Today marks seven years since Apple
decided to have its own chain of retail stores, despite criticism coming from analysts at the time. Today, we celebrate the May 19, 2001 grand opening of the first store at Tysons Corner Center (Virg.) and, three hours later, the opening of the Glendale Galleria (S. Calif.) store, ifoAppleStore reports.
The source dealing exclusively with news and information about Apple's retail stores points out
that, “It was a decision that confounded the computer community and was criticized by financial analysts. But it made perfect sense to Steve Jobs to open Apple’s own chain of retail stores.” The company behind the Mac operating system decided to go out with a blast, publishing the move in full-page national newspaper ads, noting that the five percent marketshare it owned back then beat that of BMW and Mercedes.
The original May 19 Web site
bore the following message (excerpt):5 Down. 95 to go.
Apple is opening retail stores. Here's why:
Apple currently has around 5% market share in personal computers. This means that out of one hundred computer users, five of them use Macs. While that may not sound like a lot, it is actually higher than both BMW's and Mercedes Benz's share of automotive market. And it equals 25 million customers around the world using Macs.
But that's not enough for us. We want to convince those other 95 people that Macintosh offers a much simpler, richer and more human-centric computing experience. And we believe the best way to do this is to open Apple stores right in their neighborhoods.Softpedia note
Had there been as many operating systems as there are car brands, the comparison would have been appropriate. But since that is not the case (and it wasn't back in 2001 either), Apple was really only trying to put on a happy face while looking at the small five percent it owned in the computer market. Still, Apple knew that opening retail stores would do the trick! The company has recently pulled
itself out of trade shows like Macworld thanks to the immense popularity garnered by its
glass and steel stores.
So, hats off to Apple for yet another winning idea! (and for proving them analysts wrong).