New store will feature more staff, feature latest design
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Apple will be eventually closing its One Stockton Street store -- which has been a flagship venue among the San Francisco stores -- and moving it about three blocks away, adjacent to Union Square. The new store will feature an updated design with a more glass-centric design, somewhat reminiscent of the Upper West Side store in New York City. It will also be about 45 percent larger than the current location and increase its staff from 350 to 400.
Incident may be linked to 'drainage problem' caused by 2011 construction
Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City was flooded earlier today, according to the New York Post. The store was reportedly hit by heavy rain, which initially resulted only in a slow leak. The leak turned into a pour however, forcing workers to hurriedly move tables out of the way. By 8AM, the outlet was flooded.
Expanded, multi-floor layout gives Mac maker showcase space
[Updated with video of grand opening] Europe's latest "showcase" Apple Store, the Kurfürstendamm outlet in Berlin that is set to open on Friday at 5pm local time, looks to take its place as one of the most beautiful on the continent -- comparing favorably to premiere stores in Paris and London among others. The large facility, with some 48,000 square feet, has room for luxuries like an expanded theater space and classically-appointed conference room, while still retaining a sleek and modern main sales floor at the ground level following extensive renovations to the century-old building.
Draws attention to otherwise low-key entrance
Apple has erected special displays promoting the iPhone 5 outside of its first Berlin Apple Store, scheduled to open May 3rd, notes German site ApfelPage. The displays -- featuring mock, oversized white iPhones -- are unusual for an Apple Store, but may be necessary to help draw attention to the outlet. Although the building the store is housed in has an elaborate facade, the only other signs of Apple's presence are two small logos by the doorways.
Apple picks unusual Friday debut
Apple will finally open its first Berlin Apple Store on May 3 at 5 PM local time, according to the company's website. The timing of the Kurfürstendamm launch is unusual, as Apple normally prefers to host openings on Saturday mornings. Between May 3 and 5, the store will also be operating at unusual hours: on the 3rd and 4th it will be open until 10 PM, and on the 5th it will operate between 1 PM and 6 PM. The store's normal hours have it closing at 8 PM Monday through Saturday, and staying shut completely on Sundays.
Other alerts such as shipping, changes in order now available
Apple on Tuesday updated its Apple Store app for iOS, adding an ability to send notifications to users when they are eligible for upgrade pricing on a new iPhone through their carrier. The new version (2.6, free) also adds notification support for changes in orders, such as shipping or delivery notices. Previously, the program was able to track a user's order but only when the app was actually in use. Users can now opt for push notifications, as well as schedule Genius, One to One or Specialist appointments, order products for pickup or use EasyPay to buy accessories.
Regional growth rates relatively modest
Following an official announcement of its Q2 results, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its performance. Notably, the 19.477 million iPads the company sold was a jump of 65 percent year-over-year. This may however have come at the expense of Mac, which saw units fall 2 percent to 3.952 million. Mac revenue did however rise 7 percent to $5.447 billion, while iPad revenue grew 40 percent to $8.746 billion.
Melbourne opening this weekend, Adelaide on the way
Apple is opening a new store in Melbourne, Australia this weekend at the Highpoint Shopping Centre. The new store, the second in Melbourne, will open at 10 AM local time on Saturday, April 27. The company is also, say sources, close to opening a store in Adelaide in South Australia, the first for that city and the state. Job listings for the Adelaide store gave away its presence, along with a signature black curtain covering part of the frontage of Rundle Place. Apple has opened seven other stores in Australia in just the past two years.
Weekend launch sees lineups
On Saturday morning, Apple opened up its new Southdale Center store in Edina, Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis. A long lineup is reported to have formed outside the shop, which is replacing a smaller outlet Apple ran in the Edina mall. During the past couple of years the company has been upgrading a number of stores that are overcrowded or don't match its current preferred aesthetics.
Keyboards, Magsafe, Airport devices, cables and more now available
Coming on the heels of a similar expansion of Apple offerings in US Staples stores in February, Radio Shack has opted to expand its current line of Apple-made iOS accessories with additional offerings aimed at Mac owners, including wired (and wireless) keyboards, Magic Mouses and Trackpads, Magsafe power adapters, USB SuperDrives, Airport products and various cables and adapters. The company has also added an accessories section to its Apple product page, and is offering a $10 store credit for purchases over $30 from the section.
Migration must be used within first 60 days of plan
Apple has quietly changed the US terms for its One to One retail service, notes ifoAppleStore. The option is available to new Mac buyers for $99 per year, and provides access to Personal Training, Group Training, and Open Training sessions, as well as one-time data migration from an old Mac or Windows computer. Under previous terms, migration could take place any time during a One to One contract. Now, however, it must be requested within the first 60 days.
