December 1 will see Apple Stores with (RED) logo
Apple will turn its iconic white Apple retail store logos red for a day on Sunday in order to mark World Aids Day. The color change is the latest in a string of signs of support from the iPhone maker for the Product (RED) initiative, which works to combat AIDS worldwide. As 9to5Mac notes, the change over to the red logo has already begun at Apple's Regent Street Store in London, and other locations are expected to follow soon after.
Cook initiative to sell more iPhones in-house making progress
A new study has revealed the startling statistic that Apple's retail stores are one of the biggest sellers of cell phones outside carrier-direct and carrier-store sales. The Apple Store chain now sells about 11 percent of all cell phones bought in the US, and is responsible for roughly 25 percent of all US iPhone sales. The study, by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, puts Apple's retail stores just behind Best Buy (with 13 percent of US cellphone sales).
Apparently nationwide, reports vary on length, systems now restored
Apple retail stores around the US suffered an unusual outage of the company's point-of-sale (POS) systems that lasted for up to two hours at some locations earlier today, affecting the ability to make purchases and pick up items ordered online for in-store delivery. Quick checks of stores in Albequerque New Mexico, New York City and northern Virginia along with other reports indicate that outage times varied, with the disruption described as "no big deal" at some stores while others had longer downtimes.
Dates thought to be connected to new products, but reasons could be more mundane
Apple retail stores around the world will be operating under "special hours" and closing two to three hours earlier than normal on November 17 and 18, likely to attend an "all-hands" meeting for new product updates that may or may not include the new Mac Pro or iPad mini (or both). Outside the United States, stores in a number of countries -- including much of Europe, Canada and East Asian countries -- have posted notices warning of the early closure hours.
Jawbone's Big Jambox, Bose QuietComfort, Beats by Dre tipped for sales
Apple Stores have begun a significant sale on audio accessories during August, with two offers already underway and a third one coming later. Currently, the stores are offering 10 percent off on select Beats by Dre headphones and speakers, along with a $50 discount on the price of the Jawbone Big Jambox Bluetooth speaker, the latter offering being matched by Jawbone through its own site and resellers. A reader has alerted Electronista that the stores will also be offering two Bose QuietComfort headphones for 10 percent off beginning on Sunday.
Claim that searches, bag checks are done off-the-clock
A group of former retail employees of Apple Stores in Los Angeles and New York have filed a class-action suit against Apple, saying that the company demands employees submit to extensive anti-theft searches and other security measures, but doesn't pay them for the time involved. The security checks, which happen whenever an employee leaves the store, take 10 or 15 minutes according to the claim filed, adding up to millions of dollars in uncompensated employee time -- possibly as much as $1,400 per employee per year.
Sweeping change in iPhone marketing to feature trade-ins, price-matching
Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to have told top retail managers in a secret meeting that the company would like to "equalize" the difference between the percentage of customers that come to Apple retail stores for iPhone repairs versus iPhone sales. The move, reported by unnamed sources, would encourage more customers to use the Apple retail presence to buy iPhones (where currently only 20 percent of buyers do) through the use of direct trade-in offers and other incentives. The recent addition of the iPhone to Apple's "Back to School" promotion was allegedly the first step in the plan.
Long-rumored store in Basel coming, fashion shoot at Causeway Bay
A proposed Apple Store we first reported on 18 months ago has finally been confirmed through architectural plans and job postings to be the fourth Apple Store in the country of Switzerland. The store, which was first mooted elsewhere three years ago, will be in the city of Basel and required an extensive amount of demolition and reconstruction in order to better blend in with surrounding buildings.
Shows focus on customer experience over profit
A previously-unaired internal Apple video from 2011 led by former SVP of Retail Ron Johnson and featuring rare appearances by Apple Store architects and VP of Retail Development Bob Bridger was posted to YouTube for a while on Monday (and has since been pulled). The video, about 10 minutes in length, showcases how Apple approaches creating both its in-mall and standalone Apple Stores -- revealing that Apple's customer-centric philosophy is not just for show, but a key element in its retail success.
