Interesting collection of quotes (here) by Steve Jobs and Ron Johnson (Apple’s Senior VP of Retail) regarding Apple Retail. Several key ideas in these statements throw some light on the concept, experience and strategy for the Apple Stores.
Of note, the thought of the store as a public place and a gift to the community like a library. Once more this shows how Apple understands that Design is not an end-game in itself but a process that helps enrich people’s life:
“But the most important thing we set in our design criteria is we wanted to create very distinct experiences for customers, in what they perceive as a public place. More like a great library, which has natural light, and it feels like a gift to the community. In a perfect world, that’s what we want our stores to be. And we don’t want the store to be about the product, but about a series of experiences that make it more than a store.” — Johnson, 2004
“I sat in a room with Steve, and he put on the table Apple’s product line. And we had four products, two portables and two desktop computers. The iPod wasn’t created yet. And that was a challenge (with only four products). But it ended up being the ultimate opportunity, because we said, because we don’t have enough products to fill a store that size, let’s fill it with the ownership experience. So we quickly moved from a buying experience to an ownership experience–Genius Bars, theaters, and face-to-face help and friendly people. But we had a liberty that most retailers don’t have that are overstuffed with products. You know, you don’t have the space to innovate.” — Johnson at 2005 retail conference
“We do no market research. We don’t hire consultants. The only consultants I’ve ever hired in my 10 years is one firm to analyze Gateway’s retail strategy so I would not make some of the same mistakes they made [when launching Apple’s retail stores]. But we never hire consultants, per se. We just want to make great products.” — Steve Jobs, March 2008