Passers-by were shocked to see a new shop open in London at the weekend.
The like of the store, which sells computers and software, has never been seen before in this sleepy city of only eight million, almost none of them computer owners or users.
… OK, enough sarcasm. Yep, Apple’s new London store is open and for some it was an event worth camping outside in freezing temperatures to attend. For others, it was nothing more than, well, yet another computer store (let me assure non-Londoners reading this that the city has a plentiful supply of computer retailers).
As with so many Apple announcements, the media picked up on the buzz from the
religious throng potential customers outside. People camping outside in the cold to buy computers (or even mystery goodie bags - I really can’t see the appeal myself, but there you go) make for good photos, and media people like photos.
So with the crowds and the cameras, it became an Event rather than just a new shop opening. But what actually happened during this event? I can tell you.
- People liked the glass stairs.
- Everyone who camped out for the night got at least a T-shirt. If fact, some people who arrived as late as 9.30am that morning got a T-shirt. They only had to queue for three hours or so, and only got rained on once or twice.
- The mood in the queue was said to be good-natured and companionable. Everybody was talking Mac stuff. I wonder if they compared Docks?
- There were in-store mini-queues to see: the 20-inch G5 iMac; a pair of 30-inch displays set up as a single extended desktop; and Tiger.
- A DJ played tunes. Very, very loud.
- Amusingly, some staff from PC World (one the UK’s largest mass-market retailers of computers; mostly x86, but some Mac stock available) stood outside in the cold, trying to hand out leaflets to bemused Apple acolytes.
- Lots of computers and iPods were sold, although some people found the crowd something of a turn-off, and were heard walking out muttering: “I’ll come back when it’s quieter.”
Were you there? Was it worth going?