“It’s time to bring your Windows friends into the store.” suggested Apple senior director of retail marketing Alan Olivo. He’s present at today’s opening of the
31st Apple Store, located at the Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, NJ.
This retail store marks the first time Apple has actively promoted its new “Switch” ad campaign through a redone Home section, which provides store visitors with an opportunity to look at Apple’s lineup of consumer systems and figure out what’s best for them depending on their needs, whether they’re a first-time computer buyer, a Windows user considering a switch to the Mac platform, or a Mac user thinking about buying a new model. “It’s our ‘New to Mac’ section, where we welcome Windows users,” Olivo said.
“Any person, whether they’re new to computing, a Windows user or a Mac user, has the same basic issues. When it’s time for them to get a new computer, they wonder if they should buy a Windows PC or a Mac. We’re giving the ‘New to Mac’ customer a place to start,” said Olivo.
The Mall at Short Hills has about 350,000 potential customers within a fifteen minute drive, according to Olivo — a huge potential market for Apple to tap into, both of established Mac users and Windows users who may be interested in the Mac. “This store gives us a chance to fish where the fish are,” he said. “It’s also statistically one of the top malls in the country. People who shop at stores like Williams Sonoma and Nordstorm are going to be interested in Macs.”
The opening of the store drew several hundred attendees, who came both to shop and to browse. The first in line this morning was Weldon Monsport — an Apple Store opening day veteran who arrived at about 6:20 this morning to pick up accessories for his Mac and take a gander at the vast 23-inch Cinema Display, which he’s thinking of adding to his dual-processor Power Mac. The event also drew Mac fans from New Jersey, New York and several New England states.
Despite the presence of some formidable high-end retailers at the Mall, Olivo said that it doesn’t change the way that store associates approach the customers who walk in the door. “The kind of people that come into Apple Stores represent a broad cross section of Apple’s clientele. The way we approach customers is to help them appreciate and understand how to use the Mac.”
The opening of a new Apple Store isn’t just a one-day event. The company tries to build a series of events throughout the entire opening week that draws customers in every day. From today through next weekend, Apple will be hosting presentations every day, several times a day, from companies ranging from Quark to Nikon to Adobe. Apple reps will also be providing users with presentations on iPhoto, iTunes and iPod, iMovie, as well as “Getting Started on a Mac” workshops, designed to help first-time Mac users get familiar and comfortable with their new purchases.
That’s not all, either. With each new store opening, Apple now features a Grand Opening Sweepstakes that features a “Digital Lifestyle Collection” valued at more than US$3,000. The collection includes a Combo drive-equipped iMac, Nikon Coolpix 775 digital camera, Canon ZR40 digital camcorder and Epson Stylus Photo 820 printer. Anyone who comes in the store can enter to win by filling out a form. Details about the sweepstakes are also available on
Apple’s Web site.