Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Success of the Apple Store

I must confess, although I live near the Emeryville Apple store, I rarely buy anything there and don't especially enjoy visiting it. It's in a very shallow, mall-ish, "Valley Girl" type of location. It's hard to attract the attention of the staff. When I visited today, I found that to get a customized system with my particular corporate discount, I'd have to go through the online store.

(On the other hand, I always enjoy visiting the Palo Alto store.)

Now, the Apple stores are seen as a good move on Apple's part. Why are they successful despite the up-and-down experience from store to store? For my money, it's the freedom with the demo machines. The guy who told me they didn't have any original Airport cards didn't just say that, he Googled for other sources to buy 'em. Someone thinking about buying an ElGato EyeTV was browsing that company's FAQ page. The Internet access and extensive range of apps running on the machines show off the machines themselves, and let customers do some investigation while right there in the store.

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