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MacRumors
Feb 14, 2003, 10:58 AM
The architechtural firm which designed the glass steps in the Apple SoHo store in New York let slip that they are under contract with Apple to 'out-do themselves' with a similar design for an Apple Store slated to be constructed in Tokyo, Japan. This would be the first Apple store on the International scene, and (although it\'s been rumored) this contact stated that the Apple Store Toyko is an eventual certainty.



shadowfax
Feb 14, 2003, 12:11 PM
another place too far for me to go to!

melchior
Feb 14, 2003, 12:16 PM
just right for me to go and hopefully a sign of more international marketing penetration to came

neutrino23
Feb 14, 2003, 02:33 PM
I hope they go for Shibuya or Harajuku. Ginza is way to stodgy and Roppongi is too sleazy. Akihabara, Kawasaki, Yokohama and many other places are already well served by retailers who prominently feature Apple products.

yzedf
Feb 14, 2003, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by melchior
just right for me to go and hopefully a sign of more international marketing penetration to came

Uhhh... Apple has much higher marker share in Japan than the USA.

iPod is the #1 selling mp3 player in Japan. Something like 36% of the market.

rainman::|:|
Feb 14, 2003, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by neutrino23
I hope they go for Shibuya or Harajuku. Ginza is way to stodgy and Roppongi is too sleazy. Akihabara, Kawasaki, Yokohama and many other places are already well served by retailers who prominently feature Apple products.

i totally agree.

*falls over*

pnw

melchior
Feb 14, 2003, 07:18 PM
yzedf,

wow! you're a genius, you mean, you actually watched the keynote! good for you!

i stand by comment.

alset
Feb 14, 2003, 10:23 PM
I think this is great. People there integrate technology and life at a higher rate than the US. They buy inovative products, not just whatever they've been fed.

Dan

yamadataro
Feb 14, 2003, 10:47 PM
Yeah, it would be nice to have an Apple store in Tokyo. But I'll probablly just go there once and that's all. I've been to the SoHo one in NYC, but I saw no value in it as a shopping place. Waste of expensive retail space in the middle of Soho, IMO.

I personally don't see any use for Apple stores. Tokyo has a lotta good Apple retailers and super-fast repair shops already. Yet better than no Apple store, I guess.

IMHO, Apple stores are for non-Apple users.

yamadataro
Feb 14, 2003, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by neutrino23
I hope they go for Shibuya or Harajuku. Ginza is way to stodgy and Roppongi is too sleazy. Akihabara, Kawasaki, Yokohama and many other places are already well served by retailers who prominently feature Apple products.

Considering the locations of the past events sponsored by Apple Japan, it will probably be build in Shibuya, Harajuku, or Shinjuku, all of them in west part of the central Tokyo where creative/young guys are.

Rajj
Feb 15, 2003, 01:16 AM
Tokyo has way to many Mac stores if you ask me!!!
In Akihabara alone, there are two Mac stores about a block away from each other!!
But if they decide to open an Apple store, it would be in Shinjuku or Shibuya.

bennetsaysargh
Feb 15, 2003, 09:31 AM
i would love to go, but it's all the way over there, and i'm all the way over here in NY.

yamadataro
Feb 15, 2003, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by bennetsaysargh
i would love to go, but it's all the way over there, and i'm all the way over here in NY.

Don't worry. It wouldn't be any different from the ones in the US :D

yamadataro
Feb 15, 2003, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by xrhajj
Tokyo has way to many Mac stores if you ask me!!!
In Akihabara alone, there are two Mac stores about a block away from each other!!
But if they decide to open an Apple store, it would be in Shinjuku or Shibuya.

Besides these two major retailers (I guess you are talking about Laox and Sofmap?), there are a couple of large ones like Akibakan, and many small ones like Ikeshop and Tsukumo.

I agree with you that Tokyo has too many. I hope the official Apple store will offer something different.

Rajj
Feb 15, 2003, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by yamadataro


Besides these two major retailers (I guess you are talking about Laox and Sofmap?), there are a couple of large ones like Akibakan, and many small ones like Ikeshop and Tsukumo.

I agree with you that Tokyo has too many. I hope the official Apple store will offer something different.


Yep, I am talking about those two!!

IMHO, I think that the Mac stores in Tokyo is way better than any one in the US(but not in the design department)!!

scem0
Feb 15, 2003, 05:22 PM
how are they different?:confused:

ilikeiBook
Feb 15, 2003, 06:07 PM
After Japan they should put stores in UK, Canada, and Australia

Rajj
Feb 15, 2003, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by scem0
how are they different?:confused:
Well most of the Mac stores in Tokyo are 5-8 stories in height!!! :eek:

They have more accessories and software.

