Apple Retail Store Experiences

  • Posted: 21 February 2011 05:43 PM

    Let’s start over with a new topic.

    I was at the Glendale store last night about 6pm which is an hour before the scheduled store close time on Sundays. The store was packed with all but a few of the Mac stations unoccupied. I was there to purchase an Apple TV. I was surprised at the level store traffic on an early Sunday evening. Though the store was well trafficked I had no trouble finding a store staffer to handle the purchase transaction. It was encouraging to see the so busy during a non-holiday period.

         
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    Posted: 22 October 2011 09:24 PM #1

    Was at the Apple Store Westfarms around 11am Saturday. The floor started out uncrowded but within 30 minutes it was hard to move around. They pushed back the walls a bit since the last time I was there. The remodel is great.  However I really think they need to reconsider the overall layout. With the sales area up front, the one-on-one area in the middle and the service area in the back, bleed over of activity detracts from all. Some people enjoy a chaotic melee while shopping I guess, but not me.

    Throughout the store there are areas with absolutely no traffic, ever. As I watched people didn’t cross there, didn’t linger there - it’s just wasted space. Other areas people are packed in. There have been some recent comments on here about the impact of “the great unwashed” and I must reluctantly verify them with first hand experience. There were over 100 customers inside the store by the time I left around noon.

    While there I observed very little merchandise going out the door. It looked like that time of day was reserved for one-on-one sessions and a LOT of people waiting for genius support with iPhones, a couple of iPods and a smattering of laptops.  The clientele was extremely age diverse, plenty of older folks and little kids, lots of college student aged shoppers, not so many 30s-50s folks. More women than men in the store. The main centers of attraction were the laptops and iPads. iPod and “pro/desktop” areas were (characteristically) ignored.

    After I browsed for a new iPhone case and a couple other things for my YL, my rep Jim helped me order a MBAir and iPod nano. The pick and fulfill guy had the inventory on the floor in less than 60 seconds - impressive. Checkout was smooth and quick: nothing new but welcome given the growing size of the crowd. He liked my Apple ball cap & ‘iWatch’, and asked if I wanted a job. He said “we’re hiring like crazy” and “we really need the help”. Might be a fun part-time job after I retire from career #1 next summer?

    This quarter is gonna be spectacular.

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    Posted: 22 October 2011 09:59 PM #2

    Retire?  Granted we can’t tell how old you are behind the ski goggles, but…

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    Posted: 22 October 2011 10:15 PM #3

    rezonate - 23 October 2011 12:24 AM

    Might be a fun part-time job after I retire from career #1 next summer.

    Good to hear Ed, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

         
  • Posted: 22 October 2011 10:38 PM #4

    DawnTreader - 21 February 2011 09:43 PM

    Let’s start over with a new topic.

    I was at the Glendale store last night about 6pm which is an hour before the scheduled store close time on Sundays. The store was packed with all but a few of the Mac stations unoccupied. I was there to purchase an Apple TV. I was surprised at the level store traffic on an early Sunday evening. Though the store was well trafficked I had no trouble finding a store staffer to handle the purchase transaction. It was encouraging to see the so busy during a non-holiday period.

    Was planning on going to the Glendale store today for the very same purpose ... didn’t make it but I may try again tomorrow.  If I go I’ll make sure and leave a update.  Haven’t been in one of the stores since Steve passed ... it’s just not going to feel the same :-(

         
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    Posted: 29 October 2011 07:15 PM #5

    When people invest in Apple products, Apple stores remember. 

    My area ?  Not so much.  After how many years, so many people in my area have never seen an iMac G4 or more recent.

         
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    Posted: 29 October 2011 08:12 PM #6

    Short trip in Australia, eh Unique? smile

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    The Summer of AAPL is here.  Enjoy it (responsibly) while it lasts.
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    Thanks, Steve.

         
  • Posted: 30 October 2011 07:31 AM #7

    Unique - 29 October 2011 11:00 PM
    adamthompson3232 - 29 October 2011 09:09 PM

    Holy shit.

    http://www.ifoapplestore.com/db/2011/10/29/merchant-group-reveals-calif-stores-revenues/

    That’s nothing compared to China or Hong Kong IFC.


    That’s a million$ a day. 1000 customers spending $1000. Stock room must be a challenge.

         
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    Posted: 06 November 2011 12:44 AM #8

    I am inside the Santa Monica Apple store.

    The place closes in 18 minutes and it is about 50% full.  I doubt this place can do the numbers mentioned in another thread.  Never the less it is one of the busier stores in the 3rd St. Promenade shopping center on a cold Nov night here in Santa Monica.

    My brother was in the new VG store yesterday and he said it was 50% full after opening for 45 minutes on a raining Friday morning.

