December 12, 2004

Second Apple Store in Bethesda

Bethesda now has two Apple stores. There is one Apple Store in the Montgomery Mall and now a Apple Mini-store on Bethesda Row. I caught some pictures of the Apple store opening line of people a little more than a half hour before the opening and a pre-opening peak inside the Bethesda Mini-store. I was not able to stay for the actual opening as it was raining and I had my son with me on our way to music class.

I am still conflicted about the Apple stores and their impact on the local independent Apple retail stores. This new Mini-store is a short walk from MacUpgrades. The local independent stores are very tied to the people in the communities that are fans. They have been gathering places for conversation as well as quick purchases and straight forward opinions. The local stores have been places that have high touch and great customer service, but this is also a property of the Apple corporate stores.

The Apple Stores do have Genius Desks (with the direct line to Apple) and abundant software options. They are also a place to get service and accessories. The Mini-Stores only carry the "i" line of products and the full laptop line along with the above mentioned. How will this play out? Will the local independents morph into something that will sustain?

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