Washington Post scribe complains of busy Apple retail stores

“Whatever it is (Radio Shack for rich people? The Sharp-est Image?), the Apple Store isn’t what it used to be, even a year or so ago. The initial thrills, the feelings of i-comfort and i-belonging, still await you behind its translucent facade, especially now, in the gizmodic spree of the Christmas season. But somewhere along the way, the zendo quality of the Apple Store changed,” Hank Stuever writes for The Washington Post.

“The demi-privacy of it, the clubby feeling — I know that you know that I know that we know and love Macs like nobody else does — is fading away. Too much commotion. The ethereal, tranquil, spa vibe (the bath of white light, the polished concrete floors, the glint in the happy eyes of the geniuses at the Genius Bar) has been pierced by the sheer popularity of the place. The TV commercials worked. Mac Guy, even with his non-arrogant arrogance, is your real friend, and then he gathered too many friends, and suddenly he doesn’t have time for them all,” Stuever writes.

Stuever writes, “Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO and bodhisattva, got what he wanted: the people. (A hundred million customers were lured to its stores in fiscal 2006-07, according to Apple, adding up to more than $4 billion in revenue.)”

Stuever writes, “Apple shoppers are more than people, more than customers — they are seekers. Those Apple marketing guys said all along they were building not just stores but serene communities of true believers and new converts. And so they did, and here we are, just 6 1/2 years later.”

Stuever continues, on and on and on, in his overwritten, messy complaint-fest here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “RadDoc,” “citymark,” and “Whit” for the heads up.]

Because he writes like a freshman Lit student (most likely, California State University-Chico) without an editor, it’s tough to tell just what the heck the italics-lovin’ Stuever’s point is, besides making up new compound words, coming across as a royal A-hole, recounting a handful of anecdotes that are supposed to put Apple in a bad light, and bemoaning the fact that Apple Stores are welcoming in new Apple product users with open arms. Apple should bar non-Mac or new-to-Mac users at the doors to placate Hank Stuever-types, we suppose.

We know things are bad in the newspaper business, but sheesh! We’re embarrassed for The Washington Post.


  1. It’s like the saying:

    “Be careful of what you wish for, because it just may come true.”

    The author does make a point.. Our Mac “club” is getting bigger, and some of the new members are of a different class…

  2. What is this article trying to say? I was at the Apple store in Orlando yesterday and it was as thrilling as ever. Place was jammed, plenty of courteous help available and everyone buying Apple stuff (I hope I’m not just reacting as a stockholder with my enthusiasm).

    I don’t get his point….or is he just missing the Christmas spirit thing? You know the bustling activity, the shoppers frenzy and joy to the world…..

  3. Well heck, I guess they’ll need to start charging a cover charge, and get some bouncers out front and turn people away at the doors.

    Crowded stores during Christmas shopping season? Say it ain’t so!

    Meh.. some people will find something to cry about and find a dark cloud in every rainbow.

  4. While generally agreeing with the MDN take, I know what the Post means. I stuck my nose in the San Diego Apple store on Saturday. Unbelievable crowd. It was by far the busiest store at UTC. I LOVED it for my Apple shares, but was, at the same time, a little nostalgic for the old quiet days. Just a little. As far as I can see, the tipping point is behind us.

  5. Clearly, this Stuever character wants to be the next David Pogue.

    Yeah, Apple Stores are crowded… at least the Manhattan Stores are (I’ve not been to the 14th Street Store yet). I suppose that Manhattan isn’t the best gauge, since they’re in must-avoid tourist areas. Yeah, SoHo USED to be cool, but who ARE all those people?

    But hey, why complain? There’s always mail order!

  6. Umm, let me see – Christmas holiday shopping season and you go into an electronics store. Um, yeah – it’s going to be a little busy!

    Apple stores are usually busy year-round, at least that is my experience in big cities. I wouldn’t personally set foot in one until at least January.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.