For what it’s worth, I echo the sentiments that I’m hearing on podcasts and seeing on blogs: the current Apple Store experience is less than desirable, and that’s putting it nicely. And that has nothing to do with the great people that work there, it’s all about layout, how crowded and claustrophobic the store seems to be, with a lack of defined areas.
I really liked watching that video!
I’ve heard the store complaints as well, but I don’t think they could go back to any of the old designs without opening more stores (which I personally want to happen, very much.) The new store layouts handle more people by getting rid of the defined areas to make every part of the store multi-use for browsing, checkout, repair, waiting in “line” and taking classes.
On some podcast I listened to recently someone pointed out that decades ago car dealerships learned to separate the sales from service areas, to the extent that neither side ever saw the other. With Apple it’s sales, plus service, plus education … plus they want it to be a gathering place for people.
Depending on the design of the store, and the size, and the staffing, and the store traffic it’s either a terrible idea or an inspired one. Why would Apple want to intermix sales with the Genius Bar, unless they believed (or had hard evidence) the proximity to other available hardware would also spur sales? Could they deliberately be trying to create positive, controlled chaos in order to create a unique, popular, deliberately crowded (and seemingly desirable) place?
That’s my take, along with the belief that it’s also a difficult balancing act in which the stores fail much of the time. Hence, Apple seems dedicated to rejuvenating and tweaking the current system, rather than separating service areas from everything else.
Or they’re just f-ing it all up and someone lost an internal fight to physically separate those different functions
True, it could be either. Personally, I’d like for the Genius Bar to be separated from the product and sales floor, because of the amount of chaos naturally going on around in the store. A separate side room would be desirable but one table amidst people clamoring with salespeople I found sort of intrusive for some reason. I’m sure they didn’t want me talking with a Genius about my 2nd keyboard failure within earshot of their MacBook Pro lineup
Re. Auto dealers. I’m struggling to recall a happy experience either in sales or in repair. Thank god no one at the Apple store ever took me into a glass cage and asked me wait while he spoke with his manager. Perhaps buying a new car or getting your car repaired would be less stressful if auto dealerships looked more like Apple stores. I have to say, as someone who lives 2hrs from the nearest Apple store, I enjoy my visits and have never had a bad experience. I would go this gray afternoon just to look at the new shines, watch the people interact, eavesdrop on a class…
I always thought it was just to make the place look vital and busy.
A year or two ago I went to the local mall and passed by the Apple store. Something new had just been released and the place was packed. It looked like a big party! Later I passed by the Microsoft store - completely empty. If you were thinking about a new phone or tablet, which store would you choose, absent any preconceived notions?
You know what they say about restaurants: Pick one with cars in the parking lot.
It’s hard to even find a Microsoft store – not that I’m looking.
The only thing I would like improved in the Apple Store is for Apple to figure out how to use the technology that most people who visit probably have – their iPhone and/or Watch – to let us “register” our presence, see where we are in queues for service or the Genius bar, and free up the staff to do things for customers instead of herd them.
“Nobody goes there any more, it’s too crowded”
I’m sure other retailers off ALL kinds would kill for Apple’s “problems!”