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Ten years of the Apple Retail Store: What went right

Gary Allen | May 19, 2011
The amazing success of the Apple Retail Stores has been picked apart, studied, and analyzed by consultants, financial analysts, and professors, all trying to find elements they can apply to other industries and turn into successes.

In an innovative move, Johnson also came up with the concept for the Genius Bar. Although its implementation is entirely technical, its origin was much more warm and fuzzy. Johnson has explained its genesis a couple of different ways, either based on a helpful hotel concierge, or on a friendly local bartender. Now, the Genius Bars provide a daily opportunity for Apple to "surprise and delight" store visitors, another guiding principle for the stores.

In a span of ten years Apple has changed how technology is presented and sold, converting it from a cold and impersonal interaction to one that highlights the creative and fun side. There were many skeptics when Apple's first stores opened in 2001, but now companies everywhere are scrambling to duplicate Apple's success.

Gary Allen started as a hobby, but it now consumes more of his time. He still finds grand openings exciting and particularly enjoys exploring new international stores.


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