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New 'lounge' concept coming to future Apple Store

post #1 of 62
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A new Apple Store in St. Louis, Mo., could include a new feature previously unseen at the company's retail locations: a "lounge" area with free Wi-Fi.

According to Gary Allen at ifo Apple Store, Apple's forthcoming store at St. Louis Galleria will be the largest mall-based store from the company in the U.S. when it's completed. One new addition that sources said will be in front of the location is a permanent kiosk that will be used as a lounge area, and offer customers the ability to check in to Genius Bar appointments.

"According to mall observers, Starbucks is soon moving its coffee sales operation to the second floor, outside the entrance to the Nordstrom store that opens in September 2011," Allen wrote. "Apple will then reportedly occupy the 592 square-feet permanent kiosk as a Genius Bar check-in space, Wi-Fi lounge and/or training space."

The "Genius Lounge" concept would be unique to the St. Louis store, a first of its kind for Apple's highly successful retail outlets. The new store will occupy over 6,000 square feet, and will have a storefront 55 feet wide.

The new location will also have the stainless steel and stone floor design that have become a trademark of Apple stores. It will replace an existing "mini" store located in the St. Louis Galleria.



Allen noted that Microsoft's own retail store in Mission Viejo, Calif., has a similar "lounge" in front of it, featuring bench seats, planter boxes and a double-sided video screen. The space is occasionally used for customer training or meet-ups.
post #2 of 62
Somewhere comfortable to sit for all these people waiting to talk to the Genius Bar.

Seriously people, Read The F$%^# Manual.
post #3 of 62
So... I guess Apple copied Microsoft with the lounge thing on their stores..
post #4 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

So... I guess Apple copied Microsoft with the lounge thing on their stores..

post #5 of 62
Oh for the love of God, not another Starbucks!!!
How about a Carribou or something...
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post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

So... I guess Apple copied Microsoft with the lounge thing on their stores..

Nobody goes to Microsoft stores; I’m sure it’s a coincidence.
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPad999 View Post


My, my.. How the tables have turned huh?
post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Somewhere comfortable to sit for all these people waiting to talk to the Genius Bar.

Seriously people, Read The F$%^# Manual.

It makes sense to have a comfortable place for customers to wait and hang out. The longer people stay, the more likely they are to buy something.

As for the RTFM thing, I agree.
BUT there is SO much stuff and SO many powerful and efficient tools and features that are completely hidden from "typical users" (not us here, of course ;-) ) in Mac OS X and iOS, that I doubt few will, if ever, find them on their own.

It's a real shame, but what's the the alternative? Bombard users with a zillion features and methods they may never use? Or just let them stumble along?
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post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

So... I guess Apple copied Microsoft with the lounge thing on their stores..

Apple is sliding downhill. Short AAPL! What's next? Microsoft Exchange support in iOS? A Windows version of iTunes? OMG, too late. Apple is DOOMED!

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post #10 of 62
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple is sliding downhill. Short AAPL! What's next? Microsoft Exchange support in iOS? A Windows version of iTunes? OMG, too late. Apple is DOOMED!


Microsoft Exchange support in iOS...has actually been there for a looong time and it's a marketed feature much requested by companies.
post #11 of 62
I wouldnt be surprised if Apple had this space included without an increase in their lease. After all, they are acting like an anchor store bringing in droves of customers despite their relatively small space usage. And the malls can charge a lot more for stores that want to be placed near the Apple Stores and fastest parking access to the Apple Stores because the off the foot traffic they generate.

PS: Before it gets stated, Im well aware that Apple makes more money per square foot than any other retail store and they can afford the rent with umpteen-kazillion dollars in cash, but that isnt how proper business manage themselves. They get the most they can from a deal and this is how Id be dealing with these leases knowing the leverage Id have.
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post #12 of 62
Forget about a lounge and free wifi, though both would be nice. What's really needed, and what is apparently coming, is more space. A couple of weeks ago I was in the St. Louis Galleria store in mid-afternoon and it was a madhouse. Not a pleasant shopping experience at all.
post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by webfrasse View Post

Microsoft Exchange support in iOS...has actually been there for a looong time and it's a marketed feature much requested by companies.

It's a joke man, relax
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post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by illinisouth View Post

Forget about a lounge and free wifi, though both would be nice. What's really needed, and what is apparently coming, is more space. A couple of weeks ago I was in the St. Louis Galleria store in mid-afternoon and it was a madhouse. Not a pleasant shopping experience at all.

That will come, but I guarantee that the growth of Apple will outstrip any sq footage retail growth.

