Business 2.0 Consults With Retail Designer About Apple's New York Store

In the March 2003 issue of Business 2.0, an article focuses on Appleis SoHo (New York) Apple Store. The article goes into the amount of effort and money Steve Jobs and the rest of Apple are putting into the Apple Store project, and how the stores are already nearing the break even point. The article also discusses Appleis retail layout with Paco Underhill, a retail design expert, who gives his opinion on such things as the glass staircase, the Genius bar, the theatre, and other design elements. From Business 2.0:

Grab the Customer at the Door

A retaileris vestibule is where shoppers pause and get their bearings. Then they drift to the right before moving in a counterclockwise direction.
Paco: Apple breaks the rules by leaving the first 20 yards bare, but it works. Look up and you see the top edge of a theater screen; people want to find out whatis up there.

Create a Spectacle

The glass staircase is the storeis visual centerpiece. Customers naturally want to climb it, drawing them into the store.
Paco: Spectacular, yes, but thereis just one problem: Older shoppers may be terrified of slipping or falling. Let people know thereis an elevator too.

Keep Signage Big and Bold

Apple organized hardware sales into five bays: consumer, pro, movies, music, and photos. Small placards display prices and specs.
Paco: Lots of people walk in and donit know itis a store. Here you could use a big sign -- "In Stock Now." Consummate the damn deal!

You can read the full article at Business 2.0is Web site, and we recommend it as an interesting read. Thanks to Observer Aaron for the heads up on the article.