Apple, the company that nearly went bankrupt on more than one occasion, is now the world’s most profitable public business, but it didn’t get that way by simply standing still. A great deal of this profit comes from its many retail locations, which number 373 worldwide as of this writing.
During the mid-90s, way before the introduction of the iPhone (and its first VoIP app) in 2007, Mac users were often left with the tough experience of dealing with poorly trained and ill-maintained Mac sections in big box computer and electronics stores. These environments did not foster customer loyalty, nor did they help differentiate the Mac user experience from that of Windows.
After Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he began a concerted campaign to help sales by improving the retail presentation of Macs. This campaign culminated with the introduction of the first retail Apple Stores on May 19, 2001. From there, Apple’s retail experience continued to grow until it became what it is today.
The demographic below, sent to our inbox courtesy of OnlineMBA, shows the growth and impact of Apple Stores on the retail landscape. Is this where you were when you purchased your first Apple device?