Shows focus on customer experience over profit
A previously-unaired internal Apple video from 2011 led by former SVP of Retail Ron Johnson and featuring rare appearances by Apple Store architects and VP of Retail Development Bob Bridger was posted to YouTube for a while on Monday (and has since been pulled). The video, about 10 minutes in length, showcases how Apple approaches creating both its in-mall and standalone Apple Stores -- revealing that Apple's customer-centric philosophy is not just for show, but a key element in its retail success.
Logical progression of Apple Store app abilities
Apple, which launched the "EasyPay" system of allowing users to buy accessories and self-checkout at Apple Stores by scanning a bar code with the Apple Store app on their iOS device late last year, plans to add Passbook functionality that could allow users to buy (and eventually even reload) Apple Store gift cards, possibly book Genius Bar appointments or provide reservations on top-selling items, or allow users to buy more expensive hardware and other items using Passbook's pay codes.
Thieves often forget that devices are easily traceable
The latest in a series of "smash-and-grab" robberies of Apple Stores happened in Leawood, Kansas this week -- the second time this particular store has been victimized in the same manner in the last two years. The thieves used a stolen car as a battering ram, but were unable to use the car to escape, and only had time to take a small amount of merchandise before police arrived, forcing them to flee on foot. Though the story had a security fence, it was unable to stop the vehicle from allowing the robbers entry to the store.
Shifts some training, pre-buying questions to web site
Amid reports that Apple is looking at new ways to make the retail Apple Stores more profitable, the company has added a new "online training" feature to its store website, bringing "live chat" abilities along with a guided tour of the online store, Genius scheduling, or the ability to request a phone call from a product specialist. The program launched today in the UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil, but has not yet been rolled out in the US.
LA authority conducts 'price accuracy' inspections
Following an investigation by the LA consumer protection agency, one of the Glendale Apple stores has been fined a $200 civil penalty for overcharging on an item. The Americana at Brand store apparently sold an unnamed item (likely to be a Mac system) for $70 more than the lowest advertised store price at the time. Apple normally sells all new items at normal retail price, and any price fluctuation -- either lower or higher -- is uncommon. The incident occurred last August.
Publishes two-page newspaper mission statement
Kicking off with a two-page newspaper ad (seen below) that serves as a new "mission statement" for the company that says it is "rethinking and reimagining" its store experience, J.C. Penney Company kicked off celebrations for its 110th anniversary with new CEO Ron Johnson at the helm. Johnson spent 11 years as Apple's Senior VP of Retail and was the key person responsible for the Apple Stores and other concepts, reports his colleague and industry observer Ken Segall.
Revenue, visitor counts both jump over 40 percent
Apple CEO Tim Cook has credited the company's recent retail innovations, which include the online option of in-store pickup of purchases as well as a new self-checkout option that incorporates into the stores' EasyPay system with an eponymous iOS app, with helping Apple Stores see significant jumps in visitors and revenue across 2011. Average revenues per store grew 43 percent to $17.4 million, while visitors grew 45 percent to an average 22,000 per week.
Aix-en-Provence plans show glass-heavy design
Two more future Apple stores have been uncovered thanks to magazine features and a European Mac website, retail tracking site ifoAppleStore reports. One will be in the French city of Aix-En-Provence, not far from Marseilles, while the other will be in the north of Switzerland where it meets the French and German borders in the town of Basel. A magazine from the Aix-en-Provence region revealed renderings for the planned store, showing it to be nearly transparent.
If true, would be one of four 2012 Canadian stores
Canada may get as many as four new Apple stores in 2012, but if reports from Nova Scotia are true, however, one store may go against Apple's trend of placing stores in the highest population centers and will instead land in Halifax, the provincial capital but home to only 400,000 people. The rumor, which has circulated in various forms for years, is recently supported by unusual renovations and unusual secrecy from the main mall in town, iPhoneinCanada claims.
Sealed lawsuit may target Chinese knockoff stores
Apple has filed a lawsuit against a list of companies that currently run retail stores designed to look like Apple's own brick-and-mortar outlets. Although the complaint is sealed, the few details that are available suggest the company is going after a large number of defendants. The lawsuit, which was filed at the US District Court in the Eastern District of New York, lists at least 50 John Does and unnamed businesses.
