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  1.    #1  
    Apple just confirmed their plans to open branded retail stores across the US.

    Read: http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/ne...082441,00.html

    I have mixed feelings about this. It may give more consumers a chance to try out new products, but so far this strategy hasn't panned out for Gateway, which is closing many of its "Country Stores".
  2. #2  
    I think Gateway over-extended themselves. They have something like 5 stores in our area alone.

    Here's an article that confirms the Mall of America store:

    http://www.pioneerplanet.com/docs/0507apple.htm
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  3.    #3  
    Gateway's problem, in my opinion, was that their Country Stores served no real purpose. There is nothing outwardly special about Gateway products (they're just another clone maker), and you can't even carry off a new system from their stores. Nice idea, poor execution.
  4. #4  
    mistake .. mistake .. mistake .. mistake .. mistake ...

    Needham & Co. analyst Andrew Scott said the stores will help Apple in its key task, attracting first-time Mac buyers.
    I don't quite understand this thought process .. Does apple think that by building a store, people will come? Whats the incentive? As a first-time Mac buyer (I am assuming an individual that decides he/she needs a new computer and/or first time computer..) -- why would these individuals limit themself to going to an Apple specific store? I see these people going to a huge retailer (compusa, bestbuy, fry's electronics, etc..) and asking for advice on the system..

    So when Apple did their store-in-a-store idea with Compusa, sure it sounded like a great idea -- infact, it intrigued me enough to go over and check it out (as I am sure a lot of others just like me..)-- see what all the hoopla was all about ---

    What did I find? well a few computers, some turned on, most off -- a few software titles, a little bit of third party hardware and a few big Think Different banners -- no sales people, no apple reps, nothing -- what appeared to be "something different" really was -- whereas the rest of the store HAD people and interaction, the Apple store-in-a-store seemed like a ghost town.

    I dunno, if I was a first time buyer, I think the attraction of the large banners and so-forth Apple has in CompUSA is enough to draw me to the back of the store to see what the big deal is -- but without the systems running and without a rep there to show off the computer, how can these new potential-Mac owners know the advantage of a Mac?

    So now, Apple thinks they can spend a crap-load of money, launch a ton of stores, staff these stores and then have to throw a huge marketing campaign to get people to go to these stores to see what all the fuss is about -- hmm.. I really don't see it happening.

    Apple should have staffed Apple reps at the various CompUSA store-in-a-store locations on a daily basis.. let these reps discuss and demo the Apple advantage.. They would have sold a LOT more systems that way .. I see reps from Epson, HP, Compaq, Microsoft, Sprint, voicestream, etc..etc.. all the time in various retailers. .. because of the specific scope of their training, they know a LOT more about their offerings than a standard comp-usa drone ever will.. Apple would have easily been able to persuade a TON of would-be PC purchasers to go Mac..

    better presentation, more knowledgable rep = more sales. . seems simple to me and to all those other companies that have reps instead of running out and setting up stores and screwing the retailers..

    Joe
  5.    #5  
    Originally posted by Cerulean
    better presentation, more knowledgable rep = more sales. .
    I agree, but the problem with relying on retail sales reps is...personal bias. You walk into a Circuit City or CompUSA, and the salesmen immediately steer you over to the PCs. Why? Because they use PCs, and have absolutely no knowledge of Macs. There has been countless tales of consumers being told that the Macs are "on their way out" or Apple is dead! Stay away from the iMacs".Think about it. If you use a Visor (and love it), would you try to talk customers into buying an iPaq or Casio? Or course not. The first PDA you show them will be a Handspring product, or a Palm. You will tell them not to buy the PocketPC device. This is exactly why Apple wants to open retail stores. I'm not sure whether this will pay off for them, but it's nice to see that they are exploring different strategies. Who knows, this may be a successful move.
  6. #6  
    Most salesman in chain stores will stear you towards a PC because they receive higher commisons on those. Apple offers very low commisions.

    Cerulean...I like your idea of the resellers in CompUSA. However, I assume apple is doing the store thing simply for greater control.

    Hopefully this will push CompUSA to manage their apple stores a bit better.

    I am afraid of what this will do to local independent apple resellers, though. They've long been ignored by apple as a whole.

    As to these being effective in attracting first time buyers...I guess it depends on where they put them. Around here, they're putting one in the Mall of America and one in Chicago next to NikeTown. I see these as being touristy places and really just a way for Apple to increase brand awareness.

    One concern is that these stores will do well, thereby slowly putting the resellers (including CompUSA) out of the Mac business. Then, if and when an Applestore fails, that leaves an entire community without any retail Apple presence.

