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Regent Street is world's busiest Apple Store, says Apple VP

updated 10:40 am EDT, Fri August 13, 2010

Johnson lays out retail approach

Apple's Regent Street outlet in London, England is the currently the busiest Apple Store in the world, according to the company's senior VP of retail, Ron Johnson. The feat is particularly significant due to the expense of the location, and the fact that it maintains regular hours, unlike the prominent Fifth Avenue store in New York City. Though perhaps no longer Apple's global flagship, Fifth Avenue is open 24 hours a day year-round, except when it has to prepare for product launches.

"Regent Street taught me the most," Johnson tells Retail Week. "It was a big bet to put in a big store like that, but it worked. Today, Regent Street is our highest traffic store in the world."

The executive notes that when Apple was devising retail plans roughly 10 years ago, the intent was to allow people to try Apple products first hand. One of the current goals is simply to make shops appealing. "Our primary objective is to create a place that people will love," says Johnson. With Regent Street, Apple has allegedly created not just a store, but "a place for people to be."

Johnson also insists that retail workers are taught to "to look in the heart, not the pocket book" when handling customers.






by MacNN Staff

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  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -13

    ummm...

    The feat is particularly significant due to the expense of the location, and the fact that it maintains regular hours, unlike the prominent Fifth Avenue store in New York City.

    How does the 'expense' of the location affect traffic? Before shoppers go to a store, do they go "Hmmm, I don't know if I want to go in there. It costs $300 sq ft for them to rent this building.

    And isn't it 'cheesy' to proclaim a store that just opened is your 'busiest'? I mean, all new Apple stores have that initial customer surge.

    Oh, it's also their biggest store, so while it isn't open 24/7, it can handle more foot traffic at any one time just due to it's larger size.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    The Regent Street Apple Store

    opened in November 2004 if my memory serves correctly. It's been around for quite awhile. I think that store also brought in the most income for awhile. I'd always thought the 5th Ave. was the busiest, but now there's four stores in NYC, so I guess traffic gets divided up among the four stores. I wonder if the 5th Avenue store brings in the most revenue, though.

  1. philrobbie

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Testudo... why do you bother

    When a company is trying to decide where to open a store, the rental costs are a prime consideration. While a higher rent area will more likely generate higher foot traffic, it is still a gamble when dealing with very high priced areas. The landlord wants as much as possible and normally asks more than what is acceptable for the area. Where is the line between desirable space to draw customers and too much expense to make the store profitable?

    Also, a larger space entails a greater expense in fixtures and staffing. It's always a pleasant surprise when a signature store, which might not be expected to perform as profitably as others in the chain, does extremely well. Very visible locations sometimes are used as much for advertising as for sales.

    As to 'cheesy'... just when was it unusual for a business to toot it's own horn? The interview was, after all, with Retail Week and these items are what their readers would be interested in hearing about.

    As usual, your comments are mostly useless and mostly unwelcome. Why do you bother?

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    MacNN Failure

    The link that's supposed to go to the source article by Retail Week instead goes right back to this same article page. Unfortunately, the actual story is subscription-only:
    http://www.retail-week.com/stores/apple-the-tech-company-transforming-retail/5016109.article

  1. facebook_Tim

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2010

    +1

    The worst store i've ever been in!

    The store is certainly busy, its manic, with no structure, just a mass of bumbling foreign students creating havoc.

    I spent 3 hours there last week waiting to get a replacement iPhone. With a lack of staff to deal with faulty iPhones, you have to book appointments to see a someone, of course being in the center of london, you first have to visit the store to realise you'll not be seen that day, then come back another day, thus increasing the unpleasant experience of having a faulty phone.

    Should you miss your appointment by more than 10 minutes, you can opt to rebook, or sit in a standby queue, which is the misfortune I had (rebooking was not an option as I live on the outskirts of london) Even if you arrive on time, customers experienced a 30 minute delay, adding insult to the fact I was told I was late by a smarmy assistant, they were allowed to delay customers, but I was expected to be on time.

    I sat on a bench with about 10 very dissatisfied Apple customers, and can honestly say not one of them would have said it was somewhere they 'wanted to be' more like they expect a service much like a clothing store perhaps, where if you have a faulty item, you stand in a queue, get an exchange and go.

    I wish never to visit the store again. Its like the Boxing day sales every day of the week!

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