Apple expected to pay $1.1m for annual rent
Committee members from New York City's Metro Transit Authority have provided further details surrounding the Grand Central Apple Store proposal, which was confirmed earlier today following a number of leaks. Previous reports suggest Apple will face $800,000 for annual rent as part of the agreement, however the yearly charge is said to jump by an additional $300,000 after the first ten years.
May also get unwelcome attention from Apple
As a follow-up to our story yesterday about a U.S. expatriate blogger known as BirdAbroad who discovered several counterfeit Apple Stores in her southwest China city, the story has now received worldwide attention, garnering covering throughout the U.S. and Europe -- and bringing with it unwelcome attention from Apple and Chinese authorities to the fake stores, which may now find themselves in legal jeopardy, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Staff said to be ready for new OS
Apple has reportedly scheduled overnight briefings on Tuesday night for its retail employees. The staff are expected to use the time to prepare for the Mac OS X Lion launch, which is said to be set for Wednesday, unnamed sources have told MacRumors. The company is also claimed to have sent each store a Mac Pros preloaded with the upcoming OS.
First of two locations set for the sprawling city
Apple is reportedly set to open its first retail location in Hong Kong as early as this fall, unnamed sources have told M.I.C.. The company is said to be aiming its grand opening for early September, on the heels of an August debut for a separate location in Shanghai. The Hong Kong establishment reportedly fills a 15,000-square-foot space in the International Finance Center mall on Hong Kong Island.
San Francisco lineup for iPad 2 swells to 4 blocks
MacNN has received reports that a large lineup is forming outside the San Francisco Apple Store in the downtown district, swelling from an earlier estimate of 140 people (quoted by AppleInsider earlier today) now stretching over four city blocks in length. Sunny weather in the city has allowed customers wanting an iPad 2 to begin the traditional lineup later than their New York City counterparts, where it was still raining earlier in the day following a massive rainstorm Thursday night, with well over 500 people in line nonetheless. Other cities are also reporting long lineups.
Project now said to be finalized
Apple has reportedly settled on plans to build a new flagship retail location within Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Recent reports suggested the company was considering the new location, but unnamed sources have allegedly told Cult of Mac that the decision has been made and application process has begun.
Inspired by Pixar's "Up," MBA tied to balloon
A clever new window display at one of the New York City Apple stores (and elsewhere) appears to show a MacBook Air hanging from a helium balloon with the tagline "so light, it floats." While the ballon is of course suspended by thin clear wires, the illusion has been effective at fooling at least some commenters on YouTube, where the standard-definition version of a video of the display (below), shot by Obamapacman.com makes it difficult to see the suspending wires.
All customers now assisted by standard staff
Apple has stopped offering its Personal Shopping service to customers who visit the company's retail outlets. The service had provided product demonstrations and special assistance on an appointment basis, allowing them to "test-drive" Apple's range of devices.
Typical purchase up $50 over industry average
Since the beginning of iPad pre-orders in March of this year, Apple stores have experienced a sales surge that has been maintained through the summer, with the chain outperforming the average purchase figure for the electronics and software retail sector as a whole by about 20 percent in New York City, statistics show.
Apple's fifth retail store in London
Apple is set to open its fifth retail store in London, with a new establishment located in the city's busy Covent Garden district. Customers can begin flooding the store beginning Saturday, August 7 for the grand opening.
Device set to arrive in many additional countries
Apple Stores located in Canada will be open early, at 7am, to accommodate the surge in sales for the local iPhone 4 launch. The 16GB device will be sold unlocked for $659 CAD (~$639 USD), while the 32GB unlocked variant commands $779 CAD (~$755 USD). Subsidized prices are expected to match US pricing for both capacities.
Company seeking more floor space
Apple is reportedly planning to relocate one of its UK stores to a different location in the Manchester area. The move is said to be motivated by heavy foot traffic that has exceeded the intended capacity of current buildings.
Lines observed in Sydney, Tokyo, London
The iPad's official launch in nine additional countries has drawn lines of prospective buyers in certain locations. Customers are reportedly camping out in London, Tokyo, and Sydney, among other cities. Apple Stores in the UK will open an hour early, at 8am, to accommodate the influx of customers picking up pre-ordered devices or placing new orders.