Construction workers remove black facade in front of future outlet
Long in development, the first Apple Store in Berlin is almost finished, photos obtained by AppleInsider show. The outlet is being constructed inside a former movie theater at Kurfürstendamm 26, and earlier today construction workers began removing a black facade that was masking the front of the location. Kurfürstendamm is a major shopping street in Berlin, home to many high-end stores.
Fallout from cancelled Apple Store
A Queensland state court recently ordered Apple to continue to pay for its share of construction in the historic MacArthur Chambers building in Brisbane, Australia, say ifoAppleStore sources. Apple was at one point working on a store in the location, but cancelled it without explanation. The construction work is needed so that the space is in fit condition to be leased out to another tenant.
Some 240,000 units available across carrier's outlets
A number of US T-Mobile stores saw small lineups today for the carrier's launch of the iPhone 5, reports say. The information is confirmed by photos, first-hand accounts, and calls to some locations. In some cases, according to AppleInsider, shops reported having a "full store" for some time after opening. Documents obtained by TmoNews reveal that T-Mobile is limiting orders to one phone per person every 14 days, and that it has over 240,000 launch units to sell.
'Spaceship' campus architects take lead in Apple projects
Architectural firm Foster + Partners has been picked to design at least some future Apple Stores, say sources close to the project in contact with Marketing. Unmentioned is which outlets the firm might be working on, or when they might be completed. "Any project for Apple is confidential and therefore we are unable to comment," an F+P spokeswoman states.
Former Apple retail chief's job just happens to be open
Former Apple retail boss Ron Johnson is leaving department store chain JCPenney, fired after his plan to remake the venerable business in an effort to update to 21st century buying habits failed to win over customers. Johnson, who put the brakes on endless sales in favor of everyday low prices and remodelled stores to have "store within a store" concepts for major brands, will be succeeded by his predecessor, Mike Ullman. Johnson left Apple in late 2011 to revitalize the chain, but the 111-year-old company has posted losses for the last six quarters.
Samsung to tackle Apple in Best Buy stores across the US
Samsung has made official its rumored plan to introduce mini Samsung stores within 1,400 Best Buy stores throughout the US, reports the New York Times . To be dubbed ‘Samsung Experience’ stores, the new retail spaces in Best Buy will be dedicated to showcasing its consumer electronics lines, with particular emphasis on its mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and notebooks. The mini stores will also include Samsung product specialists who will be present to assist customers for both sales and technical support.
Caveat emptor when it comes to buying hardware from the Play Store
So you see a great deal on some Nexus hardware on Google Play, what could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot it seems, if my recent Google customer experience is one by which its customer support can be judged. I have been trying to return my second faulty Google Nexus 7 and I still haven't managed to get it back to Google since first initiating the returns process in January…
Apple is 37 years old today
We at MacNN would like to take a moment to wish Apple a happy birthday. The company was incorporated on April Fool's Day in 1976, making it 37 years old today. It is one of the few computer makers from the early computer manufacturing era to still be in business, and unlike most of the others is growing, setting records and generally more influential than it has ever been. It is fair to say that without Apple, all computing uses -- even Windows PCs and Androids, the Internet and cell phones, even commercial music and so much more -- would have ended up profoundly different. Even without its legendary co-founder Steve Jobs at the helm, it's very possible that Apple's best days are still in front of it.
Pop-up shops to help in Galaxy S4 launch
Best Buy is reportedly going to play host to a number of pop-up Samsung shops in a number of its stores ahead of the Galaxy S4 launch in April. The temporary shops will apparently resemble the same "store-in-a-store" concept that Apple currently employs in Best Buy branches, and is said to provide customers more than one Galaxy S4 to try out.
Testers to get free deliveries from local stores for online orders
Google has opened up testing for a same-day delivery service in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a view to opening up the project to other areas in the future. The previously rumored service, Google Shopping Express, is offering testers a six-month period of deliveries from retailers in the area at no charge, with all shopping taking place in a single online store.
Apple aiming to deepen Indian footprint
Apple is planning to triple the number of resellers in India to about 200 by 2015, say three franchisee sources reached by the Times of India. The people say Apple has asked them to scale up operations to match the company's aggressive expansion plans. On top of an increased number of resellers, Apple is also reportedly looking at growing its presence in regular, multi-brand stores.
Android support planned
Walmart will expand its Scan & Go iPhone checkout system to over 200 stores by the end of the coming year, says Reuters. The program started near Walmart's home office in Bentonville, Arkansas, and is currently in about 70 stores so far. For the foreseeable future Scan & Go will remain iPhone-only, but Walmart spokespeople say that Android support is coming in the near future.
Promises more meeting spaces, bigger Genius Bar
Apple is relaunching its Barton Creek outlet in Austin, Texas on March 23rd at 10AM. The company says that the overhauled location will be larger than before, for instance offering more demo units. More significantly the store will have more space for training, workshops, and meetings with business staff, and a larger Genius Bar.