Logical progression of Apple Store app abilities
Apple, which launched the "EasyPay" system of allowing users to buy accessories and self-checkout at Apple Stores by scanning a bar code with the Apple Store app on their iOS device late last year, plans to add Passbook functionality that could allow users to buy (and eventually even reload) Apple Store gift cards, possibly book Genius Bar appointments or provide reservations on top-selling items, or allow users to buy more expensive hardware and other items using Passbook's pay codes.
Thieves often forget that devices are easily traceable
The latest in a series of "smash-and-grab" robberies of Apple Stores happened in Leawood, Kansas this week -- the second time this particular store has been victimized in the same manner in the last two years. The thieves used a stolen car as a battering ram, but were unable to use the car to escape, and only had time to take a small amount of merchandise before police arrived, forcing them to flee on foot. Though the story had a security fence, it was unable to stop the vehicle from allowing the robbers entry to the store.
Shifts some training, pre-buying questions to web site
Amid reports that Apple is looking at new ways to make the retail Apple Stores more profitable, the company has added a new "online training" feature to its store website, bringing "live chat" abilities along with a guided tour of the online store, Genius scheduling, or the ability to request a phone call from a product specialist. The program launched today in the UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil, but has not yet been rolled out in the US.
LA authority conducts 'price accuracy' inspections
Following an investigation by the LA consumer protection agency, one of the Glendale Apple stores has been fined a $200 civil penalty for overcharging on an item. The Americana at Brand store apparently sold an unnamed item (likely to be a Mac system) for $70 more than the lowest advertised store price at the time. Apple normally sells all new items at normal retail price, and any price fluctuation -- either lower or higher -- is uncommon. The incident occurred last August.
Publishes two-page newspaper mission statement
Kicking off with a two-page newspaper ad (seen below) that serves as a new "mission statement" for the company that says it is "rethinking and reimagining" its store experience, J.C. Penney Company kicked off celebrations for its 110th anniversary with new CEO Ron Johnson at the helm. Johnson spent 11 years as Apple's Senior VP of Retail and was the key person responsible for the Apple Stores and other concepts, reports his colleague and industry observer Ken Segall.
Revenue, visitor counts both jump over 40 percent
Apple CEO Tim Cook has credited the company's recent retail innovations, which include the online option of in-store pickup of purchases as well as a new self-checkout option that incorporates into the stores' EasyPay system with an eponymous iOS app, with helping Apple Stores see significant jumps in visitors and revenue across 2011. Average revenues per store grew 43 percent to $17.4 million, while visitors grew 45 percent to an average 22,000 per week.
Aix-en-Provence plans show glass-heavy design
Two more future Apple stores have been uncovered thanks to magazine features and a European Mac website, retail tracking site ifoAppleStore reports. One will be in the French city of Aix-En-Provence, not far from Marseilles, while the other will be in the north of Switzerland where it meets the French and German borders in the town of Basel. A magazine from the Aix-en-Provence region revealed renderings for the planned store, showing it to be nearly transparent.
If true, would be one of four 2012 Canadian stores
Canada may get as many as four new Apple stores in 2012, but if reports from Nova Scotia are true, however, one store may go against Apple's trend of placing stores in the highest population centers and will instead land in Halifax, the provincial capital but home to only 400,000 people. The rumor, which has circulated in various forms for years, is recently supported by unusual renovations and unusual secrecy from the main mall in town, iPhoneinCanada claims.
Sealed lawsuit may target Chinese knockoff stores
Apple has filed a lawsuit against a list of companies that currently run retail stores designed to look like Apple's own brick-and-mortar outlets. Although the complaint is sealed, the few details that are available suggest the company is going after a large number of defendants. The lawsuit, which was filed at the US District Court in the Eastern District of New York, lists at least 50 John Does and unnamed businesses.
Apple expected to pay $1.1m for annual rent
Committee members from New York City's Metro Transit Authority have provided further details surrounding the Grand Central Apple Store proposal, which was confirmed earlier today following a number of leaks. Previous reports suggest Apple will face $800,000 for annual rent as part of the agreement, however the yearly charge is said to jump by an additional $300,000 after the first ten years.