Customers impressed by service, checkout
Apple has achieved the top spot in yet another Consumer Reports ranking, with the company's retail outlets considered the best place to buy a cellphone. Despite the lack of selection and relatively high price of the iPhone, respondents to the survey gave Apple Stores an average score of 86 out of 100.
iPads in-stock at many retail locations
Apple has managed to maintain iPad inventories at many of its retail stores, despite the rush of customers who waited in line for the device on Saturday. Calls to several key locations in California and New York confirmed that customers can still walk in and purchase an iPad, although a few stores were out of the 16GB model. Several smaller stores in Pennsylvania and Ohio still have every Wi-Fi model in stock.
Company eliminating Windows CE-based portables
Apple is reportedly developing a new checkout system based on the iPod touch, according to an ifoAppleStore report posted on AppleInsider. The "EasyPay touch" configuration consists of an iPod case integrating a barcode scanner, additional battery cells and a magnetic stripe reader. The hardware is paired with custom point-of-sale (POS) software.
Site said to be ready ahead of schedule
Despite earlier reports suggesting the Carousel de Louvre Apple Store would be ready by November 15th, the French site macgeneration now claims the grand opening is scheduled for November 7th. Sources allege the company will provide official details by Friday, including a partnership with the nearest Starbucks to provide free coffee for early birds waiting in line.
Newest California Apple Store opens Saturday
Apple will open its 270th store this weekend, launching the Promenade Temecula Apple Store Saturday, September 26. The store, located at 40820 Winchester Road, Temecula, CA 92591 in the Promenade Temecula mall, will open at 10:00 a.m. PDT. The store will offer the Apple standards -- Apple products like the iPhone, iMac and MacBooks, and Genius Bar face to face support. Hands-on workshops will be available and the One to One program will be available. The store phone number will be (951) 326-2400. Currently, no workshops have been scheduled in the first week of operation. Hours will run 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Mon-Sat, with Sunday hours of 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m..
67th St NYC Apple Store
The upcoming Apple Store located on 67th Street and Broadway in NYC is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving, a construction worker told the Westside Independent. A separate source in the investment community also claims Apple is already working on staffing the location, as several employees in surrounding stores have allegedly been offered managerial positions.
Ottawa Apple Store opening
A new Apple Store in Ottawa, Canada will be having its grand opening this Saturday, July 18th at 9:30 a.m.. As indicated by construction photographs, the Rideau Center location has very similar elements to the company's other retail establishments, such as the Genius Bar and wall displays. Compared to other stores, the single-story outlet is larger than average. This should not come as much of a surprise, considering the store will be the first of its kind in Ottawa, the nation's capitol, and only the ninth so far in all of Canada.
Apple retail stores open
Apple today said it would open its retail stores at 7 a.m. local time on Friday, June 19 -- one hour earlier than its previously announced time of 8 a.m. The new time is the same as launch time of the new iPhone 3G S at AT&T retail stores, which also open at 7 a.m.; the carrier, however, will only distribute the devices to owners who pre-ordered the device through its direct fulfillment service and said that other customers will only be able to purchase the phones starting at 9 a.m., according to the same report by News.com.
Beijing Apple store floods
An Apple Store located at The Village in the Sanlitun area of Beijing on Saturday suffered a flood that spread water across part of the ground level of the tri-level retail space. One manager claimed the water was from a fire hydrant malfunction, although the incident is currently still under investigation by the property management team. The store did manage to keep two levels running as normal through the flood, with access only blocked to the affected area.
Apple Store report
Apple has provided additional details regarding its retail stores, with information included in the Q1 financial reports. Total revenue for all locations set a new record of $1.74 billion for the December quarter, with an average of $7 million attributed to each store. The volume of foot traffic followed the same trend, with a total of 46.7 million visitors for the quarter and over 14,000 people passing through each store every week. Despite the impressive numbers, the segment margin was down to $353 million from $405 million last year, while average revenue per store also suffered because of the difficult retail environment.
Munich Apple Store
The grand opening of Apple's Munich store drew huge crowds Saturday morning, with an estimated 4,000 visitors in the first few hours, according to ifoAppleStore. People began waiting in line as early as 1:30 a.m. local time, well before the 10:00 a.m. door opening. Apple gave away 2,500 t-shirts to the first visitors, as a promotion to fill the store on the first day. High-profile city officials and business representatives were invited to a VIP reception on Friday evening.
Apple abandons West 34th
Apple has abandoned any plans for a store on West 34th street in Manhattan, claims the New York Post. Apple currently leases 21-25 on West 34th, which is located between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, and within a short distance of the Empire State Building. The real estate is capable of supporting up to 18,000 square feet, but Apple is said to have lost interest in establishing a store on the site, and is presently looking to sub-lease through Robert K. Futterman. RKF's website lists availability starting April 1st 2009, for a maximum period of 13 years.
