EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Simply Mac is leaving thousands of employees across the country jobless after suddenly and unexpectedly shutting their doors. The Apple retailer announced on June 9 that the company was forced to shut down and terminate all employees in anticipation for bankruptcy filing.
When Eyewitness News visited the Evansville store, we found a letter from the CEO taped to the inside of the glass door. Alongside the letter were sticky notes that hurled expletives at the failed company, presumably written by a former employee.
In the letter, Simply Mac’s CEO Rein Voigt describes why he thinks his business failed, pushing blame onto the pandemic for its collapse. He also states that his now-former employees will not receive their final paycheck, saying they will have to submit a claim in bankruptcy court to receive compensation.
People upset by the news took to social media to relay their frustrations over the sudden unforeseen decision.
“So I’ve been reading tweets regarding the Simply Mac closure and it looks like a crappy situation for both employees and customers. I feel bad for them,” said @WinPhanKyle on Twitter.
“Just lettin’ y’all know.. Simply Mac is shut down as of today. Woke up this morning w news of no job. So if you have devices in there for repair i’d start making some phone calls to recover them. Hopefully they’ll use the info in there and call you guys or however they decide to do that. I dont even know who you’d contact at this point so Good luck. I heard there was a line out front waiting for us to open. They’re not going to. Just wanted to pass that along. ” former Simply Mac employee Austin Tufono posted on Facebook.
“Simply Mac closing effective immediately is ****** up,” said Twitter user @ProducedByTip. “Jobs expect a two week or more notice for an employee’s departure but can close at a moments notice no matter how it impacts its staff.”
Rein Voigt’s final letter left for company employees can be read below.
June 9, 2022
To All Simply Mac Employees:
I am saddened I must deliver to you the bad news that today we are forced shut down our
business and terminate all employees effective immediately in anticipation of filing for
Protection under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. 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 preeminent 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 world-wide pandemic would start and
ultimately cause us to layoff half our workforce and close many of our stores. We were able to
survive that initial blow with the help of $5.1 million in PPP loans from the government.
As the first wave of the pandemic receded, in October 2020 we began a program to open new
stores under the assumption that we had a solid model and could drive to profitability through
economies of scale. But we could also not have foreseen that the Alpha variant of COVID
would emerge, followed by Delta and Omicron. During all of this, our financial performance
never met our expectations and we were unable to get sufficient funding. The 2021 holiday
selling season was a great disappointment due to the funding constraints. Although we had
hopes that new funding would materialize over the past few months, it never did, and we were
unable to adequately stock our stores with inventory or stay current with our financial
obligations. Nonetheless, I am proud of what we accomplished, and want to thank you all for
your efforts and dedication.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will result in a complete liquidation of the company, and we are forced to
shut down all stores and operations immediately. A court-appointed Trustee with then be in
control of the Company, and will be in charge of liquidating all remaining assets and making
distributions to creditors based on the Bankruptcy Code. We are unable to pay payroll tomorrow
or in the future, and all employees will receive a notice from the Bankruptcy Court in due course
and have an opportunity to submit a claim.
We are sorry it has come to this, and wish everyone the best in the future.
Rein Voigt, CEO