They also have used computers (which are severely overpriced)!! :mad:

I really could not tell if they were more informational than the American counterparts, because I donít speak Japanese!! :confused: ;) :p

kansaigaijin
Feb 15, 2003, 11:44 PM
apple dealers in Japan stock a lot of accessories, software, have knowledgeable staff, who don't try to steer you over to the pc side. Sofmap usually has lots of used stuff to sell, and lots of gadgets etc.

there are still far more people in the PC side of the store, unfortunately. There are thousands of people in the giant Yodobashi Camera in Osaka on the weekends, looks like xmas. and only a few in the Apple corner (looks like a small Applestore)

Sofmap in Kyoto though was just as crowded in the mac section yesterday.

I don't think having Apple stores would have much effect here, the shopping experiance is just too diffuse, we are talking thousands of places to buy a PC. and there are many small apple dealers already doing a good job here. A big part of the market is case/motherboard mix and match build your own. those guys are not interested.

ozubahn
Feb 16, 2003, 01:36 AM
I think I would be surprised to see Apple set up shop in Shibuya. Apple's US stores are too classy and understated to compete in Shibuya, which is all strobe lights, pachinko parlors, and teenagers. I would expect it more in Harajuku, Shinjuku (south gate, far from Kabukicho), or Ikebukuro.

Also, the statistic about the iPod being the most popular mp3 player is absolutely correct, but not quite complete. Very few people here use mp3 players at all, and many haven't even heard of them. Most use MiniDisc. I would guess that Apple probably has a third for the mp3 market, which translates to perhaps half a percent of the total portable music player market. I think Apple needs to work harder on the iPod advertisement here. The demand exists, but the awareness does not.

irmongoose
Feb 16, 2003, 02:51 AM
neutrino23: Roppongi too sleazy, eh? WELL I LIVE THERE!!!!!!! hehe... well, after Roppongi Hills is complete (opening in April) the whole image of Roppongi will change. Just you see...

paulwhannel: Hey, that's how I feel sometimes when you guys are talking about places in the US...

Anyways, back to the topic... if Apple does end up opening a store, it will be in Shinjuku. Their HQ is one station away from Shinjuku, a walking distance, actually... and the Tokyo Foreign Mac User group is also in the same building. There are also 2 mac-only stores on the way from Shinjuku station to the Apple HQ, and they are the best Mac stores I've seen (yep, better than the ones in Akiba).. Shinjuku just seems like a Mac-friendly and most likely place Apple will make an Apple store.

Oh btw, you guys in Japan should come to the monthly Mac user group meeting.. it is on every 3rd friday, this month on the 21st. More info here... www.ringo.net . I'll be there if you decide to come, so just ask about Macrumors if you wanna talk to me (like anyone would want to :rolleyes: )

edit: I forgot to mention that the meetings are free...




irmongoose

yoyogi
Feb 16, 2003, 08:48 AM
an apple concept store is all about the experience. as it has been pointed out you could go to one of the many computer stores around tokyo, but it is hardly an 'apple' experience. these shops are filled to the brim with computers/wires/cables/printers/accessories where every single nook in the space is saturated. you can barely move in there. hardly something nice.

i just got a 12 inch powerbook (still waiting for delivery) from sofmap in akihabara, and it was probably the worst sales/consumer experience I have ever had. there was bad service, and i was standing at the counter where there was a passage to the stair well and people kept on bumping into me, and there was no concept of design that is what apple is all about.

it totally put me off.

what i want, and it seems many people in japan want is to walk into a retail 'experience'. like walk into louis vuitton on omotesando, or even if you have to make electrical comparisons into the band & olufsen store on omotesando.

i want a space that reflects the amazing design and little subtleties that exist in all the products.

walking into sofmap, bic camera, or the many tiny computer hello shops is a marketing nightmare for apple. there is just the computer, but no aspect of branding and consumer experience that gives us the warm fuzzy feelings we all get from from using an apple.

for tokyo shopping enthusiasts check out superfuture.com

i can imagine them in aoyama or harajuku, but not shibuya.

for tokyo shopping enthusiasts check out superfuture . com

Rajj
Feb 16, 2003, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by yoyogi
an apple concept store is all about the experience. as it has been pointed out you could go to one of the many computer stores around tokyo, but it is hardly an 'apple' experience. these shops are filled to the brim with computers/wires/cables/printers/accessories where every single nook in the space is saturated. you can barely move in there. hardly something nice.

i just got a 12 inch powerbook (still waiting for delivery) from sofmap in akihabara, and it was probably the worst sales/consumer experience I have ever had. there was bad service, and i was standing at the counter where there was a passage to the stair well and people kept on bumping into me, and there was no concept of design that is what apple is all about.

it totally put me off.


