This Day in History: February 18

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Today: January 19, 2017
First ComputerLand Franchise Store Opens

February 18, 1977

First ComputerLand Franchise Store Opens

Following the success of IMS Associates, Inc. at selling the IMSAI 8080 by mail-order and through independent dealers, IMSAI founder Bill Millard made the decision to launch a franchise operation of computer retail stores. Initially called Computer Shack, the first ComputerLand franchise store opened on South Street in Morristown, New Jersey, on February 18, 1977. The chain changed its name to ComputerLand shortly thereafter following a threatened lawsuit over similarities of the name to Radio Shack. ComputerLand became the largest computer retailer by the mid-1980s, peaking at approximately 800 stores in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Bill Millard sold his stake in ComputerLand following a management struggle in 1986 to retire to the island of Saipan. After a twenty year-long unsuccessful pursuit by tax authorities, Millard was located again in the Cayman Islands in 2011.