Leeds store marks rare Thursday opening
Plans for three new Apple Stores have emerged. Apple itself has announced a location in England; the Trinity Leeds outlet is launching on Thursday, in a shopping center opening on the same day. Thursday store openings are rare for Apple, which normally prefers weekends, especially Saturdays.
Downplays period of retail trouble
In an interview recorded during this week's Retail Week Live conference, Apple's former head of retail -- John Browett -- says he was fired for "fit rather than competency." He claims to have learned much from working for Apple for six months, and become a "kinder person." As for the firing, he says he "just didn’t fit within the way [Apple] ran the business," although he likes the people, products, and culture at the company.
Retailer allegedly planning more than just accessory sales
The US branch of Staples is planning to sell more than just Apple accessories at its retail stores, sources tell MacRumors. Currently the retailer has only announced sales of accessories and peripherals, which are already available online, and coming soon to physical outlets. The sources suggest, though, that at least some shops will be carrying Macs, iPads, and iPhones.
Practice violates French law
Apple France must pay labor unions €10,000 ($13,000) in fines for regularly forcing retail employees to work after 9PM, a Parisian court has ruled. Agence France-Presse adds that for every subsequent violation, Apple will have to pay 50,000 euros ($65,000). Under French law, demanding work between 9PM and 6AM is reserved for exceptional cases, and requires special justification.
Sales currently only online
Staples will start selling Apple products at US retail by the end of the current quarter, Reuters reports. CEO Ronald Sargent revealed the information today as his company announced fourth-quarter results. Staples began selling Apple products in the US in late February, but so far only via its website.
Suspects make unusual attack during store hours
Three men used bear spray while robbing the Oakridge Centre Apple Store in Vancouver Monday night, the CBC reports. Unusually the crime occurred around 7PM, toward the end of store hours, instead of overnight as with most Apple Store robberies. About 40 shoppers are said to have been in the shop at the time; the thieves shot the bear spray into the air, ultimately forcing five people to be treated for exposure.
Online offerings only limited to accessories and peripherals
Following up on statements by executives, Staples has officially launched sales of Apple products in the US. At the company's online store, the company is only selling accessories and peripherals, ranging from iPhone, iPod, and iPad cases through to the Apple TV, Time Capsule, and Magic Mouse. Plans for stock at retail stores haven't been announced.
Initial roll-out in UK uses new Chip & Pin device
PayPal is rolling out a new version of its Here mobile payments system for Europe. Starting in the UK, the payments service will be providing businesses a pocket-sized device that will offer Chip & PIN protection for payments through a retailer's mobile phone, instead of the triangular attachment used in the United States.
Custom-made entrance was worth more than goods stolen
Apple's 29th Street retail store in Boulder, CO was burglarized on Saturday, resulting in $64,000 worth of merchandise being stolen. The thief used large rocks to smash through a custom-made door which was actually appraised as more valuable than the merchandise stolen before police arrived. The robbery happened in the early-morning hours on Saturday. Taken were several laptops, iPads and iPhones, which remain easy to fence and resell despite some security measures.
Stores to help educate customers on Android hardware, Glass
Google is looking towards building a chain of retail stores, according to reports. The search giant is said to be joining the ranks of other tech companies, such as Apple and Microsoft, by opening its first Google Stores open by the holiday season in the United States in a number of "major metropolitan areas."
Stock outlets might carry still unknown
US Staples stores will soon start selling Apple products, according to Twitter posts by several executives. While an initial post by Regis Mulot -- the company's senior VP of global human resources -- has been deleted, similar posts by other people in the company are still intact. These include tweets by strategic accounts coordinator Erin LaFlamme, and field services manager Mike Goggin.
Former Apple Retail chief takes CEO job at UK retailer Monsoon
John Browett, the former head of Apple Retail, has taken a new job. He will become the CEO of UK-based retail chain Monsoon Accessorize. The company says it went through "an extensive search" before settling on Browett, saying he will be able to take the company "to the next level." Browett will be in charge of over 1,000 retail outlets, more than twice as many as Apple has worldwide.
Represents an evolving position on sales tax collection
The biggest retailer on the Internet, Amazon, is throwing some of its weight behind a new Senate bill that would allow states to collect sales tax for online sales -- provided they simplify tax laws regarding variations in rates and collection methods. While not explicitly saying it endorses the bill in its current form, the Kindle maker thanked the authors of the bill for bringing the issue forward -- another sign that Amazon's formerly hard-line stance against online sales tax is softening.
Online store open to all, subscriptions provide discounts
Music retailer eMusic has removed the subscription requirement in order to buy music from it's online store. The announcement by CEO Adam Klein brings eMusic in line with other online music stores in not charging customers a monthly fee just to be able to download songs, something that opens up the 14-year-old store to more potential customers.