The problem I have with Apple retail is the service itself. It seems like over the last or so the staff have gotten less friendly and more smarmy.
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post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wouldnt be surprised if Apple had this space included without an increase in their lease. After all, they are acting like an anchor store bringing in droves of customers despite their relatively small space usage. And the malls can charge a lot more for stores that want to be placed near the Apple Stores and fastest parking access to the Apple Stores because the off the foot traffic they generate.

PS: Before it gets stated, Im well aware that Apple makes more money per square foot than any other retail store and they can afford the rent with umpteen-kazillion dollars in cash, but that isnt how proper business manage themselves. They get the most they can from a deal and this is how Id be dealing with these leases knowing the leverage Id have.



I bought my last Mac from the existing store, it is about 150 feet from this new location. That's a high rent mall, and a much bigger (3 or 4 times) space. Apple paid some serious $$ for this space.

The lounge area is at the edge of a balcony overlooking the first floor fountain. It's big enough to hold 10-15 people (with the current Starbucks shop in place) and has some tables and a few benches.

Can't wait to see what this looks like!
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

It makes sense to have a comfortable place for customers to wait and hang out. The longer people stay, the more likely they are to buy something.

As for the RTFM thing, I agree.
BUT there is SO much stuff and SO many powerful and efficient tools and features that are completely hidden from "typical users" (not us here, of course ;-) ) in Mac OS X and iOS, that I doubt few will, if ever, find them on their own.

It's a real shame, but what's the the alternative? Bombard users with a zillion features and methods they may never use? Or just let them stumble along?

I've overheard some of the questions they are fielding, they are simple questions that can be answered using the help menu.

More annoying is the things I hear customer's complaining to each other about, they whine about paying a lot for a computer that is supposed to be easy to use, but none of them take ANY time to try to learn first, they get pissy with the Mac Genius saying that the computer just doesn't work. And usually they don't apologize for being pissy because they couldn't be bothered to make an attempt to learn anything.
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new Apple Store in St. Louis, Mo., could include a new feature previously unseen at the company's retail locations: a "lounge" area with free Wi-Fi.

This situation virtually already exists at Willow Bend Mall in Plano, TX. The Apple store is adjacent to a Starbucks kiosk with a large area with tables that have separators and can seat several people. This area is always full of people with laptops. I know the Apple Store WiFi is available there. I don't know if the Starbucks has a WiFi or not. I always connect to the Apple Store. I don't know how many other similar arrangements exist for other Apple Store locations.
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by webfrasse View Post

Microsoft Exchange support in iOS...has actually been there for a looong time and it's a marketed feature much requested by companies.

Yeah so much for a certain banned forum member saying Apple can't partner with other companies because Steve Jobs has "delusions of Godhood"

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #19 of 62
Quote:
So... I guess Apple copied Microsoft with the lounge thing on their stores..

No, its part of a conspiracy by Verizon to get the iPhone. They are dissaminating bad idea to destroy apple.
post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wouldnt be surprised if Apple had this space included without an increase in their lease. After all, they are acting like an anchor store bringing in droves of customers despite their relatively small space usage. And the malls can charge a lot more for stores that want to be placed near the Apple Stores and fastest parking access to the Apple Stores because the off the foot traffic they generate.

PS: Before it gets stated, Im well aware that Apple makes more money per square foot than any other retail store and they can afford the rent with umpteen-kazillion dollars in cash, but that isnt how proper business manage themselves. They get the most they can from a deal and this is how Id be dealing with these leases knowing the leverage Id have.

yes..their return on the sales per square foot in tremendous....
I am so there if they start serving refreshments too!

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post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

yes..their return on the sales per square foot in tremendous....
I am so there if they start serving refreshments too!

Little Apple logo shaped cookies with white frosting on them, and very small but very good espresso at prices that make Starbucks look inexpensive?
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post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

I've overheard some of the questions they are fielding, they are simple questions that can be answered using the help menu.

More annoying is the things I hear customer's complaining to each other about, they whine about paying a lot for a computer that is supposed to be easy to use, but none of them take ANY time to try to learn first, they get pissy with the Mac Genius saying that the computer just doesn't work. And usually they don't apologize for being pissy because they couldn't be bothered to make an attempt to learn anything.

Those problems are not platform specific......you could overhear the same conversation and whining about any piece of technology/hardware.....

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post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Little Apple logo shaped cookies with white frosting on them and very small but very good espresso at prices that make Starbucks looks inexpensive?

LOL :-) I'm sure it would be standing room only and squalabling to get any available seating.....

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post #24 of 62
I live a Ferry ride from Seattle. Because it's a peninsula, the local Costco, Wal-Mart, specialty food stores and restaurants do a fantastic business. You can hardly tell there's a recession out here.

Apple has umpteen stores on the Seattle side... we need a couple out here.

