This story is reprinted from Australian Macworld. For more information about the Mac from a down-under perspective, visit macworld.com.au.
Amid jubilant scenes, the Sydney Apple Store opened its doors Thursday night, bringing to 215 the number of Apple-owned retail stores worldwide. Customers waited in impressively long queues right around the block—some of them overnight—but in the end, it seemed, they were happy to be part of the experience.
Prior to the actual opening, staff could be seen inside clapping and cheering and taking part in what appeared to be motivational chants. Clearly the Store has been as eagerly anticipated by its employees as by its customers. An Apple spokesperson said that the company was looking for a particular personality type for its Store employees, and hired accordingly. So no, there was no Kool-Aid involved.
A few minutes before opening what appeared to be the majority of the store’s staff if not all of them ran around the block, getting the queue worked up about the impending opening. Not that that was necessary. By all reports the queue had been an all-night party for Mac fans.
When the doors did open at 5pm each of the first 2,500 people through the door was handed an exclusive t-shirt to commemorate the date the Store opened, and to prove they were there. In truth, not much reward for queueing overnight, but that wasn’t really the point. (When I left at 5:30 they had not yet run out of t-shirts and people who had been queueing only a short while were receiving them.)
Of course, all of the hype now having passed, the store will be open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., except Thursdays when it’s 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday when it’s 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. The Genius Bar operates from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (by appointment) and on Thursdays it’s 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
6/20/2008 - Updated with video of the store opening.