May also get unwelcome attention from Apple
As a follow-up to our story yesterday about a U.S. expatriate blogger known as BirdAbroad who discovered several counterfeit Apple Stores in her southwest China city, the story has now received worldwide attention, garnering covering throughout the U.S. and Europe -- and bringing with it unwelcome attention from Apple and Chinese authorities to the fake stores, which may now find themselves in legal jeopardy, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Staff said to be ready for new OS
Apple has reportedly scheduled overnight briefings on Tuesday night for its retail employees. The staff are expected to use the time to prepare for the Mac OS X Lion launch, which is said to be set for Wednesday, unnamed sources have told MacRumors. The company is also claimed to have sent each store a Mac Pros preloaded with the upcoming OS.
First of two locations set for the sprawling city
Apple is reportedly set to open its first retail location in Hong Kong as early as this fall, unnamed sources have told M.I.C.. The company is said to be aiming its grand opening for early September, on the heels of an August debut for a separate location in Shanghai. The Hong Kong establishment reportedly fills a 15,000-square-foot space in the International Finance Center mall on Hong Kong Island.
San Francisco lineup for iPad 2 swells to 4 blocks
MacNN has received reports that a large lineup is forming outside the San Francisco Apple Store in the downtown district, swelling from an earlier estimate of 140 people (quoted by AppleInsider earlier today) now stretching over four city blocks in length. Sunny weather in the city has allowed customers wanting an iPad 2 to begin the traditional lineup later than their New York City counterparts, where it was still raining earlier in the day following a massive rainstorm Thursday night, with well over 500 people in line nonetheless. Other cities are also reporting long lineups.
Project now said to be finalized
Apple has reportedly settled on plans to build a new flagship retail location within Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Recent reports suggested the company was considering the new location, but unnamed sources have allegedly told Cult of Mac that the decision has been made and application process has begun.
Inspired by Pixar's "Up," MBA tied to balloon
A clever new window display at one of the New York City Apple stores (and elsewhere) appears to show a MacBook Air hanging from a helium balloon with the tagline "so light, it floats." While the ballon is of course suspended by thin clear wires, the illusion has been effective at fooling at least some commenters on YouTube, where the standard-definition version of a video of the display (below), shot by Obamapacman.com makes it difficult to see the suspending wires.
All customers now assisted by standard staff
Apple has stopped offering its Personal Shopping service to customers who visit the company's retail outlets. The service had provided product demonstrations and special assistance on an appointment basis, allowing them to "test-drive" Apple's range of devices.
Typical purchase up $50 over industry average
Since the beginning of iPad pre-orders in March of this year, Apple stores have experienced a sales surge that has been maintained through the summer, with the chain outperforming the average purchase figure for the electronics and software retail sector as a whole by about 20 percent in New York City, statistics show.
Apple's fifth retail store in London
Apple is set to open its fifth retail store in London, with a new establishment located in the city's busy Covent Garden district. Customers can begin flooding the store beginning Saturday, August 7 for the grand opening.
Device set to arrive in many additional countries
Apple Stores located in Canada will be open early, at 7am, to accommodate the surge in sales for the local iPhone 4 launch. The 16GB device will be sold unlocked for $659 CAD (~$639 USD), while the 32GB unlocked variant commands $779 CAD (~$755 USD). Subsidized prices are expected to match US pricing for both capacities.
Company seeking more floor space
Apple is reportedly planning to relocate one of its UK stores to a different location in the Manchester area. The move is said to be motivated by heavy foot traffic that has exceeded the intended capacity of current buildings.
Lines observed in Sydney, Tokyo, London
The iPad's official launch in nine additional countries has drawn lines of prospective buyers in certain locations. Customers are reportedly camping out in London, Tokyo, and Sydney, among other cities. Apple Stores in the UK will open an hour early, at 8am, to accommodate the influx of customers picking up pre-ordered devices or placing new orders.
