A letter to Tim Cook: the case for a Toronto flaghsip store

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by ipedro, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. ipedro macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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    #1
    Apple desperately needs another store in downtown Toronto. I just wrote this letter to Tim Cook:

    Hi Tim, I'm emailing you with a concern that I think requires your attention since you have taken on overseeing retail.

    Toronto, Canada's largest city, the 4th largest in North America and no doubt a large market for Apple has only ever had one downtown mall store that is in a small space on the 3rd floor of the Eaton Centre. You don't have what you would call a flagship store anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area. All of them are in mall stores and the downtown store is the only one accessible to people who live downtown and don't drive.

    This has been developing into a problem because the growing volume of Apple customers living and working downtown has lead to that one store becoming unable to handle Genius appointments. The Eaton Centre store's Genius Bar no longer works as intended. If you have a problem, you cannot get an appointment sometimes for weeks. I'm sure that's not what Steve envisioned when the Genius Bar set the template for excellent customer service and I'm sure you'll agree that many of us couldn't live without our Mac or iPhone for such an extended period of time.

    Apple has deservedly built a reputation for the best customer service going on several years now but the incomprehensible delay in opening a flagship store in downtown Toronto is rapidly compromising that reputation.

    I know you don't talk about future stores but please tell Torontonians that you have some relief coming soon. Why no flagship Apple store in Toronto? Yorkville (our 5th Avenue), Bay Street (our Wall Street), Queen West (our Soho) and Union Station are all excellent locations where Torontonians would be so pleased to visit a shiny flagship Apple store.

    Thanks for your time Tim. I'm eager to hear from you.
     
  2. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #2
    I'm assuming that you have sent this email to Cook, and didn't just post it here on the assumption that Cook reads MR.
     
  3. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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  4. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #4
    Having lived in Toronto for 20+ years, this is asking a lot. Especially if you want all those store locations. One out of the group of locations you mention might be easily achieved.

    Remember that Apple is about making money. Retail space is expensive in Toronto and probably limited as well.

    You also mention that the Eaton Centre Apple Store is one of the only one's accessible for people who do not drive and live downtown. I have to disagree with you on that point. Toronto has one of the largest and best public transit systems in the world. Which makes any Apple Store in Toronto easily accessible. Yes Sherway is a long trip, but Yorkdale and Fairview are not.

    There are many people in the world who have to drive hours to get to an Apple Store. And have no public transit to depend on to get them there. I know people here in Alberta that have to drive 2 hours one way to get to an Apple Store.

    As for the Genius Bar appointments, have you considered going to a reseller that might be able to help you. As long as the are a licensed reseller, have techs and you have warranty, you should be covered just the same as going to Apple Store. That's what I do when Apple Store is busy.
     
  5. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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    #5
    I'm sorry if you misunderstood. I was pointing out several options, hoping for a flagship store at one of them -- not all of them.

    Whether or not you would be willing to somehow carry a 27" iMac to stores as far away as Sherway or Yorkdale via public transit, it doesn't change the fact that the only downtown store is mobbed beyond capacity and its next to impossible to get a Genius appointment. Clearly there's demand for at least one more downtown store, at the very least a flagship.

    You must find it peculiar that a market like Toronto -- as I pointed out the 4th largest city in North America and the largest in Canada -- doesn't have a flagship store. There were two different rumors for each south corner of Yonge/Bloor (1 Bloor East and the Stolley's building) and another one for a building down the road on Bloor West but neither of them materialized. There's an existing rumor for the Ryerson Student Learning Centre (currently under construction) but that's right outside the Eaton Centre and I'm not advocating for a replacement as a presence in such a popular shopping mall should be maintained.

    I'm curious what Tim or whomever replies to this will say. I've gotten replies from Steve and once from Tim in the past so I believe they'll reply but I'm expecting an ackowledgement followed by a deflection about their plans. Hopefully I'm wrong and Tim at least says they're working on a Toronto flagship.
     
  6. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #6
    That was why I said one out of the group you mentioned. Was not totally sure what you were saying. Yonge & Bloor would be a great location as it puts it in the heart of the subway system.

    But do you think that will really ease up the genius bar appointments? Toronto has so many people to contend with. I can only imagine how many of those genius appointments are just a nuisance and could easily be fixed with a little searching on the internet.

    If your Apple Store is that far behind, there has to be something not working in that store. I can make an appointment today at the Genius Bar, here in Edmonton, if needed. I have never had to wait more than 12 hours to get in. And I am usually never there more than 5 minutes.

    Now mind you, I very rarely use them as I try to solve the problem first with a little research. Hopefully you will get a response, but I see nothing changing as Apple is pretty secretive about things.

    As I mentioned previously, why not try to find an official Apple Reseller and try them. If they are officially licensed, it will work virtually like an Apple Store. They will honor all apple warranties.
     
  7. NewbieCanada, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013

    NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #7
    I have never had to wait more than a day or two for a genius bar appointment at Eaton Centre.

    It does seem a bit worse now than I’ve experienced before - maybe because it’s the start of the school year?

    Checking now at 19:00 on Monday, first available appointment is Saturday for Mac, Thursday for iPhone/iPad/iPod. The NYC stores don’t seem to have any available at all.

    This is not to say that I disagree with the idea of a flagship store. I’m fairly confident one is in the planning stages. If not they could have easily relocated or expanded in the Eaton Centre by now. The store is indeed ridiculously crowded, but that’s more with casual shoppers than due to the Genius Bar
     
  8. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #8
    Tim replied to me. He said that Toronto isn't of interest yet. Sorry.
     
  9. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #9
    You know we have the TTC, right? The streetcars and buses and subway?