         
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    Posted: 20 November 2011 10:23 AM #9

    Was in NYC yesterday. Made the trip uptown to see the newly upgraded Apple Cube. The plaza was full of people but not overly so. Heading down the glass staircase, I noticed one of the steps was loose - yikes! The store floor itself was a sight to behold. There are SO MANY Apple employees at this store. The throngs of people on the floor can’t be adequately described. I’ve been before but never on a Saturday night. It’s a wonder that anything can get done in there. Imagine trying to get acquainted with a new laptop or iPad while in the stands at a football game.

    Any time I take the train, I walk the entire length and look for terrorists. In the process I do a laptop count to compare Mac vs PC. When I see a Mac I augment the count +1 and a PC -1. The count started going positive in mid-2009. Last night coming home was the largest delta to date. Most interesting to me lately is seeing the PC laptops sitting next to either an iPhone or iPad at the same seat. Great times are ahead.

    (Check out my hat!)

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  • Posted: 20 November 2011 01:21 PM #10

    The hk store is gonna have huge sales due to all the foreigners like me who don’t know where else to buy their electronics.  I’m going to have to spend three hours taking a ferry from Macau in order to buy a 27 inch thunderbolt monitor.  The fact that the price is the same in the states whereas electronics are nearly always more expensive outside the states probably places the display cheaper than the few competitors

         
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    Posted: 20 November 2011 01:49 PM #11

    ChasMac77 - 23 October 2011 01:15 AM
    rezonate - 23 October 2011 12:24 AM

    Might be a fun part-time job after I retire from career #1 next summer.

    Good to hear Ed, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

    +1

         
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    Posted: 20 November 2011 09:04 PM #12

    The sponge is at the Del Monte Apple Store in Monterey, CA.  The place is about 75% full on a cool fall evening after rain most of the day.  The reps report cont. good sales of the 4S with limited stock depending on carrier. 

    Lots of teenagers hanging out here.  This is a good sign.  A small group of 6 teenage girls playing with PhotoBooth on a iMac laughing .  A bunch of 4-10 year olds playing with the iPads on the various games.  My son is playing a game on a demo iPhone 4S next to me.

    Now my wife walked in.  Got to go.

         
  • Posted: 20 November 2011 11:33 PM #13

    This is an enjoyable thread.  Thanks all !

         
  • Posted: 21 November 2011 08:04 AM #14

    You don’t see that in a lot of other stores and this is the reason the stores are a real success and will help apple to expand its customer base.

         
  • Posted: 21 November 2011 09:39 PM #15

    An interesting piece from Ron Johnson in (code misfire…,see below) .

    Sadly, my brother in law and sister had a pretty horrific experience at the Southdale Apple Store today.  I’m suspicious that the comment below sheds some light on what is happening there and other Apple Stores.  I know it’s an employee by employee and store by store kind of thing but I’m not sure it isn’t at least a little inevitable.  Nothing tougher than trying to maintain a certain kind of quality and enthusiasm once you’ve grown the way Apple has.

    OldRetailEmployee Today 05:50 PM
    I hate to say it, but as a former Apple Retail Store employee who was hired during the first year of operations, the stores pale in comparison to the way that they used to be.

    Some of it may simply be that Apple became a victim of their own success, but the staff in the stores I’ve been to lately are not knowledgeable about the products or their uses.  I hate to generalize, but it seems like they’re hiring people based on image or cronyism instead of knowledge and passion.  It’s like anyone who has ever owned an iPod is now qualified to work at an Apple Store.  To make matter worse, the employees that are there have an overblown sense of importance and entitlement. I honestly can’t believe some of the complaints I’ve heard from the current staff who all seem to expect 40 hour work weeks, high pay, with full benefits, stock options, and a company car just for working in as product specialist in a retail environment.

    When I worked there, Apple spent a lot of time and money training us to be concierges because we already had the product knowledge necessary and demonstrated that in the rigorous interview process.  My colleagues were often people who had full-time jobs elsewhere or were self-employed and simply looking to have some fun working for a company they loved.  The staff that did rely solely on Apple considered it an opportunity to network and get their foot in the door for bigger and better things.  Overall, the staff were old school Apple users, knowledgeable if not experts in a variety of fields (video editing, graphics arts, print, etc), and just wanted to meet people, promote something they loved, and have fun. 

    It was a great job with great people and the only problem we ever had were with managers Apple hired away from Gap/Banana Republic.  We caught one lying to customers and they all were spending way too much time trying to make Apple Retail Stores “more retail” by hiring incompetent staff because they were friends/family and pushing metrics over customer service. In fact, one was fired because of this behavior.  Anyway, to make a long story short, it seems retail has won.  These days, I simply try to avoid the Apple Retail Stores because it just makes me sad about how far things have fallen.

    The Harvard Business Review.

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