Apple adds five stores
This week marks a slew of Apple Store openings, as Israel's first Apple location, launched by iDigital, opened Sunday, Geneva and Bristol open Thursday, Friday sees Zurich's Glattzentrum shopping center open and Honolulu's third store arrives Saturday alongside Calgary. Geneva opens four days earlier than originally predicted, and will be located on the Rue de Rive. Geneva and Zurich's Glattzentrum are the second and third Swiss Apple Store.
Apple's hours increased
Apple recently updated its iPhone availability page availability page, stating, "To accommodate demand for iPhone 3G, all Apple Retail Stores will now open at 8:00 a.m. every day but Sunday. We're also adding staff to help you get up and running as quickly as possible." The demand for the iPhone 3G has been excessive and Apple's retail stores have been flooded with long lines for iPhones across the United States. Apple has responded to this by increasing hours and staffing to help more customers each day.
Top Muffin iPhone list
Top Muffin has assembled a persistent listing of iPhone availability at Apple stores throughout the country using a statistical tracking system published by Apple. As of this writing, Top Muffin reveals that only 15 stores in the US are completely without iPhone stock, with the rest alleging stock of either the 8GB, 16GB White, and 16GB Black models. The three Manhattan flagship stores – West 14th, 5th Avenue, and SoHo – all show stock of all three models.
Liverpool Apple Store
Several new Apple Stores are set to open their doors Saturday, including one in Liverpool, England. Housed in the redeveloped Liverpool One Complex, the new store is Apple's 16th in the UK. The company is also opening stores in Montreal, Glendale, Arizona, and Charleston, South Carolina.
iPhones virtually sold out
In less than 10 days since its problem-plagued launch, Apple has sold out of stock of iPhones in all of its stores except three, including every state except New York, California, and New Hampshire. Apple notes that on Monday none of its 137 locations in the US will have stock of the 8GB iPhone and that the only location to have the 16GB black iPhone will be its retail store in Pleasanton, California (Stoneridge Mall). The only other two stores to have stock of the iPhone are the retail locations in Salem, New Hampshire (Rockingham Park) and New York City (Fifth Avenue) -- both of which only have the 16GB white iPhone model.
Sydney Apple Store: 6/19
Mac fans in Australia have more than just tomorrow’s Keynote to look forward to, as the country’s first Apple Store opens later this month. The Sydney Morning Herald says the store will be one of only three in the world spread out over three stories, that it will house the largest "Genius Bar" in the world, and that will offer Apple's Pro Lab service, which provides in-depth training to professional users (Pro Lab services are only available in two other Apple Stores - at one of its flagship stores in New York and in the recently opened Boston flagship store). In an exclusive interview with the newspaper, Apple’s Senior Vice President Ron Johnson said it will be "a breathtaking store,” with some sort of secret architectural feature taking up a significant amount of floor space.
Piper Jaffray on 3G iPhone
Investment firm Piper Jaffray on Monday released a note saying it expects a 3G iPhone by mid-June, based on an almost complete drought of current generation iPhone stock. The note mentions that out of 11 US stores, only six had stock of the iPhone, five of which had more than five units. The lack of stock is also reflected in the UK, with O2 saying the device is unavailable, while the US Apple Store changed availability to "Currently Unavailable".
Apple's Web traffic
According to new data from Nielsen Online, Web traffic to the Apple Inc's sites collectivly grew 13 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2008, from a three-month average monthly unique audience of 42.9 million to 48.4 million. Total minutes spent on the site grew 12 percent year over year, from 9.4 billion in Q1 2007 to 10.5 billion in Q1 2008, while total purchases at The Apple Store grew 32 percent month over month, from 322,000 purchases in January 2008 to 424,000 purchases in February 2008. iTunes, Apple Store and QuickTime were the top three fastest growing Apple Computer Web channels year over year in Q1 2008
The long-awaited NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT upgrade for Mac Pros has been released. The graphics card features 512MB of dedicated GDDR3 memory, uses the PCI Express interface, and includes two dual-link DVI ports, and is capable of driving up to two 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays. It requires a Mac Pro (bus speed 1.33GHz) with PCI-Express. The card is priced at $280 and can be purchased as a standalone, user-installable item or as a build-to-order option for Early 2008 Mac Pros through the online Apple Store. Controversy ensued when Apple introduced this upgrade card as an option available exclusively to newly purchased Mac Pros in January. At the time, users presented research that shows the cards should be backwards compatible. Apple is now making the kit available, in supported fashion, to all Mac Pros with a bus speed for at least 1.33GHz.
