The Rise of Apple Retail

This month Apple will launch its new watch and macbook range and it continues to stand as the most valuable brand in the world. The masses will flock to their stores to try these new toys out and with a little bit of luck, snag one for themselves.

What an empire

The empire of Apple has risen so quickly since Steve Jobs re-emerged in the late 90’s some ten years after being ungraciously exited. We now live in a world just 20 years later that hails Apple as the worlds most valuable brand. Apple has become the kind of company that creates raving advocates and fans who are loyal to the core. They company has over $150b sitting in the bank (imagine the interest) and a market capitalisation on the US stock market of $600b (The value of the entirety of their shares) – this makes them the largest publicly listed company in the country.

Let’s build a store

One of the best decisions Apple and Jobs made in the early 2000’s was to introduce the Apple retail store. It became an experience. Something you had to check out. It was unique, not like any other store with the ‘wow factor’ of a high end luxury brand and an over supply of sales staff wearing t-shirts and calling you dude. It was a stroke of genus where Apple took the brand into their own hands and owned the experience. They counted on the fact that for many people Apple was more than just a product. It was a lifestyle; a feeling and a movement of like minded individuals who understood each other and what each other valued. The store became the hub for these people to congregate and helped Apple continue to create the culture that we all know today. It also became a place where all people from all walks of life could step through the doors and not feel judged or intimidated. It was fun.

Apple retail locations account for a significant potion of turnover but what it did for the brand was game changing and it no doubt has contributed to the sales engine in a significant way over the past 10 years for 3 key reasons:

  1. Pleased to meet you: The new locations introduced people to Apple who had otherwise not considered them
  2. A place to feel at home: Finally, there was a controlled, on-brand community and hub for fans to feel safe and excited
  3. Trial first: A non intimidating environment was created for people to trial the product without pressure to buy


Best in the world

Here are 10 of the best apple stores from around the world (there’s almost 500 to choose from in 16 countries). They represent some of the best retail locations I’ve seen anywhere.



New York






Hong Kong










Grand Central Station (NYC)