Apple Retail Store Experiences (Archive)

  • Posted: 14 August 2010 07:10 PM #16

    FalKirk - 14 August 2010 06:31 PM

    We all know that Apple is going to have a huge quarter. The only thing stopping sales is the number of units they can make. And I think they are making them like mad. This reminds me of the beanie babies type buying frenzies except that it goes on day after day, week after week, month after month. Eventually, sales will diminish. But not until after the holidays. The iPad and iPhone sales are simply going to blow the uninformed away. Apple - one of the largest companies in the world - is poised for explosive growth over the next six months..

    Only the next six months?  I suggest we will see explosive growth for all of the next fiscal year. Your iPad purchase saga is similar to my iPad purchase odyssey.

         
  • Posted: 14 August 2010 08:32 PM #17

    Where I live, Apple has a very modest retail presence.  At least in square footage terms, it has to be one of the smallest Apple Stores I’ve visited.  And I’ve seen more than just a few, which makes the following anecdote more powerful:

    The Puget Sound Business Journal (July 30 - August 5, 2010) quoted the owner of Bellevue Square—rated as one of the top shopping centers in the world—near the launch of the iPad:  “In three days [Apple] did as much sales as the average store in Bellevue Square does in a year.”

    At this mall, THAT is saying something!  Friends who have NEVER owned a single Apple product, are now “discovering” Apple with halo products like the iPhone and iPad.  Of course, the trickle has become a flood.  If you know of someone who doesn’t yet own an Apple product, the fruit company has, at a minimum, the next best thing:  Mindshare, which is one step short of new customer.

         
  • Posted: 14 August 2010 08:43 PM #18

    In the same article, Microsoft was described as leaving no stone unturned in its planning for a fall debut of its flagship store down the aisle from Apple in Bellevue Square.  Microsoft built a full scale prototype in a Redmond warehouse, including 18,000 miles of wire.  MS employees are training in it right now, ahead of the grand opening, so that everything goes as planned.  Apparently, security is tighter than Fort Knox.

    I’m familiar with the space the MS store plans to occupy, and it is MASSIVE.  How they fill this space with products is a real curiosity. Getting customers to fill this space will likely prove to be the bigger challenge.

    [ Edited: 15 August 2010 11:27 AM by ByeTMO ]      
  • Posted: 15 August 2010 08:36 AM #19

    MS is forced into this response. Apple’s success moving Apple product is reducing the MS customer base. But in order to succeed MS must sell the products of other manufacturers that use MS operating systems. Some of these manufacturers have had dismal results at their own company stores. The products to be offered are already available at big box stores whose prices reflect some efficiency in retail management. MS is competing with existing supply chain vendors who know what they are doing. This MS effort at Xmas season can only pirate sales from the existing partners. This doesn’t make for great loyalty down the chain. This may be Balmer’s last stand.

         
  • Posted: 15 August 2010 02:03 PM #20

    There’s a bigger issue at play. Microsoft has commoditized hardware for the benefit of software margins. With the migration to netbooks and cheap PCs, Windows license margins are pressured making it more challenging to pull revenue from the market.

    Reestablishing adequate pricing on products through the perception premium value is one goal of the stores.

    Microsoft also has its back to the wall in the mobile market. Should Windows Phone 7 Series product perform poorly, it sets the company back in the increasingly challenging battle with Google. The Chrome OS from Google is a major initiative and one that strikes at the center of Microsoft’s revenue streams.

    Please remember Microsoft is a hugely successful enterprise and only in this quarter will Apple finally surpass the company in revenue and earnings. But one store won’t make any kind of a real difference and Apple has accelerated the pace of its own retail store openings.

         
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    Posted: 19 August 2010 08:58 PM #21

    Got an earlier flight out of Orange County into San Francisco and decided to stop into Emeryville Apple Store for an iPad case (finally) and to scope out the scene.

    The store is along Bay Street which is semi-mall, semi-residential in nature: the first story is boutique shops, the second story is a parking garage for residents, the next couple floors are residential. Walking into the “mall” at 9:45am found the place mostly deserted except for metered parking and a Rosetta Stone kiosk guy setting up for the day. Not sure about their business model but…

    As I walked along the street looking for the Apple store, I noticed a group of 5 men in their 20s-30s hanging around the sidewalk. Then I realized they were waiting there for the Apple store to open up. By the time I’d made the circuit of the street the store was open, 10 minutes early.

    It’s a ‘mini’ store but had plenty of iPad stuff in stock. I overheard one salesperson telling another customer that they’re the next stopping point for people in San Francisco who are frustrated getting the iPhone4.  Seems the quest goes on. The sales guy was surprised because there is nothing special about their location over any others, he says the folks on the peninsula just assume that the city Apple stores are out and drive over to the east bay.

    By the time I left around 1020 the place was at capacity, meaning every device was being attended to by a fan, others milling around. The most animated activity was over top of the iPads. The genius bar already had ample activity and a small line, mainly iPhone related issues. Saw two little kids playing at the ‘kids’ area and a guy with his Siberian husky. A lady in her late 40s (my call, no disrespect intended) was paying for a stack that contained an iPad, an Apple iPad case, a second iPad power adapter and an iPad stand.  The people checking out in front of me walked out with an iMac27” and a stack of related software such as AppleCare and iWork09. (side note: I want iWork’11!).  Saw one ‘older’ lady (older than my parents, so probably in her 70s) completely fascinated by the AppleTV, which I’d set to play some of my YouTube movies.