Customers impressed by service, checkout
Apple has achieved the top spot in yet another Consumer Reports ranking, with the company's retail outlets considered the best place to buy a cellphone. Despite the lack of selection and relatively high price of the iPhone, respondents to the survey gave Apple Stores an average score of 86 out of 100.
iPads in-stock at many retail locations
Apple has managed to maintain iPad inventories at many of its retail stores, despite the rush of customers who waited in line for the device on Saturday. Calls to several key locations in California and New York confirmed that customers can still walk in and purchase an iPad, although a few stores were out of the 16GB model. Several smaller stores in Pennsylvania and Ohio still have every Wi-Fi model in stock.
Company eliminating Windows CE-based portables
Apple is reportedly developing a new checkout system based on the iPod touch, according to an ifoAppleStore report posted on AppleInsider. The "EasyPay touch" configuration consists of an iPod case integrating a barcode scanner, additional battery cells and a magnetic stripe reader. The hardware is paired with custom point-of-sale (POS) software.
Site said to be ready ahead of schedule
Despite earlier reports suggesting the Carousel de Louvre Apple Store would be ready by November 15th, the French site macgeneration now claims the grand opening is scheduled for November 7th. Sources allege the company will provide official details by Friday, including a partnership with the nearest Starbucks to provide free coffee for early birds waiting in line.
Newest California Apple Store opens Saturday
Apple will open its 270th store this weekend, launching the Promenade Temecula Apple Store Saturday, September 26. The store, located at 40820 Winchester Road, Temecula, CA 92591 in the Promenade Temecula mall, will open at 10:00 a.m. PDT. The store will offer the Apple standards -- Apple products like the iPhone, iMac and MacBooks, and Genius Bar face to face support. Hands-on workshops will be available and the One to One program will be available. The store phone number will be (951) 326-2400. Currently, no workshops have been scheduled in the first week of operation. Hours will run 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Mon-Sat, with Sunday hours of 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m..
67th St NYC Apple Store
The upcoming Apple Store located on 67th Street and Broadway in NYC is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving, a construction worker told the Westside Independent. A separate source in the investment community also claims Apple is already working on staffing the location, as several employees in surrounding stores have allegedly been offered managerial positions.
Ottawa Apple Store opening
A new Apple Store in Ottawa, Canada will be having its grand opening this Saturday, July 18th at 9:30 a.m.. As indicated by construction photographs, the Rideau Center location has very similar elements to the company's other retail establishments, such as the Genius Bar and wall displays. Compared to other stores, the single-story outlet is larger than average. This should not come as much of a surprise, considering the store will be the first of its kind in Ottawa, the nation's capitol, and only the ninth so far in all of Canada.
Apple retail stores open
Apple today said it would open its retail stores at 7 a.m. local time on Friday, June 19 -- one hour earlier than its previously announced time of 8 a.m. The new time is the same as launch time of the new iPhone 3G S at AT&T retail stores, which also open at 7 a.m.; the carrier, however, will only distribute the devices to owners who pre-ordered the device through its direct fulfillment service and said that other customers will only be able to purchase the phones starting at 9 a.m., according to the same report by News.com.
Beijing Apple store floods
An Apple Store located at The Village in the Sanlitun area of Beijing on Saturday suffered a flood that spread water across part of the ground level of the tri-level retail space. One manager claimed the water was from a fire hydrant malfunction, although the incident is currently still under investigation by the property management team. The store did manage to keep two levels running as normal through the flood, with access only blocked to the affected area.
Apple Store report
Apple has provided additional details regarding its retail stores, with information included in the Q1 financial reports. Total revenue for all locations set a new record of $1.74 billion for the December quarter, with an average of $7 million attributed to each store. The volume of foot traffic followed the same trend, with a total of 46.7 million visitors for the quarter and over 14,000 people passing through each store every week. Despite the impressive numbers, the segment margin was down to $353 million from $405 million last year, while average revenue per store also suffered because of the difficult retail environment.
