The doors of Apple’s first retail store in New Hampshire opened a few minutes early today to assure its position as the 25th Apple Store to open since CEO Steve Jobs first announced the company’s retail initiative earlier this year. The
store opened today
at the Rockingham Mall in Salem, NH.
Jobs had said that the company would open 25 stores by the end of the year. It’s now clear Apple will exceed those initial expectations — another store opened today at Palisades in West Nyack, New York (a few minutes after the Rockingham store, according to Apple). Apple’s
retail Web page
has also been updated with information about the company’s Cambridge, Mass. store, coming soon to Cambridgeside Galleria.
Customers came to the store’s opening for myriad reasons. Many came to browse and check out the latest Mac hardware and software; others came to buy new equipment. For others, the simple joy of coming to an Apple Store’s new opening was enough to draw them to the Rockingham Mall.
One of the first folks waiting in line to get in was none other than Macworld Expo party goddess Ilene Hoffman, who came with friends to see the Rockingham store. Hoffman confirmed with MacCentral that another one of her infamous “The Party Formerly Known As …” Expo parties is planned for next month’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco.
The manager of the new Apple store is Tisha Rampe, who is also the manager of Apple’s Peabody, Mass. location at the Northshore Mall. She calls Apple’s local retail initiative “absolutely successful.”
“I’m very happy with the way that we’ve been welcomed into the communities that we’re in,” said Rampe.
Rampe explained that Apple Stores aren’t a threat to local resellers, many of whom have an entrenched base of users who are loyal to them. In fact, she said that the Apple Stores offer unique opportunities.
“Resellers provide services that we don’t,” said Rampe. “We try to partner with them, and the Mac Geniuses at our Genius Bar have lists of local resellers. If there’s something we can’t do for customers, or if our customers are looking for something we don’t have, we refer them to those resellers.”
Apple Retail’s regional director Linda Turner told MacCentral that with the 25th store’s opening, they’ve achieved the goal they set out for themselves this year. While she couldn’t provide specific details, Turner said that there are many more retail stores to come.
“We’re in this for the long haul, and we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far,” said Turner.