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    Posted: 20 August 2010 12:26 AM #22

    the sponge is at Victoria Gardens Store in RC, CA

    The place is packed.  There is a line of about 10 people waiting to pick up their iphones.

    It feels good to own this stock.

    I still think we are controlled by the market.  We will hit 285 after earnings and drop down to 265 by beginning of Nov.  We will climb back up to over 300 in Jan.  That is my theory and I am sticking to it.

         
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    Posted: 21 August 2010 06:31 PM #23

    omacvi - 20 August 2010 03:26 AM

    the sponge is at Victoria Gardens Store in RC, CA

    The place is packed.  There is a line of about 10 people waiting to pick up their iphones.

    It feels good to own this stock.

    I still think we are controlled by the market.  We will hit 285 after earnings and drop down to 265 by beginning of Nov.  We will climb back up to over 300 in Jan. That is my theory and I am sticking to it.

    Wanna bet?

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    Posted: 22 August 2010 02:20 AM #24

    I already have a bet with Mace that we would not hit 300 this year.  Of course for awhile in April and May we were talking about Vegas in Oct and 300 by then.  I was sure we would given how quickly we went up.

    Everyone keeps forgetting that aapl is run by the market and the market has decided to take a breather.  The economy sucks and it is not growing fast enough.  The last two quarters we have seen a lower p/e despite making a nice run from Dec 190 to May 270.

    This is off subject in this thread, but in order for aapl to hit 300 the DOW needs to be at 11500-12200.  How much you want to bet we will not hit 11500 by the end of the year?

         
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    Posted: 22 August 2010 03:43 PM #25

    I visited the South Center Mall, just south of Seattle, yesterday afternoon.  The Apple Store was packed, with not enough staff to serve all the customers.

    Interestingly, the whole mall was also packed (though none of the other stores were as filled with customers as the Apple Store), with the parking lots about 98% full.  It was either Christmas in August, or people were there dreaming about what they would buy when the recession ends.  It was so noisy that it put my nerves on edge.

    There is a of recent media attention to the idea that Americans may be simplifying their lives and living less materialistically.  I don’t believe it for a moment ... everyone is just praying for the rebound.

         
  • Posted: 22 August 2010 03:53 PM #26

    firestorm - 22 August 2010 06:43 PM

    Interestingly, the whole mall was also packed (though none of the other stores were as filled with customers as the Apple Store), with the parking lots about 98% full.  It was either Christmas in August, or people were there dreaming about what they would buy when the recession ends.  It was so noisy that it put my nerves on edge.

    Back-to-school shopping, perhaps?

    I don’t know if you have school-age kids at home, but shopping for school clothes, school accessories and school supplies takes on a timely and seasonal importance in late August to early September.

         
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    Posted: 22 August 2010 05:37 PM #27

    DawnTreader - 22 August 2010 06:53 PM
    firestorm - 22 August 2010 06:43 PM

    Interestingly, the whole mall was also packed (though none of the other stores were as filled with customers as the Apple Store), with the parking lots about 98% full.  It was either Christmas in August, or people were there dreaming about what they would buy when the recession ends.  It was so noisy that it put my nerves on edge.

    Back-to-school shopping, perhaps?

    I don’t know if you have school-age kids at home, but shopping for school clothes, school accessories and school supplies takes on a timely and seasonal importance in late August to early September.

    You’re right, of course.  Since I don’t have school age children, I’m less tuned to the yearly school calendar.

         
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    Posted: 22 August 2010 09:14 PM #28

    I am back at the VG store this afternoon. Mrs. Sponge wanted to go to Victoria Secret pick up a few things since we will be in Maui on Wed for our Anniversary trip. :-D

    It is hot outside in Southern Cal.  The store is packed.  Every sales person is helping someone with a computer related question or iPhone.

         
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    Posted: 24 August 2010 02:41 AM #29

    I visited the Apple store in the rather tired Tacoma Mall today (though the Apple store was in the more upscale, more recently renovated part of the mall).  Apple was only moderately busy on a Monday afternoon, though it was by far the busiest store in the entire mall.  I saw two iPhones go out the door ... in my hands.  I finally broke down and bought two 16 GB iPhone 4s after drowning my first generation iPhone in a tributary of the Hoh River during a photo assignment a week ago.  It had a weak pulse, but could not be revived.  So it was time for my love affair with the iPhone to be rekindled.

         
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    Posted: 24 August 2010 03:14 AM #30

    firestorm - 24 August 2010 05:41 AM

    I visited the Apple store in the rather tired Tacoma Mall today (though the Apple store was in the more upscale, more recently renovated part of the mall).  Apple was only moderately busy on a Monday afternoon, though it was by far the busiest store in the entire mall.  I saw two iPhones go out the door ... in my hands.  I finally broke down and bought two 16 GB iPhone 4s after drowning my first generation iPhone in a tributary of the Hoh River during a photo assignment a week ago.  It had a weak pulse, but could not be revived.  So it was time for my love affair with the iPhone to be rekindled.

    The Hoh River?  That is an amazing place.  We love the Olympic Forests.  Post a couple of pictures here sometime.

    Personally I am a little tired of my iPhone 4 sensor issues.  It is happening more and more these days.  I hope they correct it soon.