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Apple does computer retailing right

updated 09:40 pm EST, Wed January 11, 2006

Apple\'s real success

Apple's retail stores are the , according to one MarketWatch columnist. At his Expo keynote, Steve Jobs announced that the stores had their first $1 billion sales quarter from 135 stores and over 26 million visitors to their stoy. Industry Pundit John Dvorak writes: "Amongst the successes is the somewhat overlooked locomotive that pulls the Apple train: the Apple Store. Apple has proven, hopefully once and for all, that the branded retail specialty store is the key to success in high margin design-oriented high technology sales. It works with cars; it works with clothes; it works with shoes. Why not computers?" While looking at the various manufacturer-owned stores that sold a single brand, he concludes: "After decades of computer store missteps it's apparent that Apple has a winning formula that can now be used to leverage sales of anything it wants to sell. And, unlike the multi-brand department style of computer store, it can control the sales pitch. That's the key."

by MacNN Staff




  1. telem

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It wasn't long ago that the experts were saying Apple's stores were a big mistake and were citing Gateway as proof. Looks like Apple did it right altho I'm sure there are a lot of small Apple retailers who haven't been too happy.

  1. MacnnGregor

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It still amazes me how popular these are and yet at least in Portland Oregon the (now 3!!) Apple stores are living quite peacefully with the at least 4 major Apple resellers and all are busy! The resellers here though are very well run and respected by Apple customers. I don't see why this isn't true almost everywhere.

  1. benj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sure they are but

    Now that the mass appeal of ipods has taken over Apple needs to revamp the Genius bar in a big way. They need a special iPod section for folks coming in to pick up replaced /repaired ipods. I was in the store the other day trying to drop off a 1 month old dead g5. I had to wait an hour before I could see a tech. Why? because there were 10 people ahead of me trying to get their broken ipods fixed. Is it really hard to figure out that you don't need a genius to replace an iPod? Couldn't the "greeter" at the door registers do this instead of tieing up the overworked Geniuses? also, the "Studio" demos are way too loud. It makes the Apple store very noisy. I think a glass enclosed studio booth would be a nice addition to the Aluminum walls. Sorry folks, I had to rant....

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dvorak softening? entirely positive and optimistic article about Apple from Dvorak, is this the closest to a recant we can expect from this piece of journalistic slime? How about..."Hey guys, I've been wrong...dozens of times!"

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    apple retail

    Apple retail is like a car dealership. You buy your hardware there and never take it back. They slack in free support, unlike when they opened in 2001, and the people now aren't what I'd call "Geniuses" more like "Advocates." Professional and semi-pros, heck students, can't get technical questions answered even with a fee paid and I was really turned off to the entire concept of their stores when I was told "the bluetooth guy moved to Charlotte" when asking about supported Bluetooth phones at the Durham store. Perhaps it's just the Durham store, Memphis never was like this, but I can't stand Apple retail and purchase from anyone but because of their poor management and expertise.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: success

    It wasn't long ago that the experts were saying Apple's stores were a big mistake and were citing Gateway as proof.

    You know, it wasn't long ago when it took more then one columnist's opinion to actually indicate that such-and-such is working/not working.

    If the same columnist said it wasn't working, you'd all be slamming him for being an MS kiss-a** with an agenda a mile long ("Oh, he wants to push Apple's stock price down so he can buy some") and that one idiot's opinion means nothing!

    Wait, this is Dvorak, the idiot PC-kiss-assing, Apple-bashing, columnist. Why don't you people think he has an agenda now? Did it ever occur to you that by saying that the retail stores is something right, he's actually smearing all of Apple's other businesses and strategies? Or that he's setting them up for a fall?

    But wait! Again, this is dvorak, who is often ripped by mac users for being an idiot and having no clue. Does this mean you all think he's got a clue now? Or that somehow he's all of a sudden become intelligent? Maybe he's still the same idiot, and, as such, his commentary is actually wrong and completely off-base, like it always is. Then you'd be cheering someone just because he's said something good about apple. (And we know posters on this board would never do that).

    BTW, keep in mind Apple still has a lawsuit pending against it that its inflating its sales figures at its stores, charging different prices it offers its stores vs. its third-party retailers, plus the "they never send us stock, but their stores are always filled with products!" claims.

  1. notehead

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Testudo. Seriously, try switching to decaf.

    The stores are a testament to one of Apple's most fundamental philosophies: design is important. Good design is inherently humanistic, inviting, and optimistic. And the strong design of their stores echoes that of their hardware and software. IMHO, that is the single largest reason for their success.

    Dvorak, who seems to have taken great pleasure in maligning Apple over the years, is finally acknowledging a job well done. This is good for everyone.

    That said, I have to agree with others who complain that the "genius" element seems to be declining at a lot of stores -- certainly in the NYC area.

  1. zulfikarn

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Memphis never was like this

    Would make a great song title

    The stores are a testament to one of Apple's most fundamental philosophies: design is important. Good design is inherently humanistic, inviting, and optimistic.

    I have to admit that I find the Apple Stores incredibly sterile, its almost pleasantly surprisingly to find that the staff aren't android drones (well actually they might be, in which case the speech techonology is much better than in OS X), still it is much cheaper than going to an internet café to check your email...

  1. beverson

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What's the difference between testudo (or louzer) and any of the fanboys around here? The fanboys are positive at least.

    Debate is good. Open-mindedness is good. Constant bitching (or flag-waving) isn't. Get a life.

  1. grener

    Joined: Dec 1969



    i3r | i3r1 | i3r2 | i3r3 | i3r4 | i3r5 | i3r6 | i3r7 | i3r8 | i3r9 | i3r10 | i3r11 | i3r12 | i3r13 | i3r14 | i3r15 | i3r16 | i3r17 | i3r18 | i3r19 | i3r20 | i3r21 | i3r22 | i3r23 | i3r24 | i3r25 | i3r26 | i3r27 | i3r28 | i3r29 | i3r30 | i3r31 | i3r32 | i3r33 |

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