Recall: Steve Jobs Introduces the First Apple Store in 2001

Posted by Mayank on May 10, 2012 in Interestingness

As of January 2012, Apple has opened 363 Apple Stores worldwide — several of which have received numerous architectural awards for its store designs, particularly its midtown Manhattan location on Fifth Avenue (picture below). Apple Stores have been instrumental in Appleā€™s impressive rise to glory over the years.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, returned as interim CEO in 1997. According to Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs began a concerted campaign to help sales by improving the retail presentation of Macintosh computers.

Jobs’ first priority was to severe with every Apple retailer, except for CompUSA which retained its Apple contract by agreeing to adopt Apple’s “store within a store” concept. This required that approximately 15% of each CompUSA store would be set aside for Mac hardware and software (including non-Apple products) and would play host to a part-time Apple salesperson. However the “store within a store” approach was not successful in part because the Apple section was in the lowest-traffic area of CompUSA stores. Jobs and his executives saw that they didn’t have enough control over the presentation of Apple products so they decided on creating an Apple retail store.

Jobs recruited Millard Drexler from GAP in 1999 and Ron Johnson from Target in 2000. At Drexler’s suggestion, Johnson then built a mock-up of an Apple store inside a warehouse near the company’s headquarters in Cupertino. Rest what followed is history! Check out the below video of Steve Jobs introducing and explaining the very first Apple Store!


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