Way back in August of 2001, some good friends and I took a road trip down to Virginia to attend a concert. Unfortunately the rains came, the venue got flooded, and the concert was cancelled. Disappointing, but as something of a concession prize, I got to check out the very first brick & mortar Apple Store, which had opened in Tysons Corner just a few weeks earlier.
At the time, most analysts considered Apple’s fledgling retail initiative to be doomed. But though Tysons Corner seemed like a modest start, it was a blueprint for big things to come. 357 stores and counting later, Apple is tops in sales per square foot, and they did it by applying many of the same principles as they do to their products: natural materials, understated aesthetics, and innovative processes.
Anyway, one thing I wanted to do was go back and see how Apple storefronts have evolved over the past decade. I couldn’t find anywhere to do this easily, so I decided to create a gallery myself. Check it out here:
Scanning the gallery, you can see that Apple follows certain conventions, but isn’t shy about breaking them. They’ve tweaked things here and there, and are quite audacious with their flagship locations. (By the way, is “flagship” a formal designation, and is there a list of them somewhere?)
What are your most or least favorites? What do you love or hate about them? Do you notice any trends? What do you think is Apple’s next step?