Bloomberg: Apple is unveiling a new store design to add more show room for their iPod players and Mac computers and stations where shoppers can get technical help for their products.
The new stores will have an “iPod Bar” and Studio where artists and musicians will offer advice on creative projects, said Ron Johnson, who runs Apple’s retail operations. Apple stores already have “Genius Bars” for repairs and questions on Macs.
The new design puts twice as many Macs and iPods on display and should speed customer service, Johnson said. More than 10,000 people visit each store a week. Apple, which opened its first outlet in May 2001 to fuel sales of Macs, said revenue from the retail stores rose by almost a third in the latest quarter.
The new design is modeled after Apple’s New York store on Fifth Avenue, which opened in May. It includes stainless steel walls, Italian stone floors, illuminated displays and larger tables for showcasing Mac and iPod models.
Apple is starting with two new US stores in Providence, Rhode Island, and Columbia, Maryland, bringing the total to 164.
Apple’s redesign comes as rival computer maker Dell Inc. is experimenting with retail stores. Round Rock, Texas-based Dell opened its first retail showroom in Dallas on July 25, a 3,000- square-foot center featuring 36 products. The store doesn’t carry any inventory, so customers have to order products online for delivery.