When in 2001 Apple decided to create its own network of retail stores, many analysts reacted to this idea with skepticism, not believing in the success of this format. Fortunately, the worst expectations were not fulfilled, and now it’s safe to say the Apple Store is not only one of the most lucrative marketplaces in the world, but also a role model for other companies.
First thought about opening your own retail store came to Steve jobs in 1999. To realize his idea, the founder of Apple has turned to Ron Johnson, who at that time had extensive experience in the retail trade.
Ron suggested that Steve not to hurry with the opening — it first needs to fully consider and model the concept of the future store. For these purposes, was rented several rooms, which later became the prototypes of the Apple Store. The design took several months. Every week Steve came to the warehouse and made their adjustments in the future appearance of the shops. The founder of Apple was so fascinated by the process that he noticed even the slightest changes since his last visit.
Many might say that working with Steve was unbearable. But for me personally it was a real gift. He more than anyone else was able to point out why this or that idea (which was proposed during the creation process) has no right to exist. Thanks to his intuition, Steve jobs clearly understood that should the buyer and can focus on certain parts. recalls Ron Johnson.
The design team presented the interior of an Apple Store in early 2001. It was assumed that the store will be divided into several parts — separately for each of the then manufactured products: iMac, iBook, Power Macintosh G3 and PowerBook G3. Steve, this idea is liked, however, Johnson suddenly made a sharp criticism — in his view, sections have been separated according to their purpose, for example, computers for professional use, for home use. It was decided to postpone the launch and re-examine the concept of the store.
Steve called me that night and said, “Ron, you taught me an important lesson. The final version was good, but not great. I had to have the courage to start the whole process again, carefully rethinking”.
The first Apple Store opened its doors on 19 may 2001. The outlet was located in McLean, Virginia. On the first weekend retail store was visited by more than eight thousand people, while total sales amounted to 600 000$.