Nobody Goes There Anymore, It’s Too Crowded

Why Scott McNulty dreads visiting an Apple Store:

Given the crazy amount of foot traffic Apple stores get, someone decided that the designated cash registers had to go. Now any Apple Store employee on the store floor can check you out (plus there’s an app for that). It’s an amazing idea—in theory.

Here’s the thing, though: All the Apple Store employees are overwhelmed helping the myriad folks browsing and asking questions. When I walk in with a mission to purchase a Lighting cable, I must push my way through the crowds to the corner of the store and grab the cable. Now the fun begins: I need to track down an Apple store employee who isn’t engaged with a customer. In the past I’ve actually abandoned the whole thing and left the store without buying the cable.

Ideally, you wouldn’t have to wait. But if you do have to wait, it would be better to wait in a proper line.

Update: Lots of readers emailing to point out that you can check yourself out for most items, using Apple’s iPhone app. That is cool, but I don’t think it’s a solution for everyone. What percentage of customers (even just counting only the ones who already own an iPhone) even know you can do this?

And the “How do I pay for this?” question is just one aspect of McNulty’s main point: the stores are just too crowded and busy.

Friday, 25 January 2013