Headlines like this are why people call Apple a cult...1. Steve was at the helm, but thousands of hard-working creative people at Apple were responsible for the creation and roll out of the Apple Stores. Steve announced it, he even *helped* shape it, but to pretend he did it in a vacuum is an insult to all the people that worked their asses off to make it happen.2. Not only did Apple not change the *face of retail*, they didn't even come up with a new idea. It is called a "boutique" and it was the norm across many different retail markets from perfume to high-end cars. Apple was the not even the first to apply it to computers. They did it really well, but it was not a new idea.You know, you can praise the things you like that Apple has done without using hyperbole every time. Edit.. I stand corrected, Apple was not the first to apply it to computers. Macxpress brought up "Gateway Country Stores". Apple certainly did it better, and Gateway's lower margins just could not support an upscale shopping experience.
But Apple stores look a whole lot like high end fashion stores have for as long as I can recall (60's).
The article states "The Apple Store, Apple's first foray into its own retail stores, opened its first two locations on May 19, 2001, in Glendale, Calif. and then in Tysons Corner, Virginia." That wording implies that the Glendale, California store opened first. While both stores did open May 19, 2001 (at the same local time), the Tysons Corner, VA store actually opened three hours earlier, as Virginia is three time zones ahead of California. Although interestingly, the Glendale, CA store is considered Apple Store number 1 and Tysons Corner is considered Apple Store number 2. (BTW, I was standing in the line for the Tysons Corner Apple Store opening.)
Others above have commented about the success of the Apple store versus other computer stores...
Admittedly, this is anecdotal, but two years ago on a random Saturday I happened to be walking through the Mall of America which has an Apple Store and at that time also had a Microsoft Store located across the hallway. When I got up to the two stores I snapped a picture of each store. These were taken mere seconds apart. Compare the number of people in each store.
The Apple Store (notice the reflection of the Microsoft logo in the window):
The Microsoft Store:
Apple Stores were a major investment by the company, and Apple deserves their success - they were a risk that most smaller companies could not take. But while I don't deny that some of their official Resellers weren't doing Apple any favours, it really hurt to see "my" two stores close. As has been said above, the smaller Apple Resellers were the ones who knew and loved the products and who kept selling Apple gear in the face of cheaper competition from elsewhere and continually reducing product margins from the mothership. It's just business and economic realities, and, again, the Apple Stores have been successful on the merits, but I will never forget that they cannibalised their Reseller network to gain critical momentum.
In November of 2001, I went to the grand opening of the Apple Store KOP. I went with a friend who did a lot fo AppleScript developing (he later became an independent developer full-time, and now works for Apple). We stood in line, camcorders in hand. It was really a great experience, though no one was really buying anything of consequence.
As the years went on, I started really disliking the stores. A decade later, they were always mobbed. There's no reason to really go there anymore, as everything is online. 20 years ago, going through software titles and accessories was fun. Now that the pandemic is waning in the U.S., perhaps I'll start to enjoy stopping by (which requires going to the mall, something I've not done in probably 2 years).