Apple CEO Steve Jobs was joined by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and former mayor Willie Brown to open the San Francisco Apple Store earlier today. Both Newsom and Brown praised Apple for its choice to locate the newest retail store in the revitalized Union Square district of San Francisco, while thousands waited outside for their chance to get in.
"I think this signals confidence in the retail quality of this area," said a beaming Brown from inside the Apple store while employees and customers clapped and danced to booming music. "It represents a second step in the development of the Union Square region. The refurbishment of Union Square was the first step, the private sector development and the opening of the Apple Store is the second."
The city's current Mayor, Gavin Newsom couldn't agree more. "I think that this store is significant [for this area]. Obviously this is an extraordinary brand with significant character.”
Even the cop-on-the-beat couldn't help but be amazed at Apple's choice of real estate. Officers Vance and Moylan of the San Francisco Police Department were on hand to provide crowd-control, though both agreed that little was needed to manage this crowd.
"They are completely mellow," commented Moylan. "Most of them have their laptops. They are working it. It's a goldmine location because of the BART," said Moylan of the store's side-entrance stairwell to the city's mass transit system.
The retail stores have represented a visible reinvestment in the image of the company, one that is not lost in the eyes of the customers and the Mac faithful. Nor is it lost to Apple's closest neighbor in the area, the Virgin Megastore, which is located across the street.
Robert Seto, Store Manager for the Virgin Megastore San Francisco is enthused about Apple's new store, and what it signifies for the area. "I think it's great that this community sees such a big retailer [coming into the area]. It's good to have Apple in the company of Union Square."
Seto isn't worried at all about the competition provided by his neighbor's online music efforts either. "For music purists, there's a need for a vehicle to transfer data to their iPods. I see a market of people buying an iPod [at Apple] and then coming in here to get CDs to load onto it."
As first reported by Macworld earlier this week, Apple offered "Lucky Bags" to the people who came out and lined up early at the retail store. The bags cost US$250, but they contained an AirPort Extreme Base Station; Bluetooth Keyboard; Bluetooth Mouse; D-Link Bluetooth Adapter; .Mac membership; a 10 percent gift card good for any single Apple Store purchase; iLife; and Keynote.
This story, "Jobs opens San Francisco Apple Store" was originally published by PCWorld.