That is Tokyo for ya!!!
Pretty much everywhere in Tokyo you will have the same problems!! ;)
People will bump into you on the train, on the street, and in any computer shop!!:rolleyes:

Coming from America, I think most Japanese people are rude(especially the older generation), but I just adapted to it!! :p

kansaigaijin
Feb 16, 2003, 06:49 PM
yoyogi did you ever shop for apple product in the big chain stores in N. America? I think the problem there was that the Apple displays were neglected, the sales staff were biased against Macs, the stores did not stock Mac software or accessories/peripherals.

You might like the relaxed atmosphere of the Apple/Gap style, but I don't think it works for the average japanese consumer. If the store is not packed with stuff, people, and noise, it must suck. If noone else is looking at that stuff, it must suck.

yoyogi
Feb 17, 2003, 12:19 AM
hi,

xrhajj - people were not being rude - the point was that there was no space in the store, and the checkout was placed in a corridor where the stairs were! i had to stand there for 15 minutes and it wasnt nice at all. I was hoping to get given a nice latte and sit on comfy sofa's as some apple person reassures me about my purchase. i listen to nice music and am in wonderful surrounds. next time you are in sofmap listen to that crazy disneyland like music that just repeats and repeats. it is like a simpsons episode - i think when lisa starts tripping after drinking the water at duff world. it was like that in sofmap. not fun!


kansaigaijin: i have never been to buy an apple product anywhere (i am a switcher!). but it wasnt an issue about being biased. I was in a 100% mac sofmap store. there was nothing but mac.

but i think one of the most popular retail stores in japan is louis vuitton. it is not noisy, cramped, and is a pleasure to be in. lounge on a sofa while the clerk prepares your order. that is nice. the staff are attentive, and you pay a premium for the whole spectrum of product and service. apple needs to have the service side, otherwise the experience is being in a cramped store in akihabara, or in a store that favours pc's elsewhere.

apple is a luxury brand. it costs more, has a great image, and is like a b&o stereo. in every way it is better than a pc (except in speed - ha!) so the stores should reflect that.

branding branding branding. the sofmap experience hurt my notions of apple. even in the sofmap store they had palm protectors on the 12 inch display model! made it look ugly, and hinted at heat problems! what idiots!

kansaigaijin
Feb 17, 2003, 12:28 AM
uh, they make a lot of money selling those palm protectors.

well then you don't know why Apple opened stores in the US, now do you. The comment about bias was about large chain stores in the US, not about mac retailers in Japan. Sorry Japanese people have such a problem with reading or listening to english, I will reread my post and see if I can make myself clear, of course it was my fault for not making myself clear.

melchior
Feb 17, 2003, 06:55 AM
just caught a yamanote train today filled with nothing but 12" and 17" advertisng. the apple train!!!

it's nice to see them make an effort

yoyogi
Feb 17, 2003, 06:59 AM
when i flew to tokyo there were these 2 guys next to me on the plane with a 12 inch and 17 inch apple.

i thought it strange because you cant buy the 17 inch yet ...

yoyogi

ozubahn
Feb 17, 2003, 07:15 AM
Originally posted by melchior
just caught a yamanote train today filled with nothing but 12" and 17" advertisng. the apple train!!!

it's nice to see them make an effort

I'll have to watch for that. Did they get the little LCD video monitors above the doors as well? I want to see something besides endless Hayate advertisements and the Namashibori igloo-dog that pretends to teach English.

irmongoose
Feb 17, 2003, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by ozubahn
I'll have to watch for that. Did they get the little LCD video monitors above the doors as well? I want to see something besides endless Hayate advertisements and the Namashibori igloo-dog that pretends to teach English.

Hahahahahhahahaaa.. ukeru! Honto yakamashii yone!

Apple Japan seems to get better and better in terms of advertising.. maybe it's a sign that they're doing better? I hope....




irmongoose

legacyb4
Feb 17, 2003, 09:01 AM
Bag Shibuya...

Too many bodies, not enough brains; they would get the traffic but only of the dumb chattering of the bleach-brown species.

Shinjuku opposite Times Square would be a pretty nice place although they would be going up against the big retailers as well...

As it is, Bic Camera next to Odakyu rocks!

Originally posted by neutrino23
I hope they go for Shibuya or Harajuku. Ginza is way to stodgy and Roppongi is too sleazy. Akihabara, Kawasaki, Yokohama and many other places are already well served by retailers who prominently feature Apple products.

legacyb4
Feb 17, 2003, 09:09 AM
Yoyogi,

Been out to Shinjuku's newest Bic? Up on the 4th floor, nowhere near as big as an Apple Store I would imagine, but much nicer than any of the crappy Sofmap stores.

You still do have to put up with the inane "Bic, Bic, Bic Camera.." jingle, but if you put your back to the rest of the store, it's nothing but Mac with reasonably large displays and space...

Cheers.

