The Computer Store evolves into The Mac Store

Though Computer Stores Northwest is changing the name and look of its stores, it's not a reaction to Apple opening some retail stores in the same geographical region, according to Kevin Anderson, president and CEO of Computer Stores Northwest.

The Computer Stores Northwest regional chain owns six stores. They're changing from the The Computer Store to The Mac Store and some store interiors have been redesigned.

"The name change is long overdue," Anderson told MacCentral. "It was great when we first opened 25 years ago. Then, computers were unique and unusual. But as developed a Mac specialization, we should have renamed it."

A new logo design is replacing the current store signage, which will grace each of the six stores in the Northwest chain. The Portland store is also undergoing major remodeling. And the two individual stores in the Portland area will be known as The Portland Mac Store.

"We're pretty much finished with redesigned and refixture-ing the stores," Anderson said. "The signs are coming in a bit at a time. We've definitely overhauled our two largest stores. Of the four smaller ones, one has gotten a minor overhaul, two didn't need much work, and one is moving to a new location. The way our two largest stores were laid out wasn't as user friendly as we wanted. Now we've replaced fixtures and displays and added a new check-out system."

Apple opened a company store in Bellevue, Washington, on May 10. Another is planned to open this fall in Seattle's University District, near the Seattle location of The Computer Store. But Anderson said he welcomes them.

"Apple's statistics show that Mac business in general goes up when they go into a highly trafficked mall and attract new people to the platform," he explained. "Other statistics show that most people shop 3-4 times before buying a Mac. We think that if they drop by our store, we can make them a customer of ours."

Computer Stores Northwest is a privately owned corporation established in Corvallis, Oregon in 1974. In the Portland area, there is a store on Multnomah Blvd. across from Lloyd Center and in Tigard across the freeway from Washington Square off Scholls Ferry Road.

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