Does Anyone Care About Apple Store Openings Any More?

I rather nonchalantly went along to the opening of the Apple store in Hornsby on the weekend. After all, with 13 of the things in the country, surely the hype has faded, right?

When I reported on the opening of Apple’s 13th Australian store last week, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it there for the opening, partly due to some personal reasons, and partly because, well, it’s an Apple store. I’ve seen more than one of those. Surely, after 13 of the things, people don’t care about them any more, right?

The several hundred (I lost count) folks here would presumably beg to differ. Still, these things run to a rather predictable script.

There’s the chanting within the store. Of note, I’d say the glass is very well glazed; while it sounded loud outside, inside it was eardrum-breakingly loud.

Then the traditional run through the crowd, offering high fives. Call me odd, but I’ve always found the chanting and high fives ever so slightly creepy.

The first person in the door… does so at the speed of light. If that floor was ever so slightly more waxed, he would have landed on his face.

More high fives on the way in.

And inside… it is, indeed, just another Apple store.

I’ve got to admit, I just don’t get it. Not the Apple store concept itself; those are wildly profitable, apparently, and it’s personally very handy for me to have a store just down the road (sorry, Adelaide!). What I don’t get is the queuing up thing. By the time I fled the scene to protect my hearing, about 20 minutes had passed, and there were still an easy couple of hundred folks waiting to get in, which means they’d been there at least half an hour, probably more like an hour. Within an hour you could hit at least three of Sydney’s other Apple stores (Castle Hill, George Street and Bondi easily; Penrith not so much) if you actually needed Apple gear or support. Or you could head to around half a dozen other stores in the same Westfield to actually just buy Apple hardware. Sure, there’s a free T-shirt… but is that really worth spending your Saturday morning for?

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