Stoic Swedes feel awkward at grand opening of first Apple Retail Store in Scandinavia (with video)

“Apple Inc. just opened its first official retail store in Scandinavia, in the Täby Centrum shopping centre north of Stockholm,” Sven Grundberg reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The store, which opened its doors on Sept 15 is Apple’s 381st retail store, and made Sweden the 13th country to have one.”

“Although the grand opening was very well visited, with a throng of enthusiasts lining up to witness the wonders of Cupertino, a YouTube video (below) of the opening, made many Swedes feel awkward,” Grundberg reports. “Radio producer Tor Billgren tweeted: ‘On behalf of my country I apologize to the world for these scenes at the opening of an Apple store near Stockholm.'”

Grundberg reports, “He wasn’t the only one. The video on YouTube has already picked up 1183 dislikes. Only 87 have liked it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve seen that awkward, “What exactly in the hell are they doing?” look at other Apple Retail Store grand openings when the crew gets fired up. In the U.S., even, but in the U.S. and pretty much everywhere else it always seems to evaporate after a few seconds as most everybody decides to go with the spirit.

This one felt awkward for a long time; like we’d imagine one of Microsoft’s fake Apple store grand openings would be like without the free concert tickets they use lure warm bodies to their “celebrations” of stores to which the “celebrants” will never return sans freebies.

At least these Swedes were there for Apple, even if they were a bit taken aback.


  1. The most exciting, most energetic Apple Store opening I’ve see (on a Spanish Mac/Apple podcast called was the newest store in Barcelona, Spain. The noise level was comparable to a 99%er-demonstration we saw in Madrid the year before. I was watching it on my iPad and my mother-in-law came over, thinking I was watching the Olympics!

    Another Apple Store in the central plaza in Madrid is being built. I would love to be able to go.

  2. Funny, you dis the Swedes for keeping their cool, and yet you pan Balmer when he jumps around trying to get things going.
    Never did understand the big hype and cheering at store openings.
    just my 2¢

  3. Totally understandable it has a real fascist feel to it. This is not the Swedish way or for that matter much of Western Europe. Swedes will routinely not self promote but rather depend on a third party to “advertise” praise.

    However, as uncomfortable as this may be, I can not imagine an alternative pump to esteem. This behavior works real well with children at camp and events to promote group cohesion and a positive feeling.

    Maybe Apple can work on this and develop culturally sensitive opening scripts to avoid or limit negative reactions. However they still have to drum up excitement.

    1. I would be pretty sure that there are Sweds that are running the store, working for Apple. I would think that they would have said, lets tone it down if that is what is normal for Sweden. So, did the store manager screw up??

      And they did go on, and on, and on, and on, didn”t they. ??

  4. Had this been a football match, the stoicism would’ve been parked outside with the Volvos. I know of no Swede who doesn’t get entirely berserk when their teams are playing. Nothing catches on quickly in Sweden—except invasions of Norway…..

  5. This is “behaviour unbecoming an Apple Employee “. You will not see this football crowd behaviour in a Porsche dealership or B&O store or any other upscale outlet. APPLE, STOP IT!

  6. Because of my schedule, I’ve only been to a couple of Apple product launches at an Apple store (first iPad being one of them).

    I’m as big an Apple lover as anybody on this forum, but I find the clapping and hooting and hollering a bit off-putting myself. I’m happy to high-five somebody, but don’t make me scream for minutes on end.

    Happiness, glee and acting like a dumbass really only feels right when it’s spontaneous. Just saying.

  7. I used to have a Swedish girlfriend😥, and she along with other swedes abhorred such screaming and shouting chants, even get scared and definitely uncomfortable. However Microsoft Steve ballmer would have felt right at home and among friends with apple employees during this spoke store opening 😜😄

  8. As a bona fide swede and and huge apple fanboy I feel proud of the stoic response from the costumers. This dancing silliness doesn’t play well with our timid and cynic temperament. And this sort of artificial enthusiasm displayed by the apple employes isn’t worthy a company that emphasize class and cool. Apple should leave room for organic excitement instead of imposing it on by-standers. Still, I have to say I love the clip. It evokes so many awkward feelings. It touches you in a weird way.

  9. Hehe, “stoic Swedes” you say, kind of boring! Well, you could say the Apple personnel were a little overreacting? They are just opening a store, for christs sake. For a moment I thought I heard Steve Ballmer shouting in the back amongst Apple’s personal – a little creepy feeling, not?

  10. Meh, welcome to Scandinavia… And if you think this is depressing, believe me, if Apple ever opened a store here in Finland, the reaction at the launch would be downright pathetic, haha. Yeah, we are not known for getting enthusiastic in these parts of the world. Well, apart from sports and an Iron Maiden concert =D

    Anyway, I think somebody asked what the staff is yelling. I lived in Sweden for the first twelve years of my life and my Swedish is still quite good.

    The staff: “You there on the other side, are you ready??”
    The response from the crowd: “Oh yes, bring it on!”

  11. Swedes are not boring, the just dont tolerate fake emotions. They just come to store to buy some products, not playing stupid and childish games with Apple staff. Sorry but every single Apple Store Grand Opening looks like dumbass acting highschool talent show. Apple please understand that for some people its just embarassing to jump like an idiot because of new phone or ipad. Especially if you’re 68.

  12. This is exactly how the sheeps are lined up for ~marking~ in rural areas of Romania :). People nowadays are blind sheeps. People lining up for a free Iphone are willingly offer almost all the details of their lives to the ones that realy control this world. Smart phones are one of many ways through which the ones that really control the world get acces to all your private date. You can’t even remove the battery of the new Iphones anymore. In this way, you can ALWAYS be detected and listen to. But…people don’t care. It’s easier not to care and be ignorant about the real reality around you. Wake up silly sheeps! Emi, ceicunoi, Bucharest, Romania.

Reader Feedback

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