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Mac Chain ComputerWare Closes Shop

SUNNYVALE, CALIF. — Long-time Bay Area Apple dealer ComputerWare closed its doors on April 3.

The 10-store chain, based here, had been in business for 17 years and gave no reason for the decision. A message at the company’s main telephone number merely stated that the retailer was unable to continue business.

Company executives immediately shuttered nine of the stores and a liquidation sale is underway here.

ComputerWare had given no outward signs of being in financial trouble and had just opened its online store in October 2000. The chain had earnings of about $63 million in 2000, according to industry figures. It did take ComputerWare much longer than expected to get its online sales operation up and running. The company’s original plan was to be in this segment at least three years earlier.

Sales of Apple computers have lagged for the past quarter, but the introduction of the new OS X operating system is expected to give a boost to sales. ComputerWare had a close working relationship with Apple and Apple used the chain as a test bed for new products and marketing plans, according to ComputerWare employees.