020 that it would change its name to "Simply, Inc.", change its ticker symbol on the OTCQB Venture Market to "SIMP" and effect a 1-for-10 reverse stock split.  The stock is down nearly 70 percent year-to-date (YTD) and was down nearly 20 percent Thursday.  SIMP ended Thursday trading at 80 cents per share.  

Online listings indicate that Simply Mac operated nine stores in Georgia including those at The Avenue East Cobb, The Avenue West Cobb, and another at Peachtree Corners Town Center that it just relocated this past September after operating in The Forum on Peachtree Parkway for ten years.  Simply Mac also operated stores at The Collection Forsyth in Cumming, The Avenue Peachtree City in addition to outposts in Athens, Macon, Gainesville and St. Simons Island.  

For its part, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) operates six stores in Georgia: Avalon in Alpharetta, Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, Lenox Square in Buckhead, Cumberland Mall in Atlanta, Mall of Georgia in Buford and Augusta Mall in Augusta.  

Many of Simply Mac's locations were underserved by Apple itself, and the closures will leave significant voids for local sales and support.   It's not clear if a bankruptcy court date has been set, nor when or how the liquidation will commence. 

Are you a former Simply Mac employee?  Are you a current Simply Mac customer?  What would you like to see open in place of the new in place of the now shuttered Atlanta area Simply Mac stores?

Please share your thoughts below. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not surprised. East Cobb area. They had bad hours of operation 9-6 Tuesday - Saturday and closed on Sunday and Monday. They always told me to go to Cumberland mall because of better selection. Bye.

Anonymous said...

Effective immediately and not paying employees? I'll be upper management didn't get stiffed. Something smells like feces.

Anonymous said...

The store at Hamilton place in Chattanooga is a weird spot to fill… we’ll see how that goes

RayAtL said...

yelp reviews about the Forum location kept me away.

Anonymous said...

They have my computer

Jodyml813 said...

You might be able to contact the landlord and see if they have taken possession. However, your best bet's going to probably be bankruptcy court. Which is to say, you may never see your computer again. If you paid on your credit card though, you might be able to file a claim with your credit card company.

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