Apple Store openings are always an experience. With massive queues, cheering staff and free t-shirts, it’s undoubtedly unlike any other retail store opening.
But four days after its latest Apple Store opened in Sydney’s Broadway shopping centre, things have calmed down for the Cupertino giant. With school holidays well underway, there was a distinct lack of university student clientele in the new Sydney store. Instead, groups of teenagers mingle with young children and their parents, playing with iPads and inspecting the range of accessories for their favourite iDevice.
“I’m just giving the kids a break from the shopping,” one visitor to the store said. “They just want to play around with the iPads.”
“We came to look at cases for my iPhone,” explains another teenage visitor, as an instructional lesson on how to get the most out of a Mac occurs across the way.
Yet despite the fact that a large number of customers were there without intention to purchase anything, the Apple staff were steadfast in their cheeriness and always ready to help. One staff member welcomed almost every customer into the store with a smile, which may be why the store looked reasonably busy despite the fact that it wasn’t that full.
In fact the most striking thing about the Apple Store in its first week is the comparison to the Next Byte store around the corner, in which two staff members looked on as a single customer browsed through iPad accessories. Even though the Broadway Apple Store doesn’t hold a candle to the George Street flagship store’s foot traffic, it still blows away the competition around the corner.
Also worth noting is the relative quietness in the Genius Bar, which could potentially work out well for anybody wanting to avoid a long queue at the George Street store.
Whether or not Sydney truly needed a second CBD Apple Store is a matter for debate. The proximity to UTS is sure to boost the customer numbers once holidays are over, but given the new store is a mere 2.6km down the same road as the flagship store, there’s going to be a bit of a battle for the latest Apple retail location to convince customers away from the impressive George Street store.
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