Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Apple Bites Into London....Windows Cracks Under Pressure
The Apple retail store on Regent Street opened in November 2004. At the time this represented the first such store in Europe, and only the fourth outside the United States. Three Apple Stores previously opened in Japan (a number which has since doubled in that country). Since then Apple has also opened other stores in England, Canada and even Rome, Italy.
After a refurbishment in late 2006, the Apple Store Regent Street became the largest Apple retail venue in the world by floor area, a title owned by the 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York City for a period of time. The Regent Street store now offers 28,000 square feet of selling space compared to the previous 18,500 square feet when it first opened over two years ago. Besides the fashionable address, the store design includes a striking glass staircase that leads shoppers to the upper level of the store. A glass bridge at the front crosses over shoppers as they enter/exit the store. The upper level includes an auditorium at the rear for workshops of Apple products. Unlike most Apple Stores, this location has two seperate Genius Bars: one to service Apple Computers and the other for iPods.
The spacious shop has all the Apple products but they come with a pretty price tag as with most things in London. For example, an 80GB video iPod retails for over US$400 compared to US$350 in America. As usual with Apple Stores, there are lots of hardware on display to test drive and many salespeople donning black t-shirts to help you with your Apple shopping needs. (Note: the iPhone lanuches in the U.S.A. on 29 Jun 07; the media has reported that foreign Apple fans are flying to America to try and nab one). More info about at apple.com Store Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 12noon-6pm