LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Apple Opens Mall Of America Store

COW Library : Apple OS X : Jon Okerstrom : Apple Opens Mall Of America Store
Apple Opens Mall Of America Store
At the Head of the Line: Apple Opens Mall of America Store
Jon Okerstrom Article Focus:
As I left work late Friday night, a co-worker said I was crazy for driving 250 miles to Minneapolis overnight. Yup. Crazy about Macs.

I arrived at the Mall of America in Bloomington at 4:00am and believe it or not, that wasn't early enough to be the first. A group from Minnesota's Iron Range arrived at 2:00am and Mall Security kicked them out of the building. I noticed the guards opening the doors at 5:40 and was the first to arrive at the brand new Apple store. A mall cleaning crew dusted and worked on the windows as the gang from the Iron Range joined the party.


Joel Anderson is a technology coordinator for the Hibbing School district. He's been a Mac person since the Apple IIe and Mac Plus and brought along his G4 Titanium PowerBook. "I just wanted to be part of it," Joel said. And be part of it, he was. Part of my mission was to supply photos and information about the Grand Opening to MacCentral.com. An hour before the store opened, we hooked into the store's AirPort network and transmitted photographs to MacCentral Editor Jim Dalrymple. (You can see our story and some of my photos at www.maccentral.com.) The experience proved to me that I need a PowerBook and an AirPort card in a way that no in-store demo could!


As the morning went on, more bleery-eyed people joined the line. Jace Tramontin made the trip with Joel and said about the store concept, "For what they're trying to do -- get (the Mac) in people's faces -- it's great." Like a many at the head end of the line, Jace came to look and learn. Erik Engberg added that "It's a great idea that Apple provides a solution, rather than 'here's a box. Go do something with it.'"


Ron Johnson, Senior Vice President of Apple Retail put it this way. "The word computer isn't ever in the store. It's photos. Movies." Johnson told me that opening in the Twin Cities made a lot of sense. "It's historically a great Mac market and a publishing hotbed." He added that the Mall of America store was a perfect location. "200,000 people will be in the mall today. Probably 10,000 of them are avid Mac users." Johnson said that leaves 190,000 potential new customers who can be exposed to Mac solutions. What he didn't say is that nearly 40 percent of Mall of America customers come from outside a 150 mile radius. The lure of 500+ stores and entertainment gives the Apple Store more reach than it would have in any other mall in Minnesota.



Despite the soft economy, Johnson is upbeat about the store. "Apple is well financed," he said. "The best companies invest. Recessions always end. This is a great time for Apple." This store is set up just like the other Apple stores, but has about double the number of software titles. You'll find lots of games and education titles, as well as professional graphics applications, including Adobe Illustrator, Final Cut Pro and After Effects. I noticed Amorphium on the shelves, but didn't see any of the "pro-level" general purpose 3d software -- no Lightwave, Universe or Cinema 4D -- or After Effects plug-ins. While they don't have everything, Johnson said the wider selection is a test, sparked after each previous store had sold 1,000 titles in its first weekend.


As the 9 o'clock hour drew closer, Apple Senior PR Director Mark McClellan estimated that 450 people were waiting in line to get into the store... the crowd would soon swell to a thousand or more, according to another Apple exec. The team of about 35 Apple employees gathered in the rear of the store for a team meeting. From the outside, we could hear some applause and cheers. Then, the song "We are Family" boomed as the employees moved to the front of the store. The door lifted as everyone on both sides applauded and cheered.


Security guards let customers into the store in groups, but you could stay as long as you like. People flocked to their favorite tools... from iMacs to Titanium G4s, from Nikon digital still cameras to Canon GL1 digital video, everything was fired up and ready to go. Apple employees helped people make movies and even burn their test projects onto CDs. One employee demonstrated how, on OSX, it's just like saving a file to a hard drive. No Toast required.

In the back of the store, you'll find the Genius Bar. A place where Mac experts will answer even your toughest question. If they can't, they'll go on line or make a call to find the answer. I threw them a couple of questions about RAM... about the difference between 2-2-2 or 3-2-2... and it didn't phase them much. They came up with the answer I wanted in short order, and seemed interested in helping me.


