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Beautiful store! Apple just opened up a flagship store here in San Francisco; the Chronicle just did a story about the design and how it really doesn't fit architecturally into its space.

By the way, we had a lovely visit in London and Belgium last month. Check my blog for a link to the photos!

Russell, I think maybe you missed the point of a place like this. I came across the same sort of thing in Seoul earlier this year. Initially I was wary of trying to surf as the stores on Tottenham Court Road never allow this. The whole feelign was one of being able to 'experience' the product. Sony have the same idea with their store in the new lux Mall in Taipei 101, the world's tallest building. It was not made obvious how you could actually buy anything and staffwould only help if you practically chased them to do so.
ps. Want to buy incredibly cheap computer gear? Go to The huge Techmart in Seoul.

Of course it's entirely possible that I missed the point. I do that all the time. But if you mean that I missed the point that somehow this supposed to be a 'brand experience' and not a retail experience then I think they've missed the point. It's a shop. It looks like a shop. It's surrounded by shops. People are going to expect to have a shop-like relationship with it. (if for no other reason than it's the place you expect to be able to get all the apple stuff that's hard to find elsewhere.) The fact that it's lousy as a shop, just undermines the good work they're doing elsewhere. Same with the Sony store in Tokyo. Try the Sony store in Berlin. It's quite museumy and brand experiencey, but it's still easy to buy stuff. Though I probably have just missed the point.

Taking browsing too far maybe? I agree with you the corporate missing of the point. Especially in Taipei 101 where the Sony Experience store is located you come across the store on the top of five luxury outlet stocked floors. Maybe by the time you reach the 'experience' you past buying. Could these experience points be lead ins to online shopping where you can get the touchy feely bit over then go home and order for home delivery?
On a totally different matter, I went to the New Piccadilly yesterday (the # of time I have walked right past!). Great cuppa and a really good cappucino. The place is amazing and I'd never have gone but for your reference to it. Great service you provide. Cheers.

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