Dvorak: Why don’t tech companies copy Apple’s retail stores, too?

“A few weeks ago, I walked into the San Francisco Apple store at around 7:30 at night, and it was packed with people. I was hoping to see the latest new products, but they were not in the store yet. That didn’t deter the hundreds of people poking around the place. The line at the registers–oddly placed in the back of the store—were 20-people deep. The place was jumping. It was actually a scene. A happening. It was weird,” John C. Dvorak writes for PC Magazine.

“That’s when it hit me: Apple stores around the country have proven once and for all that a targeted retail outlet designed to sell a line of products with a concise message is the key to success in the computer business,” Dvorak writes. “This was long since proven by the automobile industry, and it stuns me that only Apple has figured this out in the computer business.”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s not “weird.” It’s not “stunning.” Apple the only company in the computer business with a unique product, John.

Dvorak continues, “I have not visited the new flagship Microsoft store in Flagstaff, Arizona, but the photos I’ve seen show it as quite lively.”

MacDailyNews Take: Uh, yeah:

Microsoft Retail Stores have to resort to free concert tickets to generate opening day crowds – October 30, 2009
• Notes from Microsoft’s first retail store: ‘Cheap, disorganized, and poorly-located’ (with photo) – October 23, 2009

Dvorak continues, “Dell has been trying to get into the same product lines as Apple from the outset but cannot find a way to do stores. I think the company was scared off by the failures of IBM, CompuAdd, and Gateway. The company must know that there are retail experts who can figure out what went wrong with those and avoid the pitfalls. After all, that’s what Apple did.”

MacDailyNews Take: Dell makes commodity hardware and slaps other companies’ attempts at copying Apple’s Mac OS X or iPhone into them. Dell Retail Stores would fail. Just like their awful mall kiosks did.

Dvorak continues, “The tech scene in general could use some more of the buzz and energy you can find any night in an Apple store. Now that everyone knows exactly how to do it right, what are they waiting for?”

Full article here.

88 Comments

  1. Actually,

    The MSOFT store in Park Meadows mall (south Denver) is surprisingly busy whenever I walk past going to the Apple store (which is *ALWAYS* jammed to the gills).

    I just do not get it….

  2. Actually,

    The MSOFT store in Park Meadows mall (south Denver) is surprisingly busy whenever I walk past going to the Apple store (which is *ALWAYS* jammed to the gills).

    I just do not get it….

  3. “The tech scene in general could use some more of the buzz and energy you can find any night in an Apple store. Now that everyone knows exactly how to do it right, what are they waiting for?”

    That’s just it Dvorak! They DON’T know how to do it right… They can’t produce great products and provide customer service with it…

    It’s almost like Dvorak is standing on a corner, whining: “We can’t let Apple get all the success! Quick, somebody do something to unseat their success!! Anyone??””

  4. “The tech scene in general could use some more of the buzz and energy you can find any night in an Apple store. Now that everyone knows exactly how to do it right, what are they waiting for?”

    That’s just it Dvorak! They DON’T know how to do it right… They can’t produce great products and provide customer service with it…

    It’s almost like Dvorak is standing on a corner, whining: “We can’t let Apple get all the success! Quick, somebody do something to unseat their success!! Anyone??””

  5. The fact that he thinks it “odd” that registers are placed at the back of the store shows how clueless he is: it’s typical Apple genius, doing things that go against conventional wisdom. What’s the first thing you see at most stores? A line of registers! Apple’s stores have products you can immediately see and play with. It’s far more welcoming. How much traffic does Apple generate by casual passersby who look in warily, see something intriguing, and step inside? Then they come out with a whole slew of gadgets and computers! Genius, I tell you. Genius.

    Besides, you don’t even need registers when any Apple employee can check you out with their portable payment iPod touches!

  6. The fact that he thinks it “odd” that registers are placed at the back of the store shows how clueless he is: it’s typical Apple genius, doing things that go against conventional wisdom. What’s the first thing you see at most stores? A line of registers! Apple’s stores have products you can immediately see and play with. It’s far more welcoming. How much traffic does Apple generate by casual passersby who look in warily, see something intriguing, and step inside? Then they come out with a whole slew of gadgets and computers! Genius, I tell you. Genius.

    Besides, you don’t even need registers when any Apple employee can check you out with their portable payment iPod touches!

  7. Did he say ” line at the registers-oddly placed at the back of the store” ? I’ve never seen a register in an Apple store… they use their iPhones to check you out… If you use cash the drawers are under some of the tables… This guy is a dork who probably wasn’t even near an Apple store….

  8. Did he say ” line at the registers-oddly placed at the back of the store” ? I’ve never seen a register in an Apple store… they use their iPhones to check you out… If you use cash the drawers are under some of the tables… This guy is a dork who probably wasn’t even near an Apple store….

  9. “That’s when it hit me:”

    THAT’S when it hit you? Just THEN?!?! It’s really taken this long before your thin white pedigree skull finally absorbed that piece of stunningly obvious fact, that it seems the rest of us had no problems coming to terms with many years ago?

    Well thanks for finally getting on the bus, John. Kudos.

  10. “That’s when it hit me:”

    THAT’S when it hit you? Just THEN?!?! It’s really taken this long before your thin white pedigree skull finally absorbed that piece of stunningly obvious fact, that it seems the rest of us had no problems coming to terms with many years ago?

    Well thanks for finally getting on the bus, John. Kudos.

  11. People go the Apple store because of the products. In terms of industrial design alone, the stores would be filled by people wanting to see and touch the devices. But when you couple the software and hardware capabilities built into the products, then you truly generate excitement.

    You see a commercial on TV for say the Ipod or IPhone, and of course the Ipad, and you have a place to go to see it and play with it first hand. Its the products stupid, not the fact that there are stores.

    Then when you do purchase and run into a problem or just do not know how to make something work you have a place to go for help. This is outstanding customer service for products which most people can barely use or understand and they can get one on one help in learning to use it.

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