    What I'd REALLY like is for the Apple stores to offer on-site Laptop and Cube support. My cube is on the fritz right now and they want me to send it away for a week to get it fixed.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by foo fighter


    I agree, but the problem with relying on retail sales reps is...personal bias. You walk into a Circuit City or CompUSA, and the salesmen immediately steer you over to the PCs. Why? Because they use PCs, and have absolutely no knowledge of Macs. There has been countless tales of consumers being told that the Macs are "on their way out" or Apple is dead! Stay away from the iMacs".Think about it. If you use a Visor (and love it), would you try to talk customers into buying an iPaq or Casio? Or course not. The first PDA you show them will be a Handspring product, or a Palm. You will tell them not to buy the PocketPC device. This is exactly why Apple wants to open retail stores. I'm not sure whether this will pay off for them, but it's nice to see that they are exploring different strategies. Who knows, this may be a successful move.
    No .. thats not what I was getting at .. They already tried to let the compusa drones sell the computers -- that doesn't work. What they NEED is to have APPLE trained reps (individuals being PAID by Apple, not compusa/bestbuy/etc..) that reside in the stores and only promote Apple's products.. Like I said before, the presence inside the CompUSA's is good -- it gets people interested as to what is going on with all the big banners and so forth -- however, once you get into the Apple store-in-a-store, there is no one there to help you.

    Another advantage of having basically an Apple employee inside these stores is a knowledgable Apple rep able to talk with the compusa drones -- possibly giving them a much better idea as to what the Mac can do and possibly further generating sales through creating a more knowledgable compusa drone (oxymoron? perhaps..)

    The reason I bring up this rep-in-a-store idea is due to the fact of my experience with it .. My brother use to be a rep for Sprint PCS .. He would go to different stores promoting only the Sprint PCS line of cell phones .. What was interesting was by having a Sprint rep there (compared to the circuit city/best buy drone..) not only were more phones sold, but after he left a store, sales sustained a higher level for a measurable amount of time DUE TO the fact that he was able to interact with the "drones" and make them more knowledgable regarding the product ... (features, advantages, plans, etc..) --

    Just seems like that would have been a MUCH better strategy compared to investing millions into retail outlets, staffing, etc..etc..etc.. seems like it is getting away from what their main focus SHOULD be --> making a GREAT product.
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by homer
    Cerulean...I like your idea of the resellers in CompUSA. However, I assume apple is doing the store thing simply for greater control.
    Yuep .. more control .. more control .. seems like thats what Apple always wants -- more and more control..

    Hopefully this will push CompUSA to manage their apple stores a bit better.
    There is no incentive -- like you said before, the margins are not as large as on the PC side, so whats the motivation for Compusa -- they could put the floor space to better use selling PCs..

    I am afraid of what this will do to local independent apple resellers, though. They've long been ignored by apple as a whole.
    This is a perfect example of a wonderful resource that is woefully under utilized by Apple .. They have these independent resellers that are basically dedicated to Apple -- even though Apple basically craps all over them (low profits margins, not sending the latest equipment, pushing the CompUSA store-in-a-store, pushing their own online store, this new outlet idea, etc..etc..), they stay loyal -- These are the individuals who should be running these new Apple outlets (or being reps at the larger retailers..) -- they are the knowledgable front-line people that Apple needs...


    What I'd REALLY like is for the Apple stores to offer on-site Laptop and Cube support. My cube is on the fritz right now and they want me to send it away for a week to get it fixed.
    If they don't have support inside these stores, that will be a MAJOR disadvantage .. They not only should have service inside the stores, but have it setup so there is basically at most a one day turn around on fixing computer problems ..

    Joe
  9.    #9  
    Originally posted by Cerulean
    Yuep .. more control .. more control .. seems like thats what Apple always wants -- more and more control..
    This is one reason why I'm leaning towards building my own PC rather than going with a Mac. I'm afraid I would be trading one screw job for another!

    But your right. It would be a good idea for Apple to hire their own trained (paid) reps to work in retail stores (Circuit City, CompUSA). We'll see how these stores work out for Apple.
  10. #10  
    I think it IS an extremely good idea. However, Apple could easily screw up and shoot itself in the foot. Apple needs to have a plethora of products in its store, more so than simply the Mac section of Micro Center. (It'd be reeeaaall interesting to see if they do anything with Handspring, and other 3rd party accessories!) This would have to be the one-stop Mac-Shop , where I can fully test out products, and have a knowledgeable sales rep, unlike CompUsa.

    I can see it working, since Macs cater to pro-grade users (I do some serious stuff on my Low-end iMac I simply couldn't do on a high-end PC) and first-timers alike, it's the perfect idea.

    Now, can it be executed?


    Oh, BTW, I am not sure if they are paid directly by Apple, but the Mac section of Micro Center is run by the same guys over and over again, and they KNOW what they're talking about.
    <b><font size=1 color=teal>"Sorry about the whole thing about losing your life savings, but that Palmpilot is property of Enron, so please give it back"
  11. #11  
    I remember reading maybe 1-2 years ago that Jobs was livid when he learned how Apple machines were being "marketed" at some of the larger chains. I too have seen pretty crappy Mac "selling" at such stores.

