Apple opened its 29th Street Mall store in Boulder, Colorado, at 10:00am on Friday, October 13. A crowd started to form early, and by the time the doors officially opened, a line of anxious customers worked its way along the front of the building and around the side.
Fans began lining up at about 5:00am, but the 36 degree weather kept most people from arriving until later when the temperature began to rise. By 8:00am, the line was growing quickly, and people were already surfing the Web on their laptops thanks to the storeis free AirPort access.
Earlier in the day, Apple announced the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED, and a drop shipment arrived in time for the opening. Employees had just enough time to set one up for display before customers flooded the store.
The 29th Street Mall store includes some design features inspired by the 5th Avenue New York flagship store. Large tables make for easier access to demo Macs and iPods, and check out counters are conspicuously missing. Instead of cash registers, employees use handheld product scanners to process transactions. They can either print or email you a receipt, and have you on your way without waiting in lines.
A Genius Bar, iPod Bar and Studio Bar are all tucked away at the back of the store. Since they are all physically distinct and separate from merchandise displays, there should be fewer distractions.
Overall, customers seemed pleased with the new store layout style. And even more were pleased with the location. Boulder residents have been clamoring for an Apple Store for years, and todayis opening fills what many have seen as a glaring gap in Appleis retail lineup.
The dayis excitement came from more than just the customers. Store employees were equally pumped up. Senior Assistant manager Kirt Hampson said "Iill have a smile on my face until I die or Iim not working for Apple."
A special thanks to Matt Tracy for providing some of the images.