First day, first show: Business Insider sent its mystery shopper to Apple’s flagship store in Mumbai and was surprised
- Business Insider India’s mystery shopper visited Mumbai’s Apple store on the very first day and compared it to the stores she visited in the US.
- Most visitors came in groups, and a few even visited during office breaks.
- Even with a large number of visitors, Apple Geniuses of all nationalities were welcoming visitors and giving demos.
AdvertisementI am writing this article on a MacBook Pro — a product that was launched the year I was born, 2006. Since then, all Apple products be it iPods, iPads, iPhones or Apple TV have been a part of my life. I have been to an Apple store before too at New Haven in Connecticut, but my most memorable Apple store visit is the freshly launched one at Jio World Drive in BKC.
Though I was a tad late to be welcomed by Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, the feeling of euphoria was still there. There was music playing, people were just as excited even at 12 noon — even in the heat while waiting in a queue. There were two singers belting out songs, performers dressed in colorful costumes dancing in front of a rapturous audience.
I stood in the long line for half an hour to enter the store, the queue seemed to wind indefinitely reminding me of an airport security line. The Apple team was sending people inside in batches and as expected, people were lingering around soaking in the sights. However, the smiles on the faces of the people exiting the store with tote bags that had a customized Apple logo on them — made me feel that the wait was worth it.
Mid-day summer’s heat
Needless to say, the heat outside was palpable – over 36 degrees Celsius. But there was another kind of warmth around too. The Apple team was giving out water bottles to those battling the Mumbai sun.
Around me were people of all ages, most of whom had come in groups, and there were some in office attire too. Ahead of me was a Punjabi-Canadian couple who were in Mumbai for a holiday.
The die-hard Apple fans had penciled a Mumbai store visit into their itinerary, and were keen to buy products too but were worried that the prices here would be much higher than they would in Canada. Behind me was a father- son duo from Mumbai who shared that they had mainly just come for the experience, but would consider buying a pair of Air pods.
I was extremely interested to learn that this BKC store is one of Apple’s most sustainable outlets so far. It runs completely on renewable energy and is operationally carbon neutral. It seems to be a part of Apple’s journey towards carbon neutrality. The company has committed to use only recycled earth elements in its magnets, and increase the use of less carbon-intensive transport.
What’s in the store?
As I stepped inside, Apple staff of different nationalities were standing at the door, welcoming us customers effusively. Although the store was teeming with customers, there were enough Apple Geniuses to guide and interact with each individual.
AdvertisementOne of the Geniuses told me that they were pleasantly surprised by the magnitude of the crowd. Another Genius who had been working with Apple for two years, said that she had anticipated it. The store was choc-a-bloc but there were many Geniuses all ready to answer questions and help make a purchase.
Most visitors were exploring the different features of iphones, Macbooks and ipads. I, personally, was in awe of the variety of accessories on display, especially Apple Watch Straps. I enjoyed watching the interactive session being conducted by a genius and also trying out the noise canceling headphones at the Apple Arcade session.
Most first-day visitors were lining up to buy accessories, but the store staff said that many laptops and phones flew off the shelves as well.
This store seemed exceptional not just because it is the first in India but even in comparison to others the Mumbai store stands out. The store in New Haven, Connecticut, a much smaller structure, was a far less memorable visit. The staff here was much friendlier and more affable.
The impressiveness of Apple BKC is far more akin to that of the Marina Bay Sands Apple Store, a spherical structure sitting on the water. Some other stores which I haven’t visited but seem mind-blowing are the Apple Tower Theatre in Los Angeles, USA and the Apple Piazza Liberty store in Milan, Italy.
AdvertisementThe Apple store in Dubai Mall has a falcon -themed design, with solar wings resembling the movement of the bird opening. The store in Fifth Avenue in New York, an all-night retail store also known as the ‘Cube’ which has a spiral staircase leading to a grand hall below the plaza where it is located. The multilevel Regent Street Store in London, England not only has the longest custom made luminous ceilings panels in the world but is also listed as a historical façade.
Overall, I felt the Mumbai store lived up to the hype and I hope to visit the store opened in Delhi as well.
(The writer, Ananya Tawakley is an intern with Business Insider India. The writeup is a first person account of her visit to the Apple store.)
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