Apple stores too focused on consumers?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fluidedge, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #1
    Are Apple stores too focused on consumers?

    I walked into the Apple store on Regent Street today - If you've not been there it's quite an experience. It's Huge, there are about 200 ipods on show, 100 imacs, over 150 macbooks of various flavors (plenty of Airs!) and 2 Mac Pros. Just 2. And just 4 cinema displays (20", 23" and 2 30"s)

    I know the apple store is a retail store that is focused at shifting ipods and macbooks, but for there to be only 2 mac pros? Whats going on Apple?

    And the staff, whilst the geniuses are very good, the floor staff know very little past the basics.

    I wanted to pick someone's brains about FCS2 and particularly motion and color and also Shake - all i got was a couple of blank looks and "sorry i don't know much about that"

    I suppose most people buying high end equipment would go to a specialist Apple Retailer, but the first port of call is usually the Apple store - and for the floor staff to not know their onions, and to have just 2 mac pros (the dual 30" MP had a guy on it just looking at facebook for 15 mins!!) i think sends out the wrong signals to professionals.

    Anyone else been disappointed with the Apple stores when looking for advice/trying out the professional products?
     
  2. amik macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #2
    Imagine you are a store manager. You sell a ton of iPods, iPhones, MacBooks, and iMacs along with accessories. You sell few MacPros since many configure and order online. You have a finite amount of time you can dedicate to training. What do you train your salespeople on? The stuff you sell the most. You've got moms and kids coming in and they just want to know simple things like which iPod plays videos best, which computer lets them surf the internet and works with their digital camera, which case is best for their iPhone.

    Many pro users don't need to ask a bunch of questions. They know what they want and they just buy it. If they have questions, the often ask other pros. It's a little unrealistic to expect a salesperson on the floor to know the intricacies of all the pro apps. This isn't a career for these salespeople, it's a job. The geniuses should know more, they get paid to be a "genius".

    It not that I wouldn't like knowledgeable salespeople, I just don't think it will happen in the same retail store where the big movers are lower cost items.
     
  3. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #3
    They could offer more configuration options in-store. The
    handful of options I've asked about, they haven't had them.
     
  4. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    #4
    Personally I'd love to see a "Pro" corner of the store that cater to the machines and apps that make use of the equipment. Commensurate with that would be a couple of Pro-trained employees.

    My feeling is that if I can walk over to a MP in the store and they have PS, FC, LP, Aperture and other "pro" apps installed on the machine, then associates should be able to answer questions about them too.

    All that being said, you should try this: http://www.apple.com/retail/personalshopping/
     
  5. TJones macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #5
    My guess is that companies mostly buy directly from the manufacturers and not via the store front.
     
  6. marykay9507 macrumors 6502a

    marykay9507

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #6
    or it is possible they could go for a business consultation with the store business consultant who should be a little more savvy with some of the software?
     
  7. MikeL macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Bloomington, MN
    #7
    People like you confuse me. You know where to go for quality, professional guidance for your particular computing needs, yet you go somewhere else and then complain about it?
     
  8. MLeepson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    The stores get the store set ups (planograms) directly from Apple, I believe, so they would be doing just what Apple says to do.

    It makes sense to focus more on consumer than pro, but the Mac "Specialists" should at least tell them to go online or make an appointment with a buisness consultant.

    It seems like the Mac Specialists don't really know what they're doing. My family used to walk into the Apple store by me and see the same couple people (of all ages), they'd give us a friendly welcome, and so on. (We even knew the genius' names). Now it's all of these people looking for a job, and they stand there talking to each other, not helping any one. Oh well...
     
  9. marykay9507 macrumors 6502a

    marykay9507

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #9
    MLeepson, I wonder if we go to the same store as that has been my experience lately with my local NJ store!
     
  10. MLeepson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    Do you go to the Garden State Mall store?

    My family once went to buy two MacBook Pros, and of the computers were for my sister who was in college. She got the edu. discount (as she should have) and then the Mac Specialist gave us the other MBP on discount, too. I've never seen an employee so nice.

    Also, a lot of Mac Specialists were/are artists and musicians who use the pro machines. Now they're all Creatives or just don't work there.
     
  11. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #11
    Ok, ok, ok, let the pissing match go about where the person you're talking to is located.

    As far as the Apple Stores, they are just retail outlets. Not some beacon of intelligence about randomly specialized stuff. Apple does a great job of building itself up so that people expect 'everything' to be covered. Lower your expectations everyone, they're just a regular computer company.
     
  12. fluidedge thread starter macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #12
    thanks for taking this thread off course guys.

    I'll admit i didn't expect everyone working in the store to know the intricacies of the pro software.

    But how do Apple justify having just 2 mac pros in their flagship UK store?? There must be loads of people wanting to try out the MP and talk to staff about options etc and just 4 cinema displays! They are hidden away in a corner of the store too - do apple not want to sell these in the store? Do they perhaps not expect to? Am i strange in thinking they should have about 10 MPs each with a display or two.

    I remember now there was just one mac mini in the whole store too!! Just 1 - explain that one - If this is a consumer store, why wouldn't they have a major consumer product out in numbers.

    I appreciate there is only limited floor space, but they could easily cut back on the number of iMacs. There are loads!
     
  13. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #13
    There are always a few of people at Regent Street who know FCS2 quite well. They are upstairs at the round counters in the front. It surprises me that someone capable enough to use FCS2 couldn't figure that out quite quickly. While I wouldn't expect floor staff to know the ins and outs of FCS2, if you asked to speak to someone who does know, they should have and would have known whom to send you to.

