I live close to and shop at Toronto’s Yorkdale mall. Recently I noticed some construction there for an Apple store.
When it first opened five years old in New York City, the Apple Store caused quite a stir amongst Mac dealers, who are as a collective group paranoid as they are loyal.
the time, Wendy Hayes, general manager of Apple Canada ensured me in an interview that Apple Canada had no plans for a retail outlet in this country.
For a while Apple dealers were spared competing with the same company they love, has Hayes held true to her word.
I have visited two of Apple’s 98 U.S. storefronts, one in New York and another in Honolulu, and I can tell the Mac dealers in Canada you have very little to worry about. Sure the stores look great and have the latest products, but the prices were out of reach, I thought, for most small businesses or even consumers.
Having said that, note that a group of angry Mac dealers have filed a lawsuit against Apple charging it with creating a tilted playing field with its company-owned stores in the U.S.
We will see if the Toronto Apple stores will be price competitive with its partners, but I have a feeling it will be nothing more than a marketing tool for Apple.
You see the Yorkdale mall is as much a place to hang out as it is to shop. It has high-end stores such as Holt Renfrew, Williams Sonoma and, in high tech, the Sony store.
Also opening along side Apple will be Sefora, the ultimate in cosmetic and fragrance boutiques. Yorkdale is Park Avenue and the Champs Elysees all rolled into one.
The mall also brings in a large amount of tourists. The tour buses are usually stacked like little soldiers at the north end of the parking lot.
Apple is smart enough to recognize this and will leverage the store to promote its products to the market. Those who might be interested in purchasing the latest whiz bang, avante garde looking Mac will be able to see it and test drive it before contacting a local Mac dealer for a better quote.