I attended the opening of Apple's first retail store in Glendale, CA, last Saturday and it was sick! Especially for a Mac Dork like me. The store was great, clean lines, intuitive layout and no clutter. It featured all the newest apple items (including the new ibook), which my fiancÈe had to buy, as well as some new Epson printers that I had never seen before. They also carried a great selection of mp3 players, digital cameras, and videocams. This was totally smart. Because the selection was limited, it gave the appearance that Apple had hand-picked these. I'm not sure if that was intentional, but for someone who loves the apple brand, I trust what they choose to sell in their stores. Even if you don't feel as strongly as I do, it's smart because you know that each of these products work with the apple platform. When I asked the sales representative what the advantage was to buying a computer in the store, he said, "The whole Apple experience." He was right.
We figured out that if we would have ordered the ibook from a catalog, and had it shipped overnight we only would have saved about $40.00 on the purchase. In my opinion, it's worth $40 to be able to go in, touch the product and walk home with it. Apple handled the opening smoothly. Becuase there was a line that continued outside the mall, Apple representatives were taking orders in line and security ensured that it was all fair. One of the greatest features of the store was the genius bar. Full-time apple troubleshooters are at your disposal to help with your apple woes. If you want to bring in your computer and have them fix it, they can do that too. There was a great dedication on the wall next to the Genius Bar praising the troublemakers of the world. It praises the all the square pegs as Geniuses, becuase these are the people who press us to evolve. Genius.
Source: Tracy Forman