An Apple store is any one of the chains of retail stores owned and operated by Apple Inc. These stores exist in strategic locations worldwide to sell various Apple products, including Mac personal computers, iPhone smartphones, iPad tablet computers, iPod portable media players, Apple smartwatches, Apple TV digital media players, software, and select third-party accessories.
These stores were first opened at two locations in May 2001. They were founded by then-CEO Steve Jobs, after years of attempting but failing store-within-a-store concepts. Jobs’ idea for improved retail presentation of the company’s products was thought up back in 1997. He hired Ron Johnson in 2000 to aid in revamping the retail program to get an improved relationship with consumers. Jobs launched the online store in 1997 and two physical ones in 2001 amidst speculation that the stores would fail. These speculations were, however, proved wrong as the stores were highly successful, bypassing the sales numbers of competing for nearby stores and within three years reached US$1 billion in annual sales. This outstanding success made the company the fastest retailer in history to do so. Over the course of the next years, apple stores have expanded their reach and geographical coverage, with 506 stores across 25 countries worldwide as of 2018. The stores have been largely successful, boasting over $16 billion in sales globally in 2011.
|#||Country / Region||Date of the first store||First store location||Number of stores|
|1||United States||May 19, 2001||Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Corner, Virginia||271|
|2||Japan||November 30, 2003||Ginza, Tokyo||10|
|3||United Kingdom||November 20, 2004||Regent Street, London||38|
|4||Canada||May 21, 2005||Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto||29|
|5||Italy||March 31, 2007||Centro Commerciale Roma Est, Rome||17|
|6||Australia||June 19, 2008||George Street, Sydney||22|
|7||China||July 19, 2008||Sanlitun, Beijing||42|
|8||Switzerland||September 25, 2008||Rue de Rive, Geneva||4|
|9||Germany||December 6, 2008||1 Rosenstrasse, Munich, Bavaria||15|
|10||France||November 7, 2009||Carrousel du Louvre, Paris||20|
|11||Spain||September 4, 2010||La Maquinista, Barcelona||11|
|12||Hong Kong||September 24, 2011||IFC Mall||6|
|13||Netherlands||March 3, 2012||Hirschbuilding, Leidseplein, Amsterdam||3|
|14||Sweden||September 15, 2012||Täby Centrum, Stockholm||3|
|15||Brazil||February 15, 2014||VillageMall, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro||2|
|16||Turkey||April 5, 2014||Zorlu Center, Istanbul||2|
|17||Belgium||September 19, 2015||Avenue de la Toison d’Or, Brussels||1|
|18||United Arab Emirates||October 29, 2015||Mall of the Emirates, Dubai;|
Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi
|19||Macau||June 25, 2016||Galaxy Macau||2|
|20||Mexico||September 24, 2016||Centro Santa Fe, Santa Fe, Mexico City||2|
|21||Singapore||May 27, 2017||Orchard Road||3|
|22||Taiwan||July 1, 2017||Taipei 101, Taipei||2|
|23||South Korea||January 27, 2018||Garosu-Gil, Gangnam, Seoul||1|
|24||Austria||February 24, 2018||Kärntner Straße, Vienna||1|
|25||Thailand||November 10, 2018||Iconsiam, Bangkok|
In May 2016, unveiled a significantly redesigned Apple Store in Union Square, San Francisco was unveiled by Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s then-Senior Vice President of Retail. The redesign was a complete overhaul of the previous look, sporting large glass doors for the entry, open spaces, and rebranded rooms. The changes weren’t only superficial as customers could now get advice and help from “Creative Pros” – individuals with specialized knowledge of creative arts. Other new services included enabled customers to get product support in a tree-lined Genius Grove; and attend sessions, conferences, and community events. Ahrendts remarked that the redesign’s objective was to ‘make Apple Stores into “town squares”, a place where people naturally meet up and spend time’. As expected, this new design will be implemented to all Apple Stores worldwide, a process that has seen stores temporarily relocate or close.
Apple stores are usually located inside shopping malls or public centers. Apple has, however, built several stand-alone flagship stores in high-profile locations. These stores have been granted design patents and received architectural awards for their stores’ designs and construction—the latter is due to the use of glass staircases and cubes. The surge and unexpected success of Apple Stores have had significant influence over other consumer electronics retailers, who have lost traffic, control and profits, mostly due to perceived higher quality of service and products at Apple Stores. It’s not uncommon to see causes of long lines of hundreds of people at new Apple Store openings or product releases due to Apple’s notable brand loyalty. Apple receives tons of job applications at its stores due to brand popularity, many of which come from young workers. All the employees at Apple stores receive above-average pay, are offered money toward education and health care. However, employees also receive product discounts but are held back as there are limited or no career advancement paths.
An anonymous retail employee remarked about a hostile work environment with harassment from customers, intense internal criticism, and a lack of significant bonuses for securing major business contracts in a report in May 2016.