- Apple Store
The Apple Store is a chain of retail stores owned and operated by
Apple Inc., dealing in computers and consumer electronics. As of September 2008, Apple has opened 230 stores, including 197 in 39 US states, 19 in the UK(17 in England, one in Scotland, and one in Northern Ireland. [ [http://www.apple.com/uk/retail/storelist/ Official UK Apple Stores] ] ), nine in Canada, seven in Japan, three in Australia, two in Switzerlandand one in Italyand China.
On July 19, 2008, Apple opened its first store in
China, located in Beijing. A second Beijing store is slated to open in 2009. In addition to the two existing Switzerland Stores, a second Zurich store is slated to open at the end of 2008. Also at the end of 2008 Apple will open an Apple Store at the Rosenstrasse in Munich, Germany. As of September 2008, the largest Apple Store worldwide is located on Regent Street in London, England. [cite news |first=Roland |last=Tellzen |title=Sydney Apple store to open |url=http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23883420-15306,00.html |work=Australian IT |date=2008-06-18 |accessdate=2008-08-16 ]
Design and history
The stores, designed by San Francisco based design firm Eight Inc., carry Apple
computers, software, iPodmusic players, iPhonecell phones, third-party accessories, and other consumer electronics such as the Apple TV. Many stores feature a theater for presentations and workshops, the Studio for training with Apple products, and all stores offer a Genius Barfor technical support and repairs, as well as free workshops available to the public.
The first two Apple Stores opened on May 19, 2001 in
Tysons Corner, Virginiaand Glendale, California. [http://www.ifoapplestore.com/stores/chronology_2.html Timeline of Apple Stores.] ] Apple opened its 200th store on October 26, 2007 in Gilbert, Arizona, 2,251 days after opening its Tysons Corner store. [ [http://www.ifoapplestore.com/db/2007/10/16/apple-nearing-milestone-opening/ Apple nearing milestone opening] ] Many stores are located inside shopping malls, but Apple has since built several stand-alone "flagship" stores in high-profile locations. Flagship stores have opened in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Tokyo, Osaka, Londonand Sydney. A flagship location in Montrealopened at 5PM on July 25, 2008. On May 15, 2008, a flagship store opened in Bostonon Boylston Street, which is the largest store in the United States. Each flagship store was designed to suit the needs of the location and have a unique style. Apple has received numerous architectural awards for its store designs, particularly its SoHo location.cite web|date = 2006-05-19|url = http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/19/technology/19apple.html?ex=1305691200&en=0a5d2e724d58ac68&ei=5090|title = Apple, a Success at Stores, Bets Big on Fifth Avenue|publisher = The New York Times|accessdate = 2006-05-19] cite web|year = 2002|url = http://www.idsa.org/idea/idea2002/G7001.htm|title = Apple Computer Retail Stores: Gold, Environments|publisher = Industrial Designers Society of America|accessdate = 2006-05-12]
Originally, Apple Stores contained a dedicated
point of salestation, however in 2006, Apple began introducing a new store layout and design with metallic walls and backlit signage. The new store design replaced the dedicated point of salestation with the handheld EasyPay system.cite web|date = 2006-09-22|url = http://www.ifoapplestore.com/2006/09/22/first-re-design-photos/|title = Store Redesign Photos|publisher=ifo Apple Store|accessdate = 2006-10-04] cite web|date = 2006|url = http://addingunderstanding.com/2005/12/apple-stores-easy-pay|title = Apple Store's Easy Pay|publisher=Adding Understanding blog|accessdate = 2006-10-04]
Hiring at the retail store is said to be competitive. During one talk, Senior Vice President Ron Johnson said Apple hired 978 store employees during 2002 from an applicant pool of 16,438, an 'acceptance rate' of 5.95%. [ [http://www.ifoapplestore.com/stores/hiring.html ifo Apple Store - Retail Store Hiring ] ]
All Apple Stores feature a Genius Bar, where customers can receive technical advice or set up service and repair for their products. The Genius Bar provides software support for
Mac OS 9or later, and hardware service on products that are not classified [http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304210 vintage or obsolete] . However, in many cases the Geniuses will at least attempt to assist customers with older hardware.cite web|date = 2005|url = http://web.archive.org/web/20061015013900/http://50lbslater.com/blog/?p=45|title = Old School Genius|publisher = Tech Today|accessdate = 2006-10-04] Originally, visitors to the Genius Bar were offered free Evianwater. Apple dropped this amenity in February 2002.
To address increasing numbers of
iPodcustomers at the Genius Bar, some new stores also feature an iPod Bar. First seen at the Ginzastore in Tokyo, then at the New York locations, the iPod Bar has become a common feature at newly built stores.cite web|date = 2005|url = http://us.gizmodo.com/gadgets/portable-media/ipod-bar-japan-great-service-but-the-cocktails-need-work-139631.php|title = iPod Bar Japan: Great Service But The Cocktails Need Work|publisher = Gizmodo|accessdate = 2006-10-04]
Most new stores feature a station called The Studio, a Genius Bar-like setting where customers can meet with a "Creative" and receive help with projects ranging from organizing a photo album to music composition to film editing. Some of the older stores are being considered to carry a Studio in a future remodel, in some cases replacing the older theaters.
Store openings have become special events among avid Mac users. Opening day attracts thousands of customers who line up early in the morning or even the night before. The first one-thousand customers receive a free
T-shirtbearing the store's name. Most high-profile stores have more shirts and additional prizes, 1,500 free T-shirts were given away at the Buchanan Streetopening in Glasgow, 2,000 free T-shirts at the West 14th Street store in New York City and 2,500 free " Bondi Blue" shirts at the Sydney, Australia store opening. Other attractions include discounts and the so-called "lucky bags" at flagship store openings.cite web|date = November 28, 2005|url = http://www.ifoapplestore.com/stores/lucky_bags.html|title = Grand Opening Lucky Bags|publisher = ifo Apple Store|accessdate = 2006-05-12] Tysons Corner Center. Boylston Streetfor the opening of the new store on May 15th, 2008.
The first two Apple Stores opened in the
United Statesin 2001 (see history above). In 2003, Apple expanded its operations into Japan, opening the first store outside of the United States. This was followed by the opening of stores in the United Kingdom, Canada, Italyand three stores in Australiacite web |url=http://www.ifoapplestore.com/2007/04/10/sydney-construction-underway/ |title=Sydney Construction Underway |publisher = ifo Apple Store |date = April 10,2007 |accessdate=2007-09-21] . Apple is expected to open new stores in many more countries across the world, including Franceand Germany. There is also rumors of an Apple Store opening in Mexico City; opening depends on the construction of an eight story annex for Torre Mayor. If so, it would become the first Apple Store in Latin America.cite web |url=http://www.ifoapplestore.com/stores/chronology.html |title=ifoAppleStore Chronology |accessdate=2007-06-09] Reliance Retail is in talks with Apple to open an Apple Store in India.cite web |url=http://www.financialexpress.com/news/story/201769/ |title=India Store |accessdate=2007-10-02] Raffles Systems also plans to open a similar store in Lahore, Pakistan- the second largest city in that country. cite web |url=http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008
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