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Why everyone copies the Apple Store format

I’m spending a lot of time in New York at the moment and one of the places I like to visit is the Apple Store. My favourite Apple stores are the SoHo store and Grand Central, I marvel at the size of the flagship store and how it fits perfectly well in the architecture of this marvellous building.

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Apple Store SoHo

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Interior of Apple Store SoHo
Whilst in NYC I took a visit to the Microsoft store in Times Square, just to take a look, naturally they sell Windows Phone and the Surface tablet. It looks cool, everything is laid out in a uniform manner but I couldn’t help but notice that there were clear similarities between the Microsoft Store and the interior of an Apple Store. For a store it is very clean, bright and modern. Minimilstic it could be said. There are plenty of devices on hand for you to sit down and play with, the usual crowd of kids who want to check their Facebook, people of a certain age asking for technology help, geeky people discussing comparisons between PC and Mac and a mass of curious people who want to check out the Surface. It’s somewhat irritating when kids reside at the desks checking Facebook and watching YouTube when you want to play with a Surface tablet.

However something struck me, the comparison to an Apple Store. It did feel like walking into something Apple created. It didn’t feel that different, I have to ask myself what if there were no Apple Stores? Would the Microsoft store be different? I think it would, I believe Apple did well creating their retail dream. We know we can walk into their airy stores, experiment with their hardware, check out what the iPad feels like. Apple created a benchmark, other people are following. Walk into the Grand Central store and you are met with an airy environment, the size is just huge and it encompasses many features from a Genius Bar to computers you can play with to a vista of the grand hall of the station. Apple did a great job in preserving the many features of this fantastic railway station while building a Apple Store that blends in with the building.

Others may copy Apple with their large spaces, workstations to testbed computers and tech staff dressed in casual shirts behind a desk ready to provide you with top advice however Apple do it in style , they created the originality, the winning formula if you please. So if you walk into a Microsoft Store and suddenly think “this looks familiar”, you know where you saw it first.