The rumors were true! Apple has set up shop on Granville in the freshly renovated wing of Pacific Center. This flagship store, the first Apple store in Western Canada, welcomed no less than 600 visitors in the first hour alone this weekend. Wondering whats the hype?
There's been a long and vicious rivalry between PC and Macs users. While PCs have been widely accessible, until the arrival of the new Apple store, purchasing an Apple was an endeavor only for the most devout Apple enthusiasts. Check out these hilarious commercials for rivalry enlightenment.
Just like their corporate identity and product designs, the store is bright, contemporary and simple. The space is more about experiencing the life as an apple user... the sleek white computer, the gaming system, the easy to use eye pleasing peripherals to recreational pieces of the multimedia mp3 players. All seamlessly working together. Crazy. Sexy. Cool.
Shoppers are invited to come in and explore the various gadgets first hand. Half a dozen of each product lay on large tables for shoppers to play with. Surf the web or play video games on a high powered mac system, listen to some music on the iPods, or fiddle with the iPod Touch and chat about the products with the on floor personnel garbed in jeans and T-shirts reading "I could talk about this stuff for hours". I believe it. The young, hip staff related easily with customers of all ages, particularly the youthful-facebook-obsessed-techno junkies attracted by the glow of the white lights.
While a store cannot exist without sales, I didn't feel like another number to push through the door. Workshops on how to work iTunes were being held for a crowd of no less than 15, while others jockeyed for a spot at the Genius Bar, the hands-on technical support for your Mac, iPod, or Apple TV. The buzz seems to have died down enough for us mere mortals to venture into the store for a fondle of the merchandise.
I've been frustrated in the past with crude, masculine accessories for my iPod, and despite my internet savvyness have baulked at making this very personal purchase online. I need to touch and feel it.... Yay! Hooray! A generous assortment of accessories in contemporary/unisex style were found against the wall. The gem of the day was the Paul Frank Rubber iPod touch Case. <3. (if you squint you can see it in the middle of the photo... How's that for an afternoon 'Where is Waldo'? ha!)
True to every apple store, I enjoyed the experience but I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed at the lack of architechtural *wow factor* that is typical of other Apple stores.
New York: http://www.writersblocklive.com/images/bigapple.jpg
San Francisco: http://www.dprinc.com/images/projects/large/APPLE%20LARGE%20Stairs.jpg
Regardless, definitely welcome to the Downtown if the iPod enthusiasts walking to work or riding on the transit are any indication.