JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Thursday morning, employees of the Simply Mac store in The Mall at Johnson City received an email from the CEO stating they would be closing indefinitely.
“We were basically told to get our personal belongings and leave the store, as is,” said Former Simply Mac Store Leader, Kenneth Perciful.
He told News Channel 11 that he knew the company had fallen on hard times but never expected this. He said he was in the middle of his usual morning routine, not even at work yet when he learned no one would be working that day.
He said the email did not specify how to return belongings to customers, only that they were to lock up and leave. This news was also concerning to customers with products inside the store awaiting repairs.
“Apple actually put out an article yesterday regarding what had happened and saying that a lot of customers probably are not going to be able to get their stuff back because they literally let employees go and locked the doors,” said Susan Miller.
Although no longer with the company, Perciful felt he couldn’t leave without making sure customers got their belongings back. “I had about 130 maybe more items to work through. I honestly didn’t think I would get through calling everybody,” he said.
After making call after call for nearly seven hours, Perciful said he was able to return all but 3 items. One of the Mac Books awaiting repair was Susan Miller’s. She said the call from Perciful was a shock, but a blessing.
“All of my access and everything was on that laptop so had I not gotten it back, that would’ve been a lot of very important daily, personal, and business information that I would not have had access to,” said Miller.
People were reunited with items but that’s not the case for every store that’s closing. Because Perciful took it upon himself to do this, people were able to reclaim what was theirs.
“I’m not getting paid to be there but at the end of the day, I knew it was the right thing to do,” he said.
“That Just sets a standard for the type of person he is, the type of people they had working there, and how sad it is that they no longer have a job,” said Miller.
A few customers reached out to News Channel 11 also commending Kenneth Perciful’s efforts. One man even mentioned how unfair this is to those employees and his intent to file a complaint with the Tennessee Attorney General about how this situation was handled and played out.
Many of the returned items were not even repaired yet.
Miller said the only certified repair shop in the area now is Best Buy and that they were booked out for weeks when she called.