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I was at the Apple Store again today so my son could buy a new computer for his first year of university. Don’t get me wrong, I have been using Apple computers for going on 25 years, but, I hate the Apple Store. Again I stood there and said to myself, for a company that builds and sells such elegant devices and has such elegant simple stores, the experience of shopping can only be described as chaotic. At least that is how it looks and feels to me. Yet somehow, they do provide pretty good service in such a situation. To me, it defies common sense, but, it is not the sort of experience I enjoy. Perhaps this is the way of the younger generation.
It was not long before I had to leave because it was just too ‘busy.’ I went out in the mall and looked back. It seemed to me that there were almost as many blue-shirted Apple employees in the store as there were customers and they were providing a lot of services, many free. They will show you the products, help you make a decision, then sell the product to you, fulfill your order, make upgrades and customizations as ordered, help you set up and transfer your files from and older machine, provide training and troubleshoot problems that you may be experiencing. All this for products that usually don’t have the profit price point that other types of products do. Yes, one pays more, however, Apple set the bar high in terms of quality.
I can remember when Apple was planning to open their first store. Some folks were doing a bit of math and wondered how it could be profitable to pay the square footage for the location and the employees. Somehow, Apple has been able to pull it off and do more than many retail outlets in the services they can provide.
Shopping at an Apple Store is an experience, however, if I knew little about computers or the Apple products, I would find it difficult to learn in such an environment. The experience perplexes me. Perhaps I just getting old.