Popular Mechanics had a great article today from an Apple Store employee, who I am sure is now an ex-store employee given Apple’s stringent rules.
Despite my inside access at Apple’s Cupertino Campus for years, I never was able to get details on what happened at Apple Stores. Â Though I did get a great story about “testing” the Apple Store before any opened in May 2001, from friends. Â Apparently, Apple put its own employees on buses and took them to non descript warehouses in the Valley. Â When they walked in the warehouses were set up as Apple Stores. Â The employees were given time to “shop” and executives observed how the overall flow of the store worked. Â After a certain amount of time, they would clear out the store, reconfigure it, and start the process all over again. Â Eventually they found a perfect combination of displays, open space, number of clerks, etc.
As for some of the behind the scenes hilarity:
- Dealing with drug dealers who come in and try to buy iPhones with fake IDs ranks high on the list.
- Pushing MobileMe and AppleCare is a common theme, and happens to me every time I buy something at the Apple Store, and I never get it.
- Foreign resellers haggling on prices is an issue, but if you go to Sawgrass Mills Mall in Florida you will see that is a common problem even at the Lee Jeans Store.
I am definitely going to look at my shopping experience more closely the next time I am in the Apple Store.