NeXT hit by closure of retail computer giant

May 14, 1992: on this day, Steve Jobs’ company, NeXT, is in trouble as the retail stores of the computer giant Businessland have lost market share due to the closure of retail stores.

Businessland was once the largest computer retail chain in America, with over 100 locations nationwide. In 1989, Businessland signed an agreement with NeXT to sell the company’s expensive $9,995 computers on Businessland’s corporate network. Businessland founder David Norman believed that sales of NeXT devices would soon surpass those of Compaq computers and hoped to sell about 100,000 units a year. But by the end of the decade, only 360 units had been sold. Worse still, each NeXT computer sold cost $10,000 to Businessland due to investment in advertising and marketing.

Failure of NeXT

In May 1992, Businessland closed its stores, ending its deal with Jobs. In addition, investor Ross Perot left NeXT’s board of directors shortly after, stating that the investment was “his biggest mistake”. Directors were leaving the company en masse, and Jobs’ personal fortune continued to decline due to the failure of NeXT. NeXT completely ceased production of equipment and laid off many employees.

But two years later, Pixar released its first feature film, Toy Story. His IPO turned Jobs into a billionaire, and then he sold NeXT to Apple. Five years after the collapse of Businessland, Jobs returned to the management of Apple.