    The Apple stores, in my view, ARE there mostly just for image. Apple DOES partly sell their products as fashion statements. Also, note the Apple page shows iBooks connected to various digital cameras, Visors, etc. Is it possible that the Apple stores will be selling non-Apple stuff as well, to support Jobs's "digital lifestyle"?

    Finally, it appears that a Gateway country store is opening or has just opened in Champaign, IL.
  12. #12  
    I was just reading some more on this in a Cnet article, and they mentioned something that I hadn't remembered:

    The first store will open May 19 in McLean, Va., according to an invitation to a press event scheduled ahead of the launch. Along with the upscale Tysons Corner shopping area--where the Apple store will be located--McLean is also home to the headquarters of the CIA.
    Coincidence?!? I...think...not! Somebody call Mulder and Scully!!!
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  13. #13  
    I'm sorry but to expend so much energy on a Mac topic....well it's just udderly (cow reference is on purpose) ridiculous and repetitive in the market place.
    Moose Man
    Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
    iPhone 3G, Treo 750, 680, 650, 600 and T5, T3, T, M515, M505, Vx, V, Prizm, Visor, IIIc, IIIe, Palm Pilot Professional, Palm Pilot (ok boys and girls a whopping 128k of memory - those were the days) and former Palm Beta tester.
  14.    #14  
    Originally posted by RSGMOOSE
    I'm sorry but to expend so much energy on a Mac topic....well it's just udderly (cow reference is on purpose) ridiculous and repetitive in the market place.
    Then why did you bother posting here?
  15. #15  
    Foo,

    The reference to Cows and udderly ridiculous reaffirms your original statement of concern over how Gateway performed with the Country stores - remember the Holstein emblem, cows. I believe that Apple will be repetitive and follow suit.

    I think I responded to your original post in one sentence.
    Moose Man
    Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
    iPhone 3G, Treo 750, 680, 650, 600 and T5, T3, T, M515, M505, Vx, V, Prizm, Visor, IIIc, IIIe, Palm Pilot Professional, Palm Pilot (ok boys and girls a whopping 128k of memory - those were the days) and former Palm Beta tester.
  16.    #16  
    Got it!

    Anyway, it remains to be seen how successful these stores will be, or what they will be. But in the grand scheme of things, I think Apple will have far greater success than Gateway did. The reason I say that is Apple is an exciting company that builds exciting products. When the company announces something as simple as a new consumer notebook, it makes headlines and receives a great deal of publicity, just look at the Titanium PowerBook G4. Gateway didn't have that distinction, which brings me to my long time question; what the hell was the point of these Country Stores? I mean, there's nothing inherently interesting or exciting about Gateway products, they are after all just another beige box maker. And you couldn't even purchase a system on site at these stores! What's up with that?

    I think Apple will learn from Gateway's mistake, even though Gateway still hasn't. And Apple can tie in its product announcements with it's stores. Imagine a scene where Steve Jobs unveils a new iBook, and people immediately flock to the Apple Stores for a hands on look. If Michael Dell announced a new Inspiron or Latitude notebook, no one would even bother going to the press event. Why?, because their products are dull and unexciting. When Steve Jobs held up Dell's clunky Inspiron at the iBook press conference and compared it to his new iBook, I was actually ashamed to be a DELL owner.

    This is the Achilles heal of the entire PC industry, and I believe this is partly the cause for the massive downturn in PC sales....they're boring!!! Who wants to spend over $1,000 on an ugly, clunky machine that no one really wants. I don't feel a damn bit sorry for any of these companies. MicronPC was sold off, eMachines is going down, CyberMax, Quantex, and eventually even Gateway will capitulate. Good, they deserved it. The writing was on the wall long ago on how to build interest back in computers. Apple showed that by simply repackaging a system inside a jazzy looking case, sales can ignite. What did the PC industry do? Absolutely nothing. And now they are paying for their incompetence. I hope these companies pull their collective heads out of their asses, and soon, or the attrition rate is going to be much higher!

    Peace, out!
  17. #17  
    Basically, I think Apples and PCs are meant for very different markets. There's two big reasons for PC's looking "boring": first, many are selling to large businesses which probably don't appreciate dalmation or flower-colored machines. Second, every PC looks more or less the same so it's much easier to interchange parts. I can put most any CPU and motherboard in most any case, with most any drive and video card. Apple can afford to be different partially because they don't have to worry about those issues.
  18. #18  
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  19. #19  
    Check this link to their site out:
    www.apple.com/retail

    "5 down. 95 to go."

    I nearly laughed my arse off!!!
    www.studio1809.com
    P.S. I feel at home with geeks like you.
  20.    #20  
    Originally posted by PastaGrrrl
    I nearly laughed my arse off!!!
    I take it your not a Mac fan.
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