Apple Retail Mini Stores Fail To Meet Expectations So Far

In his latest rant, Gary Allen of ifoAppleStore offers an assessment of Apple retailis mini stores four months after their opening.

"The stores seem to have been hastily rolled out, are expensive to build, have nearly-useless point-of-sale machines, and suffer from a sterile design," Allen writes.

Some mini stores are located to close to full retail stores, meaning they donit like extend the reach of Appleis presence. Lease costs are also relatively high but not all the space is being used in some cases, while the bead-blasted stainless steel made in Japan costs a pretty penny to install. Similarly, the translucent epoxy white flooring in most stores is beginning to tarnish since opening day.

Point-of-sale terminals, designed to let customers check themselves out, have yet to work properly since any of the stores opened. Instead, the "nonintuitive" systems take away precious space that could be used to show off other Apple gear.

"Lastly, where are the rest of the mini-stores? Are we going to see a flood of them in the next few months? And where will they be located? The original plans had mini-stores on university campuses, and Apple has hinted they would fit perfectly in places like airports," Allen concludes. "But so far, Apple is moving slowly to install new mini-stores. Is this a sign of patience, or an acknowledgment that the stores arenit wildly popular?"