Thursday, March 08, 2007

Apple Stores dominate

Signal vs. Noise pointed me in the direction of Fortune's report titled Apple: America's Best Retailer. It talks about how sucesful the Apple Stores have been despite what the critics said about the chain when they first hit the scene.

  • (Fortune Magazine) -- "Sorry Steve, Here's Why Apple Stores Won't Work," BusinessWeek wrote with great certainty in 2001. "It's desperation time in Cupertino, Calif.," opined "I give [Apple] two years before they're turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake," predicted retail consultant David Goldstein.

The report goes on to say that Apple stores make more than 10 times per square foot than the flagship Saks store, and over 4 times what Best Buy makes. Pretty amazing. I think the part i found most interesting, and very smart, is that they actually built a store inside a wherehouse before actually putting them out for the public. this allowed them to see what kind of interaction they got from their designs and adjust it to fit the experience they wanted us, the consumer, to have.

Another neat little fact is that they ended up with a design that invited customers in to the store to play, talk or learn. You never feel like you have to buy something when you go to the Apple Store. They eventually cut out anything that wasn't necessary from their design (much like 37 Signals does) and made it as easy as possible for the consumer to come in and simply experience the key products in the store.

  • The minis fit nicely into a real estate strategy that Jobs calls "Ambush the customer." He says he wanted to show Windows users "how much better a Mac is. But Windows users weren't going to drive to a destination." That's why Johnson waited so long for the San Francisco location - a corner off Market Street where people live, work, shop, tour, and play, as he puts it.

    "The real estate was a lot more expensive," says Jobs, but it was worth it because people "didn't have to gamble with 20 minutes of their time. They only had to gamble with 20 footsteps of their time."


1 comment:


Thanks Jon for getting the first Mac and letting us all use the hell out of it. You're a real sweetheart.