I'm surprised this has been overlooked. Apple, are you listening? Think Kitsap.
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by illinisouth View Post

Forget about a lounge and free wifi, though both would be nice. What's really needed, and what is apparently coming, is more space. A couple of weeks ago I was in the St. Louis Galleria store in mid-afternoon and it was a madhouse. Not a pleasant shopping experience at all.

The Galleria Apple Store is ridiculously small, there's barely room for 20 people in there. I avoid that location and go to the West County store that must be what, 3 or 4 times larger? About time it was enlarged.

Oh, and the Galleria Store is hardly an "anchor" at that mall, or at West County for that matter. Great business, sure, but that's not what brings the vast majority of shoppers to these locations.
post #26 of 62
Best not call it iLounge. Dennis Lloyd might have something to say about that.
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post #27 of 62
Hey, how about some free coffee and donuts while they're at it. And I don't mean $tarbuck$. Of course they'd have to have a few of those waterless hand cleanser dispensers around so we donut eaters can clean up before using the display equipment. Maxwell House and Dunkin Donuts!
post #28 of 62
Sorry, I just couldn't resist Googling "microsoft retail stores" just to see what ever happened to poor 'ol Balmers wildy sucessful venture and ran across this:

10 Ways Microsoft's Retail Stores Will Differ From Apple Stores

Brennon Slattery, PCWorldFeb 13, 2009 10:20 am

Microsoft announced plans to open retail stores, hoping to boost visibility of many of its products and its brand. The move seems to be an effort to mimic the success that Apple has had with its retail stores. The news is just too tempting not to have some fun with. So here are some yet-to-be-officially-revealed details about the Microsoft stores.

1) Instead of Apple's sheer walls of glass, Microsoft's stores will have brushed steel walls dotted with holes -- reminiscent of Windows security.

2) The store will have six different entrances: Starter, Basic, Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. While all six doors will lead into the same store, the Ultimate door requires a fee of $100 for no apparent reason.

3) Instead of a "Genius Bar" (as Apple provides) Microsoft will offer an Excuse Bar. It will be staffed by Microsofties trained in the art of evading questions, directing you to complicated and obscure fixes, and explaining it's a problem with the hardware -- not a software bug.

4) The Windows Genuine Advantage team will run storefront security, assuming everybody is a thief until they can prove otherwise.

5) Store hours are undetermined. At any given time the store mysteriously shuts down instantaneously for no apparent reason. (No word yet on what happens to customers inside).

6) Stores will be named Microsoft Live Retail Store with PC Services for Digital Lifestyle Enthusiasts.

7) Fashioned after Microsoft's User Account Control (UAC) in Vista, sales personnel will ask you whether you're positive you want to purchase something at least twice.

8) Xbox 360 section of the store will be organized in a ring -- which will inexplicably go red occasionally.

9) DreamWorks will design a scary in-store theme park ride called "blue screen of death."

10) Store emergency exits will be unlocked at all times so people can get in anytime they want even if the front doors are locked.
OMG here we go again...
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post #29 of 62
zzzzz... zzz....

NO WAIT! This is my Apple Store... sweet.



The current St. Louis Galleria location feels like one of those phone booths college kids would try to cram themselves into for fun in the 50s. It's a total nightmare and probably a violation of fire codes. It's total chaos. It sucks.

So yes, I am excited about this. Well, as excited as one can really be about a retail store.
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

B]7)[/B] Fashioned after Microsoft's User Account Control (UAC) in Vista, sales personnel will ask you whether you're positive you want to purchase something at least twice.

Why would I want to purchase something at least twice? won't they ask me if I want to buy a 10-seat license rather than just two?
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Little Apple logo shaped cookies with white frosting on them, and very small but very good espresso at prices that make Starbucks look inexpensive?

Apple pie ... they should serve slices of apple pie with coffee ... mmmmmm
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post #32 of 62
I came up with this idea at the 2007 Macworld. Oh well... another great idea I won't get paid for.
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

I live a Ferry ride from Seattle. Because it's a peninsula, the local Costco, Wal-Mart, specialty food stores and restaurants do a fantastic business. You can hardly tell there's a recession out here.

Apple has umpteen stores on the Seattle side... we need a couple out here.

I'm surprised this has been overlooked. Apple, are you listening? Think Kitsap.

Don't the ferry's have free Wi-Fi now? Sounds to me like a ferry ride and a visit to the Apple Store would be a great way to kill a Saturday afternoon!

(former Seattle-ite)
post #34 of 62
Being a resident of St. Louis (of which we only have 2 Apple stores total) and living within 1 mile of this location, I'm all for it! Finally we get something before everyone else...

