Just went to my local Apple store here in the Twin Cities suburbs. Store was busy, but not overwhelmingly so. I mainly went to look at the rMB, which there was absolutely nobody looking at those. I played with that for a bit, then wandered over to the watch table. First I'll give my impressions of the actual watch, then the store setup and new retail model. Watch Itself: The watch, unsurprisingly, is nicer in person than expected. It wasn't as thick as it looked online, and the footprint was a little smaller, though I think for me at 5'5" tall, I'd still want the 38 mm version. However, while I say the watch is nicer in person than expected, that may be misleading - I found the sport to look very cheap whether in space gray or silver, and I found the edition to look very average and no classier/fancier than the stainless models, maybe even slightly less so, but I find gold to be tacky; there was almost no distinction between the yellow gold and the rose gold as well. The watches that looked the best IMO were the regular line, the stainless models, etc. Didn't care for the link bracelet, but found myself instantly attracted to the stainless watch with milanese loop. So I think the regular line is the sweet spot. But unfortunately, since we know this is a Rev. 1 product, we also know that next year it will be half as thick with twice the battery life, so it would be hard for me to sink $1k on that watch. The sport is probably the better option in the meantime, if you can live with the look. I think the watch will be a fantastic product in 3-4 years, and I'm sure I'll cave in and buy one then. New Retail Model: With Angela at the helm, I noticed things in the store are a bit different now. I was surprised how much space in the store was more or less wasted for watch try ons - in fact I didn't even see the 15" rMBP anymore, not that I looked at every table but it clearly must've been shoved in a corner somewhere. They had one or two (one I think) glass display tables to look at, 3-4 try on tables, and then another few tables with the demo unit stations you could play with a little bit. Basically 2/3 of the major Apple product space (non accessories) was for the watch, most of it not being utilized at all. There was one guy at the display table to answer questions, and directing people to buy online. I didn't ask to try one on, but it seemed ridiculous to me that I would need to make an appointment to try it on when there were plenty of employees and try on stations not being utilized. I did hear one guy ask to know about the features of the watch and he was just directed to the website, which was asinine since they easily could've accommodated a try on for him on the spot, or at least told him about some of the features. At one point I was the only guy at the watch table (besides the Apple employee), and I was never asked if I had questions or anything. Same thing happened at the rMB table. Generally I like being left alone, but I kind of wondered if this was part of the "just direct them to the website if they have questions, so don't ask if they have questions since you'll just direct them to the website anyway" mentality. In general I just find it a little absurd to have people come into the store, then require appointments for try-ons when there is plenty of availability as a walk-in. Further still I find it absurd to just direct people online to purchase things. Maybe this will change when they have the products in stock, but from Angela's email it doesn't really seem like it, seems like they are trying to make a paradigm shift in the way Apple sells its products. Maybe this is why there was hardly anyone looking at either the rMB or the watch. Maybe Angela isn't a good fit, because she's used to high end fashion and boutique stores where the affluent would never bother schlepping it with society in a line for a product, but that's part of what Apple is, scalpers or not. The only thing I think Apple really needs an overhaul of from a retail perspective is a billion dollar remodel of all its stores to get rid of the same outdated look they've had for 15 years. Time to give the stores a full overhaul with a black/steel/glass modern industrial feel IMO.