New Apple Stores
Apple is continuing its expansion of its successful retail stores, according to ifoAppleStore. The report indicates that Apple plans to open yet another retail store in the Bay Area, this one inside the Hillsdale Shopping Center, a 1950s-era enclosed mall that is privately owned by the Bohannon family. The shopping center features more than 130 shops over 1.3 million square-feet. Other Apple stores in the area include San Francisco (23 miles north), Stonestown (20 miles N.), Burlingame (4 miles N.), Palo Alto/Stanford (12 miles S.), and Valley Fair (30 miles S.). Apple also plans a new store in Toronto at the Fairview Mall by November. The mall is located along Highway 404, northeast of the city center. Finally, Apple has its eyes on the Willowbrook Mall in the city of Wayne, New Jersey about 25 miles northwest of Manhattan. This would be would be the 11th store in the state, and will open by the 2008 holiday season.
TransGaming joins Khronos
In brief: We've posted a review DiscCatalogMaker RE, a part of the Toast Titanium package, Cancom buys Scotsys' Scotland Mac store, TransGaming joins the Khronos Group and R.E.M. performs at London Apple Store ... We have posted a review of DiscCatalogMaker RE, part of the Toast 9 bundle. DiscCatalogMaker catalogs everything on your external discs or internal hard drives. If you want it to also scan compacted files, such as .zip, .sit, or even the age-old Compact Pro archives you can check those boxes in the Preferences. You can also set the preferences to open a new or existing Catalog upon launch, set a font, and choose white or horizontal stripes for the background window. You can also choose a detailed view or choose the type and creator view.
Video of Apple Store thief
In brief: We have a review of the Speck ActiveFit Armband, an Apple Store thief stuffed a 13" MacBook down his pants, MacTech is offering VBA to AppleScript bundles, MacSpeech extends its crossgrade offer, and Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual for the Mac ships.. We have posted a review of the Speck ActiveFit Armband. The inside felt-like material protects your iPod from scratching when it is inserted or removed. The case is sewn onto a breathable mesh pad that extends into a foot-long armband. The armband includes well-secured 1.25" long Velcro strips every inch. The video screen sits behind a flexible thick clear plastic sewn into the case. The Click Wheel is exposed though, so you may want to use a Gelaskin to protect it from grime. All the stitching is clean, straight, but a couple of dangling threads appeared after a few weeks of wear.
More than 300 iPhones were stolen from an Apple store in the Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem, New Hamshire. The culprits? Two employees: Joshua Garrand, 28, of Methuen, Mass., and Christopher Nashed, 22, of Sandown who have now been brought before the court on felony theft charges of stealing $132,468 worth of iPhones and selling them on the black market. The Eagle-Tribune reports that police wouldn't say whether the men were selling the phones online or how sophisticated their operation wasm but would say that investigators were first contacted by the store in early January. One Salem police sergeant spent three months on the case. One of the suspects, Nashed, is being held on $250,000 bail at the Rockingham County Jail. He is expected to appear today in Salem District Court for arraignment. Garrand, meanwhile is being held at Essex County Jail in Middlesex, Mass.
New York lacks iPhones
All three of Apple's New York stores are reportedly out of stock of all iPhone models – the SoHo, 59th Street, and West 14th Street locations. According to The Huffington Post. all three stores report that the device is out of stock, and it is uncertain when new units would be available. A representative from the 59th Street store advised potential iPhone customers to order online.
Office 2008 "missing manua
In brief: Apple will open a store in Cherry Hill, NJ this weekend, Office 2008 "the missing manual" is now shipping, Sofa Control is one of the new applications on its way from Gravity, ... Apple will be opening its latest retail store in Cherry Hill, NJ this weekend. The Apple Store Cherry Hill will open to the public on Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. The last Apple retail store to open was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Thursday, March 6th. Apple is also planning to open four new stores in Europe, branching out with retail outlets in Monaco, Zurich, Geneva, and Ireland. Apple posted job listings for three of those stores, but refrained from specifying opening dates or exact locations.