Originally posted by yoyogi
an apple concept store is all about the experience. as it has been pointed out you could go to one of the many computer stores around tokyo, but it is hardly an 'apple' experience. these shops are filled to the brim with computers/wires/cables/printers/accessories where every single nook in the space is saturated. you can barely move in there. hardly something nice.

i just got a 12 inch powerbook (still waiting for delivery) from sofmap in akihabara, and it was probably the worst sales/consumer experience I have ever had. there was bad service, and i was standing at the counter where there was a passage to the stair well and people kept on bumping into me, and there was no concept of design that is what apple is all about.

it totally put me off.

what i want, and it seems many people in japan want is to walk into a retail 'experience'. like walk into louis vuitton on omotesando, or even if you have to make electrical comparisons into the band & olufsen store on omotesando.

i want a space that reflects the amazing design and little subtleties that exist in all the products.

walking into sofmap, bic camera, or the many tiny computer hello shops is a marketing nightmare for apple. there is just the computer, but no aspect of branding and consumer experience that gives us the warm fuzzy feelings we all get from from using an apple.

for tokyo shopping enthusiasts check out superfuture.com

i can imagine them in aoyama or harajuku, but not shibuya.

for tokyo shopping enthusiasts check out superfuture . com

littlejim
Feb 17, 2003, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by ilikeiBook
After Japan they should put stores in UK, Canada, and Australia
Mr. Jobs - give us an AppleStore in central London and you've got seven million potential customers on your doorstep and it would make my life easier convincing people to switch if I had a top quality store I could recommend them visit.

---------
littlejim

Rajj
Feb 17, 2003, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by legacyb4
Yoyogi,

Been out to Shinjuku's newest Bic? Up on the 4th floor, nowhere near as big as an Apple Store I would imagine, but much nicer than any of the crappy Sofmap stores.

You still do have to put up with the inane "Bic, Bic, Bic Camera.." jingle, but if you put your back to the rest of the store, it's nothing but Mac with reasonably large displays and space...

Cheers.

Try Yodobashi Camera (the main one), in Shinjuku by the skyscraper district exit, they have a really nice Mac section on the fifth floor!!

I also hate that stupid Bic song, it was stuck in my head for a couple days!!! :rolleyes: :mad: :eek:

yamadataro
Feb 22, 2003, 02:45 AM
Nikkei newspaper's evening edition on February 21, 2003 has reported that Apple will open the first Apple store in Japan in Ginza district directly across from Matsuya department store.

It will take two-stories out of an existing commercial building, total of about 100 square meters. Nikkei says it will open in the coming Fall. The target audience will be house wives and middle to old age people rather than professionals.

---

Considering the Ginza's expensive nature, the target audience and the location make real sense to me.

For those of you who are not familiar with Tokyo geographics, Ginza is the Tokyo version of Madison avenue in NYC, expensive and fanshion-driven. And Matsuya department store is famous for having nicely designed products from around the world. It will make two design-oriented stores across the street from each other.

If you can read Japanese, the short Nikkei article is at:
http://it.nikkei.co.jp/it/news/index.cfm?i=2003022102649j0

irmongoose
Feb 22, 2003, 05:40 AM
Originally posted by yamadataro
Nikkei newspaper's evening edition on February 21, 2003 has reported that Apple will open the first Apple store in Japan in Ginza district directly across from Matsuya department store.

It will take two-stories out of an existing commercial building, total of about 100 square meters. Nikkei says it will open in the coming Fall. The target audience will be house wives and middle to old age people rather than professionals.

---

Considering the Ginza's expensive nature, the target audience and the location make real sense to me.

For those of you who are not familiar with Tokyo geographics, Ginza is the Tokyo version of Madison avenue in NYC, expensive and fanshion-driven. And Matsuya department store is famous for having nicely designed products from around the world. It will make two design-oriented stores across the street from each other.

If you can read Japanese, the short Nikkei article is at:
http://it.nikkei.co.jp/it/news/index.cfm?i=2003022102649j0


When I first heard Ginza, I was thinking the Sony building.. now how about an Apple store right across the Sony building with a huge middle finger pointing towards em? hehe... :D



irmongoose

yamadataro
Feb 22, 2003, 06:37 AM
Originally posted by irmongoose
When I first heard Ginza, I was thinking the Sony building.. now how about an Apple store right across the Sony building with a huge middle finger pointing towards em? hehe... :D


Well, come oooooon. Sony is not that bad.
I've been a Sony believer up until I tried to upgrade my Vaio to Win XP. Vaio has soooo many original software on it that it need another disk from Sony in addition to the official XP upgrade!!! Sucks!!! And Sony has no disk available for my machine now!!!

So, my point is that Sony is not perfect, just like Apple is not perfect. I mean, think Panasonic or NEC or Sharp or Aiwa. They suck so much more than Sony and Apple combined.

LEGAL NOTICE: I work on projects for Sony once in a while :D

FYI: Many Sony guys use ThinkPad :D