Assistant Store Manager Kym Wester says "finding the best solutions" is what the store is all about and the "bottom line" will follow. "Every customer has to have a really good experience in the store, so they'll come back again. Like the dozen or so full-time employees Kym says she's been a Mac fan for a long time. "Working with Apple is an honor," she says. Apple's Johnson says employees are very carefully selected. Many have hobbies -- like digital video or digital photography -- that connect with Apple's "digital hub" concept. Not only that, he says "they have to be people who want to serve."


By mid-morning, the activity inside the store was frenetic. Music boomed, people watched live demonstrations of OSX in the theater area, and people everywhere were playing and experimenting on the machines. As people left the store, employees handed out tee shirts packed in clear plastic tubes. And the line of people waiting to get in was still quite long.


Dean Tollefsrud and Lynne Mortinson stood in line for about 40 minutes and had a long way to go. They drove up from Rochester Minnesota in a powder blue '47 Plymouth. He wore an Apple Hockey Jersey, saying the special shirts were apparently created for Canadian Apple retailers for the OSX roll-out. Dean said he connected with the seller through ebay and is happy to wear it. He's interested in learning about the dual 800 and Apple Cinema displays. His appreciation for Apple comes down to one concept. "It's just simple. Simple is best and that's what Apple does." Lynne piped in that "Apple's just such a friendly company." Dean was disappointed when I told him they didn't have a dual 800 on the floor and the store employee I asked couldn't give me a shipping date. Still, he was smiling broadly when he finally got inside.


Clearly, most of the people who made the effort to be part of opening day were Mac heads. We're the die-hards who drive hundreds of miles and already "think different." Educators. Designers. Game players and Mac geeks. For me, being part of the grand opening was important on several levels. Being able to hold Apple products in my hands before I buy is something I can't get from the internet stores where I do most of my Mac shopping. I also enjoyed some fun conversations on all-things Mac, This is one place where "Apple-speak" not a foreign language. I also learned that the store includes an Apple Service Center on-site. Something I might need down the road.


Opening Day was a ton of fun for a lot of Mac people. I watched them line up to buy Mac software and cart away everything from G4 towers to iBooks, Cinema Displays and software. I had enough hands-on experience to firm up my own purchasing decisions. The employees too had it easy, because we shared a common understanding and common language. All that changes when the "Grand Opening buzz" wears off and the Apple Store becomes just another one of hundreds of stores, competing for attention and dollars. The window washers will be back tomorrow morning, but crowds won't be gathering hours before the doors open.


Apple knows that its long-term success will depend in large part on the 95% of the people who use Windows machines or nothing at all. When those people come to the Mall for the Camp Snoopy Amusement Park or for the shopping, the company is betting they'll be hooked by the simple elegence of the message, the machines and the store. And that eventually, they'll be the ones standing in line for Apple's "next" big thing.



All photos on this page are copyright 2001 Jon Okerstrom. Reproduction without written permission is forbidden.



Related Articles / Tutorials:
Apple OS X
Migrating to the PowerMac G5 and OSX Panther

Migrating to the PowerMac G5 and OSX Panther

In this article, Ned Soltz walks us through the steps needed to migrate to the PowerMac G5 and OSX Panther. This is one man's "how to" on configuring your G5, plus how to get everything off your G4 and move it safely onto your G5 with out accelerating your heart rate. This is part 1 in Ned Soltz's series of installing new hardware and software.

Tutorial
Ned Soltz
Apple OS X
David Chandler-Gick reviews 'Macintosh... The Naked Truth'  by Scott Kelby

David Chandler-Gick reviews 'Macintosh... The Naked Truth' by Scott Kelby

David Chandler-Gick takes a look at Scott Kelby's title: 'Macintosh... The Naked Truth' published by New Riders.

Review
David Chandler-Gick
Apple OS X
James Diefenderfer reviews: Learning Mac OS X from lynda.com

James Diefenderfer reviews: Learning Mac OS X from lynda.com

James Diefenderfer takes a look at ''Learning Mac OS X'' -- a CD-ROM presented by Joel Berkovitz and published by lynda.com.

