How Steve Jobs changed the face of Apple and retail forever

The first Apple stores opened on May 19, 2001, which not only changed the way customers bought Apple hardware and obtained services for purchases, but changed retail forever.

“This is our store,” said Steve Jobs when he introduced the Apple Store for the first time. He did so during the video’s release on May 15, 2001, just before the opening of the first Apple Store the following Saturday. The Apple Store, Apple’s first foray into its own stores, opened its first two stores in Glendale, California, on May 19, 2001, and then in Tysons Corner, Virginia. An Appleiphonestop employee was present at the opening of this last store.

Since then, the Apple Store has grown to more than 500 stores in more than 20 countries. He experienced strong growth at a very difficult time for retail as a whole, including the consumer electronics industry.

For the Apple Store

In the 1990s, Apple computers were sold at a combination of Apple authorized retailers and chain stores. Concern for customers at major cashier stores was uncertain and related to the frequency with which Apple representatives and subcontractors visited to keep the team online.

Beginning in 1997, Apple migrated to a store-in-store concept that it accepted with CompUSA shortly after Jobs returned to the company.

At the same time, Apple withdrew its products from most major non-CompUSA retailers, when Dell was Apple’s main competitor and Apple was preparing to launch the original iMac. Apple has also reorganized its online store.

Jobs decided to open Apple stores and hired Ron Johnson, a former Target, to manage it in the early 2000s.

The first stores

On May 15, 2001, Apple announced that it would open 25 stores that year, including the first two on Saturday.

The first stores, as explained by Jobs in the introductory video, were to display products in the front section, like iMacs and iBooks, in addition to the brand new PowerBook G4 Titanium and Power Mac. However, the iPod will not be released for five months and, of course, it will take six years for the iPhone to appear.

Children use iMacs Flower Power in Tyson’s corner on opening day

The store also included music, movies, photos and a children’s section, as well as non-Apple digital cameras and camcorders. There was also a lot of box software. Even though Apple has changed retail, it has radically changed the way the software has been sold, to the point where cashier apps look special.

However, another first selling point that still exists in one way or another is the original personification of the Genius bar, which at the time included pictures of Albert Einstein and other famous geniuses featured in the ads. Apple “thinks differently” at the time. Jobs put ‘geniuses’ in the store as people who could answer customer questions – and if they couldn’t, there was a landline for someone in Cupertino who could.

On the first day, more than 500 fans lined up at the Tysons store. Over the weekend, Tysons and Glendale received more than 7,500 visitors and sold $ 599,000 worth of products in the first two days.

The Apple Store was an instant success, but it was not like Apple the first company to try it out. Apple was just the first company to do well. Dell and Gateway went into retail before Apple, for example, but their two efforts quickly disappeared.

Continued success

The success of the Apple Store has never really waned. The first urban flagship, on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, opened in 2003 and the first international Apple Store arrived in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, later that year. Five years after the first two stores, in 2006, Apple opened its iconic “cube” on Fifth Avenue in New York.

Although the number of Apple stores worldwide has exceeded 500, with the first location in Korea opening in 2018, the originals have not been forgotten. Apple’s number one store in Glendale remains a popular site for pilgrimages of fans. But store number two – by Tyson – was still the first to open.

Hard times

Although Apple regularly opened more and more Apple stores worldwide after the first US stores in 2001, it also closed all of them in 2020. For about two months, stores worldwide were closed due to the corona virus and reopened only slowly.

China was the first to see the reopening of Apple stores, subsequent parts of Europe and subsequent parts of the United States. In each, the opening hours were reduced and the atmosphere changed, as the social distance and health procedures were implemented.

In particular, Apple paid its store staff during the closing. It is easy to think that Apple has unlimited funds, as it is the largest company in the world, but it still paid employee salaries in more than 500 stores for two months.

Deirdre O'Brien (source: Apple)

Deirdre O’Brien (Source: Apple)

The company sent assistance packages to certain employees and also kept everyone clearly informed of what was going on and what Apple was doing.

At a time when other companies had employees on leave at best and, at worst, mass layoffs, Apple’s approach to the Apple Store team was truly commendable.

Likewise, in another way, Apple has a balanced balance between retail and online sales. From the beginning, he sold cashier software in stores, but planned to move applications online.

Since then, since Angela Ahrendts led retail and now Deirdre O’Brien, the company has managed to keep its physical and online stores occupied. That way, Apple could continue to sell well, even during blockages around the world.

But that was also how he managed to help the millions of people who suddenly had to work from home. Even if they couldn’t go to a local Apple Store, they could place orders online and get contactless delivery.

Steve Jobs was unable to anticipate the coronavirus pandemic in 2001, but the actions he took with Ron Johnson at the time allowed today’s Apple stores to continue to exist under so much pressure. .

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