Customers line up the night before for Kansas City Apple store grand opening

“They’re a dedicated lot, these Apple people. The first pulled up chairs about 11:30 p.m. Friday. More followed soon after midnight. By 10 a.m. Saturday, the line stretched for a block and a half. What could possibly draw a crowd of 500 or more Apple Computer geeks to the Country Club Plaza so early on a Saturday? That was the question of the morning,” David Hayes reports for The Kansas City Star.

“‘What’s going on?’ passers-by on their way to the Plaza Art Fair asked. ‘Are they giving away computers?’ No, they were told. ‘They’re opening the new Apple Store today.’ ‘Oh, OK,’ was the often confused response. You have to be an Apple person to understand… Officially, the Plaza store is one of 25 that Apple is opening this year. Apple President Steve Jobs announced the expansion in May, saying he wanted to


  1. Woo hoo, first!

    An Apple Store in our local mall was one of the catalysts that made us think about Apple products. Now we have 2 ipods, an eMac and a PowerMac (replacing 2 Wintel systems).

  2. I was at the very first Apple Store to open (Tyson’s Corner, Virginia) and still proudly wear my free T-shirt to prove it!

    Going to that store sealed the deal. I bought my first Mac a couple weeks later and will never use anything else.

  3. The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City is a very big deal – one of the few urban open-air shopping areas in the US. The feel is so much more city like than an enclosed mall.

    While we don’t see splashy ads on TV for Apple with the notable exception of the iPod, I think Apple is wisely considering the stores as both advertising and creating an entirely new retail channel.

    The exposure these stores have to the buying public is huge. The fact they actually make money is just gravy. Most folks think of Dull when they contemplate a new computer but with Apple stores turning up everywhere this will begin to change people’s perceptions. Putting Macs in front of consumers for them to use is the best form of advertising.

  4. Yeah, but the newer stores (with the exception of the flagships) are so tiny that it’s hard to get too excited about these grand openings. Luckily I live in an area that has one of the older mid sized stores with a theater area. It’s almost twice as big as the other newer store that came in last year, so I never even go to that one.

  5. Guy from UK.

    The difference being IKEA makes high design, medium quality stuff. Apple makes high design, high quality stuff.

    And one of their stores could hold about 100 Apple Stores.

    It’s a whole different planet.

  6. “‘What’s going on?’ passers-by on their way to the Plaza Art Fair asked. ‘Are they giving away computers?’ No, they were told. ‘They’re opening the new Apple Store today.’ ‘Oh, OK,’ was the often confused response.

    Just as you might expect. Nobody came to the logical conclusion: If Mac users are that loyal, then Macs must be a helluva good computer. No wonder so many people buy PeeCees.

  7. My Little Sisters family lives really close to there. They didn’t make the opening but my little sister just got a job to be able to save up and get an iMac G5 so they will be visiting soon. She saw how Mom and I are always video chatting and is the type that just HAS to get in on that. Her husband is a windows guy from work but since she will be the main user (and the kids) he has gone along with her getting a Mac instead since she is not too computer literate. She figures if Mom can do it, she can (Mom is 78). It will be so cool when we get Tiger next year and can all chat together. My other little sister in Chicago was also inspired by Mom and is getting an iBook soon. So the family will have a Majority of Mac Users finally.

    Interesting sidelight on the Kansas City Store. An ichat buddy of mine from way back got a job there! I told my little sister to look for her when she goes and checks it out. It is so cool to be a member of the Mac Community. I just know my lil sisters are gonna dig it.

  8. Oh Jack A, your story brought a tear to my eye (I’m serious, not facetious)

    Now, if my stupid, PC-head family would only do the same and get Macs I could talk and see them (I’m in California, they’re all in Australia).

    AOL on PC just doesn’t cut it… it crashes, it’s a tiny window (so I’m told) … too many problems at their end to make things worthwhile.

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