Review
James Diefenderfer
Apple OS X
Life with Portables: Is It IN or Zen

Life with Portables: Is It IN or Zen

Reg Harris, longtime contributor and co-founder of the WWUG, looks at the Get them a reason to buy two strategy by Apple when it comes to their new Titanium G4 PowerBook and G3/500 iBook portables. In addition, Reg explores some of his own ups and downs in the world of multi-systems use in managing his own video production and media business, his career as a surgeon and his home life as a husband and father who has learned that some: ...very scary stuff lurks in Sprite -- proven when his son decided to give his PowerBook 3200 a drink...

Editorial
Reg Harris
Recent Articles / Tutorials:
Field Production
“Before I forget: don’t wear any underwear.”

“Before I forget: don’t wear any underwear.”

Before coming to Creative COW, before his lives in product marketing and product management at Avid and Boris FX, Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson ran a video production company. As we also observe the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the US Parks Service, Tim recalls one one especially memorable adventure to Everglades National Park, wherein he found himself quite literally up to his armpits in alligators. He had no idea that this was going to happen when the day began. At the time, he was focused on a brand new fear: getting sliced in half by burning underwear.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Art of the Edit
The Science of Editing

The Science of Editing

Sven Pape, aka @ThisGuyEdits, joins Dr. Karen Pearlman -- former President of the Australian Screen Editors Guild and a three-time nominee for Best Editing at the Australian Screen Editors Guild Annual Awards -- for a provocative look at "Editor's Thinking," a cognitive skill set that you can use to improve your screenplay before you start principal photography of your film.


Sven Pape
Panasonic Cameras
Shooting MTV's Mary + Jane with Panasonic VariCam 35

Shooting MTV's Mary + Jane with Panasonic VariCam 35

To shoot the ½ hour scripted comedy series for MTV, Mary + Jane, the producers at Television 360 enlisted cinematographer Charles Papert (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Key and Peele), who found that Panasonic VariCam is a great fit for moving fast and getting great images when time and resources are scarce.


COW News
Adobe After Effects
Imagineer mocha Pro 5 Plug-In for Adobe: An In Depth Review

Imagineer mocha Pro 5 Plug-In for Adobe: An In Depth Review

Imagineer mocha Pro 5 Plug-in for Adobe brings all the amazing features of the professional version of the mocha Planar Tracker directly into After Effects and Premiere Pro in the form of a plugin. In this in-depth review, After Effects tutorial guru Tobias Gleissenberger of Surfaced Studio will show you what you can do with this new plug-in, and discuss what he likes and doesn't like about the new update.

Tutorial
Tobias Gleissenberger
Apple Final Cut Pro X
Hawaiki Keyer 3.0 Upgrader Tutorial

Hawaiki Keyer 3.0 Upgrader Tutorial

After 25 years as an editor, compositor, and VFX artist, frequent Creative COW poster and tutorial author Simon Ubsdell knows what he needs from a keyer -- and knew he wasn't getting good enough results from FCPX or Motion. Discussions in COW forums led him to create the highly regarded Hawaiki Keyer for Mac users using Apple Final Cut Pro X, Apple Motion, and Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro on Mac as well. Enthusiasm expressed by COW members for its latest release led us to ask Simon for a tour of the even more advanced Hawaiki Keyer 3.0.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Cinematography
All Eyes on IBC 2016 for Cameras and Lenses Galore

All Eyes on IBC 2016 for Cameras and Lenses Galore

What’s that you say? An IBC that’s not only relevant, but downright exhilarating? This used to not be news, of course. However, in recent years, IBC has too often become simply an opportunity for European audiences to see products already announced at NAB. In 2016, however, the focus swings sharply to Amsterdam, especially when it comes to cameras and lenses. IBC 2016 is shaping up to be one of the most dramatic trade shows for cinematographers, broadcasters, and videographers in years. Join Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a speedy overview of some of the highlights.

Feature
Tim Wilson
MORE
© 2016 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]