April 19, 2006

Fry's Giving Up on Mac Shoppers

Before Apple opened up their much-acclaimed retail stores, there were precious few places you could go to find Macintosh software and hardware. CompUSA, Best Buy, Sears and Fry's were all notorious for steering potential Macintosh customers to Windows devices, leaving machines in permanent crash mode, and generally being completely clueless.

But Apple came to the rescue opening what was known as a "Store Within a Store" at both CompUSA and Fry's, to enhance the customer experience - even staffing the facilities, in some cases. After a while, it was clear Apple was just "practicing" for their move to retail - and customers have found the Apple Store experience far superior to any other merchant. And now, it looks like competing stores aren't putting in the effort they had in recent years, in the face of competition.

Just today, I went to Fry's here in Sunnyvale, looking to see if I could get a backup PowerBook battery. Not only was it nowhere to be found, but the Apple "store within a store" featured such "Mac products" as PocketPC handhelds and USB memory sticks - which have taken over a full aisle in the Mac section of the superstore. I looked up and down neighboring aisles to see if I missed something, but I didn't. They didn't have any thing for me to buy, and didn't make any efforts to gain my business. Now I know just to go straight to the Apple Store itself - which probably will make the situation worse.

Listening to ''Free'', by 4 Strings featuring Sphere (Play Count: 9)