Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 41: Apple Store…..The Core of Bethesda

Apple Store Bethesda

In 2009, Forbes Magazine named Bethesda “America’s Most Educated Small Town”, so it’s no wonder that the Apple Store, located on Bethesda Avenue, would be a favorite among a town where the number of adults with advanced degrees is five times the national average (sorry if you are a PC lover….hmmmm do those exist?).  I’ve been a Mac devotee since I purchased my first Macintosh back in 1985 (It was called a “Fat Mac” because it had twice the internal memory of the original Macintosh  –512K bytes of memory.  That’s write a half a megabyte of internal memory.  Today a Macintosh has 4 Gigabytes or nearly 800 times the internal memory. Wow!).

When Apple began its retail store campaign in 2001 (in Tyson’s Corner by the way) many in the computer field criticized the move as being the beginning of the end for Apple.  Remember Gateway Computer Centers?  Many larger computer firms had failed trying the retail route and most experts believed Apple would fare no different.  Boy were they wrong.  Ten years later there are now over 300 stores worldwide, including China.  What makes this a great destination is the sleek modern design of the stores featuring all the latest gadgetry from Apple on wood tables and concrete flooring.  The minimalistic store designs, coupled with Apple’s stewardship in developing stores in historically significant locations, has led to Apple receiving numerous architectural and preservation awards.

Mac Fan Brian

Recently while I was visiting the Apple Store, an older gentleman interrupted me and asked, “Excuse me. How do I buy something in this store?”  This may seem like a strange question to ask in undoubtably one of the most successful retail operations in history, but it made perfect sense.  You see at the Apple Store there are no traditional cash registers.  Instead, a cadre of really cool Apple employees, all dressed in tee-shirts, jeans and looking like they just finished a game of Frisbee, swipe your credit card from anywhere in the store using a modified iPhone.  “Would you like your receipt emailed to you?”, they ask.  Pretty slick and very hi-tech.  Next month the iPhone will be coming to Verizon Wireless and there’s a good chance you just might see me at the Apple Store, next to a twenty something in an Apple tee-shirt handing him my credit card.           ~Brian

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