When Walnut Street’s Apple store opened in July, gleaming and mother-shippy, some refused to celebrate one more corporate monolith come to squash locally owned treasures. Would beloved Springboard Media — heretofore the Mac store — go the way of, say, the downsized Robin’s Books? Nah, says Everett Katzen, Springboard’s owner. Last year, seeing Apple’s arrival as inevitable, he began pushing used equipment more, and doing more on-site product support for business owners. Today, “Gross sales are flat, but our profitability is up.” The Apple store, which doesn’t offer on-site tech support, has even been referring customers to him for tech help. And as Katzen can attest, save someone’s computer and you’ve got a friend for life: “We’ve had customers make special trips in, not to buy anything, just to make sure we know they’re not going anywhere.”
Pulse: Chatter: Will the Apple Store Kill Springboard Media?
Mom-and-pop survival in a mega-corp world
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, December 2010