Could be used as weapon against 'clone' stores
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple trademarks on the design of its retail stores, Reuters reports. Filings describe a "clear glass storefront surrounded by a paneled facade," and an interior with an "oblong table with stools...set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall." Apple first applied for the trademarks in May 2010, but only won them on January 22nd of this year.
Fourth SF outlet pegged for Castro Street
New information has emerged on anticipated Apple Stores in Berlin and San Francisco. Bloomberg sources indicate that as expected, Apple is planning to open up its first Berlin location in a former movie theater at Kurfürstendamm 26. Kurfürstendamm is one of the main shopping streets in Berlin, and the theater in question is across from a Hard Rock Cafe. The location was originally tipped over a year ago, and job listings began appearing in March. MacNN can confirm that Apple has already started hiring people for the store.
Company rearranges presentation of figures
Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its first-quarter results, meant to accompany the main results announcement. Notably the company has chosen to reorganize the way some figures are presented. A "greater China" segment has been split off from the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, for instance, to account for the important of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Chinese revenue is up 67 percent year-over-year to $6.83 billion.
Online store returns after two-year absence
Apple is planning a new push into Indonesian sales, says NZWeek. Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board has officially approved an Apple application to enter the country. The board's deputy chairman adds that the company is planning to invest between $2 million and $3 million to launch a retail store in the capital of Jakarta; the store would be Apple's first in the country, and in fact Apple's first in the Asia-Pacific region outside of China or Japan.
Discounts on stock, lines of credit to prolong physical media sales
Major record labels will help keep British music retailer HMV stores running by offering potential buyers heavily discounted stock. Reports claim that Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony, and others will offer whatever company steps in to run the music chain help in keeping physical music and movie sales in the High Streets and away from Internet retailers.
Puts end to otherwise uninterrupted iPad dominance
The Google Nexus 7 beat the iPad at Japanese retail stores during the holiday season, says research firm BCN. The group surveyed 2,400 electronics stores around the country in December, and found that the Nexus 7 accounted for 44.4 percent of the tablet market, while the iPad took home 40.1 percent. Tablets made by local companies, such as Sony, only accounted for 2 to 3 percent of sales.
Section still leaderless since Browett departed in October
Jerry McDougal, the second-in-command of retail at Apple, has left the company. The move leaves Apple without either a formal leader or lieutenant in the retail segment of the business, following the ouster of the controversial John Browett in late October. McDougal said he left the company to spend more time with his family -- a familiar story, but one that actually rings true for many employees at Apple. Apple has said that Jim Bean, a VP in Apple's finance department, will move over to the retail division to help keep things running.
Tough holiday sales, online retailers to blame for financial issues
UK retailer HMV is going into administration after a lengthy battle for custom against online retailers, shortly after photography chain Jessops did the same and closed its stores. Accountancy firm Deloitte will be operating the chain in the interim while searching for a buyer, and hopes to keep the 4,300 staff and 239 stores of the music, games, and film retailer open until a suitable plan of action has been outlined.
Arrives ahead of major shopping holiday, Chinese New Year
Although the Wi-Fi version of the fourth-generation iPad line has been available in China since early December, this Friday will see the retail debut of the LTE-capable version of the iPad and iPad mini, just three weeks ahead of Chinese New Year. The iPad mini, already a hit in the country, is prominently featured on the Apple Gift Guide for the celebration, a major shopping holiday for the region. China granted the license to sell the LTE versions last month.
Two more store announcements expected shortly
Despite slightly missing its goal of 20 major retail partners accepting its in-store payment platform by the end of 2012, Paypal has made good on its promise just weeks after the start of the new year. In an update made by the payment processor today, PayPal has boosted its major chain acceptance list to 21, adding Home Depot, Guitar Center, Barnes & Noble, and JC Penney. PayPal claims to have two more partner companies able to accept the program soon.
Store may remain partly closed for Monday
A car crashed into the Lincoln Park Apple Store in Chicago on Sunday night, according to reports. Local police tell the Chicago Tribune that they're investigating the incident, in which an elderly man drove his Lincoln Town Car through the glass facade of the store. Fire Department paramedics were called to the scene. Although people initially refused any care, paramedics were eventually called back and took one injured person to hospital in good condition. No serious injuries have been reported.
May hint at advancement on iPhone deal
(Updated with cellular iPad mini launch info) As a part of his ongoing tour of China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has met with the chairman of China Mobile, Xi Guohua, Reuters reports. A Mobile spokesman will only say that the two talked about "matters of cooperation" at the carrier's headquarters earlier today, and that no further details can be given out because of a confidentiality agreement. Despite being the world's biggest phone carrier in terms of subscribers, China Mobile is the only national Chinese carrier without the iPhone.