“[Regarding] the mini-stores that Apple introduced in Oct. 2004, no future stores are in the pipeline, apparently due to dissatisfaction among Apple executives with the design and materials. The stores’ stainless steel siding is expensive to manufacture and import from Japan. The epoxy flooring, which replaced the original carpeting just before the stores debuted, has suffered through two rounds of structural problems, expensive repairs and replacements. The custom-built point-of-sale terminals, intended to allow customers to process their own credit card purchases, have never operated as designed,” AppleInsider reports.
“Even the lighting at the mini-stores is an issue: the one-piece, back-lit ceiling is tough on the eyes, especially for employees who spend eight hours beneath the glow. And no matter where customers stroll in the store, they find themselves zapped in the eyes by the wall-mounted, point-of-sale laser barcode scanners,” AppleInsider reports. “At the same time, the stores are only marginally less expensive to operate than a 3,000 s.f. retail store. At least two of the five existing mini-stores occupy full-size mall spaces, but use the excess space for storage and not sales floor space. The stores are not located in bargain basement locations either, but rather in Apple’s typical high-end malls. Both factors mean that the savings from operating a mini-store is only marginal. So when mini-stores begin opening once again, expect to see some design changes, and perhaps even retro-fits for the existing stores.”
Full article here.