If you knew the current store, you'd welcome it. The current store is tucked in this little narrow stretch of the mall and people have to spill-out into the mall space on couches just to get help from the Apple "Geniuses". It's quite ridiculous how small the store it...and it was the first store in our Metro-area. Most days this store is so crowded the it's pretty much wall to wall people on a Saturday. It's one of the reasons why I only deal with Apple purchases online, except for the one time I waited in line for the iPhone 3G, that was crazy and next time, i'm going to order online.

The future location is probably one of the the best spots in the mall. It's right off the central parking garage entry and just above the area where Santa and the Easter Bunny sit. I can only imagine what this is going to do for the Starbucks that's just outside the front doors of the future store. EDIT: I didn't read the whole article, so the Starbucks is moving...well that even makes more sense, except having the SB's right next to the Apple Store would have been kind of a brilliant move, even though I hate SB coffee, it would be nice to have a Black Tea lemonade while you wait.

I have no idea what this Lounge will be like, but it's probably just a way to sugar-coat the fact that you have to wait for-ever to actually speak with a "Genius". You have to phone-in an appointment, then when you arrive for your scheduled time, they place your name on their LCD screen queue and you have to wait some more. My girlfriend did this once for a simple screen question on her MBP. We got there 15 minutes before her appointment, had to wait there until her appointment time, since they wouldn't get her in early, then had to wait agian for at least 45min to an hour just to talk to someone.

On top of that, the only other location is 12 miles away, Triple the size and just as crowded.
ADDITION: maybe it's just St. Louis, but I think the reason behind Apple's "Hugely successful retail outlets" is because they have so few of them. And most people prefer speaking to a help-desk guy in person over on the phone.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by webfrasse View Post

Microsoft Exchange support in iOS...has actually been there for a looong time and it's a marketed feature much requested by companies.

it's a good thing you're pretty.
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post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

10 Ways Microsoft's Retail Stores Will Differ From Apple Stores

3) Instead of a "Genius Bar" (as Apple provides) Microsoft will offer an Excuse Bar. It will be staffed by Microsofties trained in the art of evading questions, directing you to complicated and obscure fixes, and explaining it's a problem with the hardware -- not a software bug.
.

That is funny and true. What finally drove me into Apple's playground was a Microsoft tech and a PC hardware tech blaming each other for my computer's inability to run properly.
post #37 of 62
I agree 100% The staff is way more pretentious then it used to be. They're always making smart-ass comments to you about this and that. And most of the time, the Non-Genius Employees (the one's that just stand there and filter in the customers) there don't know squat about the products...maybe i'm just one that likes to research what I buy before I buy it, but I should know more about the products than the people selling them. Granted the actual "Geniuses" are much better to deal with and are very pleasant to work with.

I compare it to the Best Buy employees. 90% are idiots, and the 10% are really nice and knowledgeable, but they only work there like 2 days a week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That will come, but I guarantee that the growth of Apple will outstrip any sq footage retail growth.

The problem I have with Apple retail is the service itself. It seems like over the last or so the staff have gotten less friendly and more smarmy.
post #38 of 62
There are few leather sofas and chairs next Apple store in our local mall. You are lucky if you can find an empty spot. It is filled with people using their iPads and iPods to connected to Apple's WiFi to watch movies and browse the web.
post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I agree 100% The staff is way more pretentious then it used to be. They're always making smart-ass comments to you about this and that. And most of the time, the Non-Genius Employees (the one's that just stand there and filter in the customers) there don't know squat about the products...maybe i'm just one that likes to research what I buy before I buy it, but I should know more about the products than the people selling them. Granted the actual "Geniuses" are much better to deal with and are very pleasant to work with.

I compare it to the Best Buy employees. 90% are idiots, and the 10% are really nice and knowledgeable, but they only work there like 2 days a week.

PERFECT EXAMPLE: I walk into the Apple Store in Bellevue, WA last weekend with my father-in-law. He grabs a 'blue shirt', introduces himself, and explains that he would like a wi-fi only 16GB iPad. He looks at my father and says, "16GG? You mind if I ask you some questions to see if you are choosing the right one?"

To give you some background, my father in-law only leaves the house once in a while. He also has every Apple product known to man, but never uses them past turning it on (ex. iPhone 3Gs & iPhone 4 with no apps and no music or videos syncing). I told this to the sales person and he just started rambling about something absolutely unrelated, like why Apple doesn't sell screen covers (screen film/scratch protection).

Needless to say, by the end of their conversation, he was holding a box with a 64GB iPad 3G/Wifi and another year of MobileMe that he doesn't use. I was pissed.

I liked it better when the sales people didn't take advantage of Apple addicts.
post #40 of 62
The Apple Store here (CLT) has been conducting sessions with customers in the common area chairs outside their store. Probably to avoid the noise and distraction inside.

Can't believe the other stores haven't complained. It's not much different than the Gap putting a rack of clothes outside their doorway.
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