Munich Apple Store
The grand opening of Apple's Munich store drew huge crowds Saturday morning, with an estimated 4,000 visitors in the first few hours, according to ifoAppleStore. People began waiting in line as early as 1:30 a.m. local time, well before the 10:00 a.m. door opening. Apple gave away 2,500 t-shirts to the first visitors, as a promotion to fill the store on the first day. High-profile city officials and business representatives were invited to a VIP reception on Friday evening.
Apple abandons West 34th
Apple has abandoned any plans for a store on West 34th street in Manhattan, claims the New York Post. Apple currently leases 21-25 on West 34th, which is located between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, and within a short distance of the Empire State Building. The real estate is capable of supporting up to 18,000 square feet, but Apple is said to have lost interest in establishing a store on the site, and is presently looking to sub-lease through Robert K. Futterman. RKF's website lists availability starting April 1st 2009, for a maximum period of 13 years.
Apple adds five stores
This week marks a slew of Apple Store openings, as Israel's first Apple location, launched by iDigital, opened Sunday, Geneva and Bristol open Thursday, Friday sees Zurich's Glattzentrum shopping center open and Honolulu's third store arrives Saturday alongside Calgary. Geneva opens four days earlier than originally predicted, and will be located on the Rue de Rive. Geneva and Zurich's Glattzentrum are the second and third Swiss Apple Store.
Apple's hours increased
Apple recently updated its iPhone availability page availability page, stating, "To accommodate demand for iPhone 3G, all Apple Retail Stores will now open at 8:00 a.m. every day but Sunday. We're also adding staff to help you get up and running as quickly as possible." The demand for the iPhone 3G has been excessive and Apple's retail stores have been flooded with long lines for iPhones across the United States. Apple has responded to this by increasing hours and staffing to help more customers each day.
Top Muffin iPhone list
Top Muffin has assembled a persistent listing of iPhone availability at Apple stores throughout the country using a statistical tracking system published by Apple. As of this writing, Top Muffin reveals that only 15 stores in the US are completely without iPhone stock, with the rest alleging stock of either the 8GB, 16GB White, and 16GB Black models. The three Manhattan flagship stores – West 14th, 5th Avenue, and SoHo – all show stock of all three models.
Liverpool Apple Store
Several new Apple Stores are set to open their doors Saturday, including one in Liverpool, England. Housed in the redeveloped Liverpool One Complex, the new store is Apple's 16th in the UK. The company is also opening stores in Montreal, Glendale, Arizona, and Charleston, South Carolina.
iPhones virtually sold out
In less than 10 days since its problem-plagued launch, Apple has sold out of stock of iPhones in all of its stores except three, including every state except New York, California, and New Hampshire. Apple notes that on Monday none of its 137 locations in the US will have stock of the 8GB iPhone and that the only location to have the 16GB black iPhone will be its retail store in Pleasanton, California (Stoneridge Mall). The only other two stores to have stock of the iPhone are the retail locations in Salem, New Hampshire (Rockingham Park) and New York City (Fifth Avenue) -- both of which only have the 16GB white iPhone model.
Sydney Apple Store: 6/19
Mac fans in Australia have more than just tomorrow’s Keynote to look forward to, as the country’s first Apple Store opens later this month. The Sydney Morning Herald says the store will be one of only three in the world spread out over three stories, that it will house the largest "Genius Bar" in the world, and that will offer Apple's Pro Lab service, which provides in-depth training to professional users (Pro Lab services are only available in two other Apple Stores - at one of its flagship stores in New York and in the recently opened Boston flagship store). In an exclusive interview with the newspaper, Apple’s Senior Vice President Ron Johnson said it will be "a breathtaking store,” with some sort of secret architectural feature taking up a significant amount of floor space.
Piper Jaffray on 3G iPhone
Investment firm Piper Jaffray on Monday released a note saying it expects a 3G iPhone by mid-June, based on an almost complete drought of current generation iPhone stock. The note mentions that out of 11 US stores, only six had stock of the iPhone, five of which had more than five units. The lack of stock is also reflected in the UK, with O2 saying the device is unavailable, while the US Apple Store changed availability to "Currently Unavailable".