    As for the Mac Pros, how many do you want on display? This is a retail store and the Mac Pro is not a consumer product that is going to fly out the door as an impulse buy. That said, for those of us who need them, they have good stock on Mac Pros (which is what is important) and if you are interested in examining one before buying, any staff member will kick the surfers off the two MPs there immediately to get you on. I really don't think there are likely to ever be more than two potential MP buyers there at any time who need to demo the machine.

    That said, a lot of people are there to try MBAs, MBs, MBPs and iMacs before buying, and others who will buy one on a whim having tried it. Far less likely to happen with a 2x2.8 headless machine.
     
  14. JoeKarame macrumors regular

    JoeKarame

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #14
    I'm reading the thread with interest (well, the original query at least, outsourcing leaves me dead - quite honestly if I can understand them and they can understand me I honestly don't care where they come from).

    As someone who's just about to join Apple (and wave goodbye to MacRumors in my present guise ;) ), and someone who's been in retail for about 14 years, I'm for the consumer each and every time. Pros are pros and if they need help, then there are a multitude of dedicated sources to get that. I'd be more than happy to help where I could, but I wouldn't want to waste their time - they'd undoubtedly know more about the subject than I would! Whilst I love retail, I work under no illusions that it simply doesn't pay enough (or is a viable option) for Mac SPecialists to be a font of all knowledge. They're there (or should be there) to give reasons why folk should buy, and actively promote the product. I'll be there to make a profit - which means I get to stay in a job, and I go home with a smile on my face for converting someone else.

    The amount of things you can do with computers simply makes a dedicated expert on everything completely unworkable, although I do think if a store does have a business consultant then that's an area that should be actively promoted - that person should then have the knowledge to at least obtain relevant info for the client.
     
  15. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    Come on, they're kids for crying out loud. For $10 an hour I don't think most of them care any more about their jobs or the products they sell any more than the people working at Best Buy or Old Navy. It's a stupid job and gas money for most of them.

    I remember when I was sitting in line waiting for the Leopard launch. I got the chance to sit down for an hour and talk to a few of the Apple employees. They were handing out bottles of water to the crowd. Since I was #2 in line, they sat down at the front for a bit and talked to me and the guy who was first in line. We shot the breeze for about an hour. Let me tell you, I don't think they would have known who Steve Jobs was if I asked them. They knew nothing more than what they had been taught during their "iLearn" sessions. They barely knew the features of Leopard because they hadn't finished the "iLearn" for it. I had to explain to the one girl what Time Machine was. I have been following the development of Leopard for over a year and knew every little detail. They barely knew anything. I told them I'd been an Apple fan since the Mac Plus days, to which I got a blank stare.

    Funny too, the guy in the number one spot was actually a former Apple store employee but only switched to a Mac 3 months before hand, after he quit. So while he worked at the store he was actually a PC user! And he sat there on line with his MacBook booted into Windows XP and played half life. WTF? Do you even know what OS X is?

    Everybody thinks that all the employees at the Apple store are diehard Apple fanboys (and girls) but the truth is, they are not. We envy them because we are Mac geeks, and how cool would it be to work there? But the truth is, it's just another crappy retail job, dealing with the obnoxious, dumb-ass public for crap money. Half the time they are just there until something better comes along. Ask yourself this: when was the last time you saw an Apple store employees twice? I don't think I've seen the same employee twice at any of the stores I've gone into
     
  16. ungraphic macrumors 6502a

    ungraphic

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #16
    If all the apple sales associates knew so much about all of apples products and how to use specific software with great knowledge, I doubt they'd still be willing to work in sales at an apple store for piss poor pay. They would (hopefully) have better jobs.
     
  17. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

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    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    My point exactly.
     
  18. ungraphic macrumors 6502a

    ungraphic

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #18
    Here in toronto theres a chick thats been at the apple store for at least a year, and shes f***ing hot too, looks like Paula Marshall.

    I visit that location most often, LOL.
     
  19. fluidedge thread starter macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #19
    okokokokok - the staff aren't the oracle on Apple Pro Apps.

    what about the flagship uk store having 1 mac mini? and just 4 cinema displays?
     
  20. MikeL macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Bloomington, MN
    #20
    I'm certain you know Apple's business better than Apple does. Your data on their sales and how that information should affect their product mix is almost certainly better than theirs.
     
  21. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #21
    Not exacty sure what you guys expect. The only knowledgable sales staff I've ever come across worked for CDW, Inc. Though, of course, they were paid significant salaries on top of an already generous base commission. Working at CDW is a career. Working at Apple, BB, CompUsa, et al, is just something to supplement your résumé with.

    As far as what's on display in the stores; like any othe retailer, they'll choose to appeal to the higher grossing market. They know where the money is, and it isn't in their Mac Pros and Servers. Of the thousands of potential customers that pass thru their stores on a daily basis, how many are actually willing to throw down $3500+ on a computer? It's the same at every other retailer - 25 medium range computers from different manufacturers, 5 budget systems, 1 or 2 high end that appeal to a small market.
     
  22. fluidedge thread starter macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #22
    oh ok, in future i won't bother to start a discussion on this topic again.

    I'll just stick to threads titled "Is the 2600HD really THAT bad?" - happy?

    (I just thought it might be an interesting diversion from the usual diatribe)
     

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