With no full page ads trumpeting the Grand Opening of Long Island's first Apple retail store, LIMac had to try to make the most of the event. Reports of a line running outside the mall at other locations were remembered, but The Line was not so big here. The die-hard first man on line was there around 7 AM, with the store not expected to open till 10 AM. All photographs were taken by William T. Medlow, LIMac President with a Nikon Coolpix 5000. Click on the previews to get a bigger picture.
There was a roped off area near the store, parallel the railing, running along the Panino Cafe and Au Bon Pain off to the left, just beyond the edge of this picture taken after the store actually opened. This angle gives you an idea of the position of the store in the atrium in front of Macy's on the second floor. Just around the corner from Apple is the aisle leading (away from the camera) to the 2nd level of the parking garage located at the South end of the Mall. There is an elevator from the ground level. Apple's classy neighbors selling toys for adults include Bang and Olufsen and the Sharper Image stores are just a bit farther down the aisle.
You should not dispose of your Windows machine on the floor of the first level. First off it's littering and secondly you could injure someone below. Mall Security would not be undertanding. More than one person was wearing a T-shirt with the saying on the back that says "My PC is on eBay" implying that they want to get rid of the PC after switching to the Macintosh. There were others wearing the SoHo T-Shirt they got just a couple of days ago from the Apple Store in SoHo Manhattan Grand Opening.
The glowing white Apple logo on the flat black field is rather eye catching. Reminds me of the PowerBook G3 lid.
As our little walking tour gets us closer, we see through the freshly cleaned glass window, the three illuminated and slowly rotating cylinders with people from the Switchers ads. This Apple store is the first of the new half sized stores Apple will be opening elsewhere in the United States. It doesn't have a Apple Theater like other stores, like Tice's Corner in New Jersey for example. The flagship Apple Store in SoHo district of Manhattan opened just three days prior to this store's opening. We saw people with the SoHo T-Shirt given out there. Apple Store groupies? Anyway you can see in this shot the array of spot lights at the top of the only display window. When the Switcher cylinders become passé, the lights should display tiered shelves of new product. Maybe a pile of Mac OS 10.2 Jaguar motif boxes.
LIMac president Bill Medlow and Technical Advisor Bradley Dichter started passing out the same handouts we made up for the MacWorld Expo to the people waiting on line. Bill was eager to get these pictures of the inside of the store and got in the queue. Bradley waited outside the line to hand out more and answer a few questions about LIMac. On line we found a long time LIMac member, Martin Vogel of Port Washington. He was wearing a classic Apple polo shirt. Also waiting were other LIMac members both old and new ones from the Expo. While we waited for the 10 AM opening, Apple staffers came out with and iBook and a PowerBook G4 to show off to the interested people. They tried to keep our excitement level up as we waited. There was plenty of chatting while waiting. Then line never went outside the mall when I was there and it disappeared by about noon. I saw a young mother with child in tow get sidelined by the child who wanted to wait in line to get in to the store. She explained she was a PC user but her young daughter wanted to see the Macs. Maybe a new switcher?
It's now just after 10 AM and the crowd outside cheers as the first group of people get to enter the new store. The store is not very big, so only a modest number are allowed in. You can see the big security guard near the entrance. He was hired just for the event and normally works at another mall. Bill's getting closer to the front of the line. You can hear music comming from the store. There are the new way cool JBL creature speakers hooked up to the iBooks and someone is checking out a iPod. The folks waiting are wondering who will be the first to walk out with a purchase and with what under their arm.
Bill just missed getting in, now he's at the front of the line. Bradley's chatting with people farther down the line. He eventually does go inside to see for himself and evaluate the Mac Genius staffers. There is a "sweepstakes" or free drawing for $3000 worth of a iMac, camcorder, iPod and printer. Everyone who leaves the store gets handed a tube with a free T-shirt with the Roosevelt Field name and Apple Logo on it and "Shop Different" on the back.
Bill's on the move, finally entering the brand new Apple Store, number 33 in the country. First of the new design.
Just a few steps inside the door. The Apple buying experience! Ahh! Nothing but Macs. Macs to the left and Macs to the right. Directly to the rear of the store are the cashiers. There are translucent glass panels separating the sections with illuminated signs hanging from the ceiling showcasing the various uses for Macs, like Photo, Pro, Movies and the Genius section halfway back on the right. The Apple staffers have the black shirts with Apple logo and a pendant with their name hanging around their neck. Notice the guy checking out the eMac and the digital camcorder on the island with a PowerBook G4.
The Genius Bar is busy. You can readily see the atomic symbol on the sign on the wall. Is that a light out underneath it? People are asking about font installations in Mac OS X and memory installations. They didn't use the infamous red phone until Bradley asked them a tough one. They certainly know more than the folks at CompUSA, but there is still a need for a full time consultant like Bradley. They don't make house calls. It remains to be seen how busy the store will be after the excitement of the Grand Opening wears off. It's attractive and well lit. The white iMac, eMac and iBooks complement the styling of the store, or is it the other way 'round. On either side of the cashier table at the rear of the store are the racks of software for sale.
A view of the madhouse of people all over the store. You had to suck in your gut to get through the crowd. It was noisy from all the conversations and people playing with audio, games and video editing. Just after this picture was taken, a new PowerBook G4 left the store with it's smiling owner.
You can see quite a few store employees helping people. Compare that to CompUSA or MicroCenter where there is only one Mac savvy person, maybe none if you shop on their day off. The guy at the eMac island has found a guy to answer his questions. You can see one of bar stools about to be occupied at the Genius Bar. They have gift certificates at the Genius Bar. Now what could be better for the holidays or your Birthday?
Finally after making a tour of the store, passing by the Genius Bar, we can head for the exit. Another good look at the glowing Switchers signage slowly rotating. You can see two friends exchanging a joke and there's the guard still at the door. No one got rowdy or disorderly.
As we leave the store, we're handed a plastic tube containing a large size T-Shirt memento of the store and as we turn the corner for the mall exit we see the attention to detail and perfection the store holds. The workman is making perfect the paint job of the flat black paint on the exterior of the store.
Someone asks the worker what he's doing. He's touching up and cleaning the paint. He's proud of his work and it should look perfect for opening day. He and the other guys got this store ready in record time.
So we leave the mall for home with one final parting shot of the craftsman at work. This is the black panel on the outside of the store, just inside the Mall entrance. If you enter Roosevelt Field Mall from the south parking lots (two level), we all want to make a good first impression of the pleasure to await as you turn left at the corner where the Apple Store is. Notice the black trim along the floor that connects the two flat black painted squares with the glowing Apple logo on them. Very stylish, just the the Mac.
Hope to see you at the Apple Store in the future.