    Where are they gonna put it in Union?
     
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #10
    Two thoughts (though I have to start by saying that I'm on the west coast).

    1) I agree that Toronto needs a flagship store, but I would think that Apple is probably already aware of the need. The more interesting thought exercise now is to try and figure out where they will put it. There is a website (name escapes at the moment) that followed (and accurately speculated on) the news of Vancouver's first Apple store. There are certain demographic factors and the presence of other stores that can help speculators pinpoint likely Apple Store locations, apparently.

    I don't think the high cost of real-estate in Toronto is any barrier at all. Apple has big stores in other high-cost markets.

    2) Isn't there a plan to rebuild Union Station into a kind of transit city? I would very carefully look at the plans for the retail areas. I could see Apple pairing the NYC Grand Central Station store with one in Union Station.

    just my west coast $.02
     
  11. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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    #11
    You don't follow this site close enough.
     
  12. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #12
    Article?
     
  13. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

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    #13
    I agree with OP. Even smaller cities have bigger stores. Apple has the money and revenue to be able to afford a much larger space.
     
  14. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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    #14
    I got a call from an assistant to Tim cook. Not surprisingly, they revealed very little but what they did say got me the tip that I needed to steer me in the right direction. They said that they're aware of the crowding at Eaton Centre and that Toronto is very important to them and that Apple hasn't forgotten us. So they are working on a new store.

    Next, I asked questions and the denials versus the non denials spoke clearly enough for me. There's a new flagship store coming to Bloor Street next year. I'll follow up with more once I can confirm a lead.
     
  15. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #15
    They should just partner with Tim Hortons to put a Genius Bar in every location, then every Canadian would be a 3 minute walk from a Genius Bar. :p
     
  16. Dulcimer macrumors 6502a

    Dulcimer

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    #16
    Wow. Amazing to see what emails to Apple can do. Great initiative, OP!
     
  17. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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    #17
    I got an address: 100 Bloor Street West. My source is a supplier to Roots who says that there is evidence that the Roots store will not be signing a renewal on their lease when it ends after the holidays.

    The space is large and at a high profile location so it'll need a big name retailer to fill it. I can't think of many brands that aren't already in Yorkville and can fill this space.

    Separately, another source has confirmed that Apple has been looking at this locaton as well as 1 Bloor East, Union Station and Ryerson University's Student Learning Centre.

    It looks like we'll have a flaghsip Apple Store in 2014 :)

    [​IMG]
     
  18. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #18
    THANK YOU!!! It bothered me that we did not have a flagship store. I don't think people realize how large toronto is. I am so excited to see it when it opens.
     
  19. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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    #19
    ....and here it is. My source was correct. It's going in the Roots store.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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  21. Dulcimer macrumors 6502a

    Dulcimer

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    #21
    Well I'm checking out this thread again.

    Can I ask who your source is / how you know him? Also, where are the renders from?
     
  22. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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    Toronto, ON
    #22
    It's amazing that years later, we're still discussing this. It's impossible to get an appointment at the Apple Store. I give up trying to get help by a Genius. I just straight up call Apple Care now.

    I just sent this letter to Angela Ahrendts and Tim Cook:

    Hello Angela,

    I’m writing to express my disappointment and frustration at the down spiral of customer service at Apple Stores in Toronto. I’ve been an Apple user for 20 years and I’ve always raved about Apple's excellence in customer service. You could walk into an Apple store and get support. At worst, you would be asked to wait a bit and somebody would soon see you.

    I recognize that Apple has become a victim of its own success but demand at your stores should have been anticipated. Today, it’s impossible to be seen by an Apple Genius to resolve a problem for days and often over a week. For devices that we’ve become accustomed to depending on daily for work and in our personal lives, a wait no longer than 24 hours should be the absolute benchmark. Today is Tuesday Oct 7. I cannot get an appointment to be seen by an Apple Genius until next Monday, Oct 13.

    The issue here is that Toronto, a large market for Apple with 6 million people in the greater Toronto area has only 1 store per million people. Downtown Toronto only has one small store in a mall that is so busy around the clock that its air conditioning and air quality system can’t even keep up with the load. Yes, it’s often hot and smelly in your Toronto “flagship” store. This has been a problem for years and Apple employees openly express their frustration at the need for more stores in downtown Toronto. Leaving this problem unaddressed for years is very un-Apple-like. It’s affecting your reputation.

    I’m aware that Apple does not generally disclose its plans but I’m hoping that the new more open Apple under Tim Cook will at least offer Torontonians some hope that relief is soon coming.

    Thank you,
    Pedro


    [​IMG]
     
  23. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #23
    I agree, it's nearly impossible to book an appointment at the Eaton Centre. If I have a computer that's not working, I can't really wait a week to see someone and another week to get it fixed.
     
  24. satchmo macrumors 68000

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    #24
    So any update on the flagship location? The former Roots store is now a Holt Renfrew store.
     
  25. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

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    #25
    No new info. The Roots store didn't pan out and it doesn't appear that the Ryerson retail is going to be an Apple Store. Regarding Union Station, I know people at IBI Group who are managing the huge retail component of the station redevelopment. They haven't heard anything about an Apple Store but caution that Apple would probably deal with a very limited group of key players to bring a store to Union Station.

    We're severely overdue for a flagship Apple Store in Toronto. Given the huge growth of the city in both size and international profile, I expect that when a flagship store does come, it'll be iconic and followed by multiple new satellite stores. Before the decade is out, we'll probably have a flagship store on Bloor St., a new store at Eaton Centre in the North expansion and satellite stores at Union Station and King West/Entertainment District.
     

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