The nice people at Apple having sent me an email to say that they were having a 'Grand Opening' of their new store in Chapelfield (a shopping mall in Norwich) this morning, I decided to pop along to see. (Having invested in my wonderful Macbook in January).
I got there at just a few minutes to 10.00, the time of the Grand Opening. The place was packed, Apple fans lining the walls and queueing up between lines of black tape. Excitement was obviously high, when the Apple store employees suddenly all ran up the stairs and did a lap of honour, to accompanying shrieks, hoorays, and high fives all round. Then once they were all in the store, the countdown began, five, four, three, until the glass doors slowly slid open, and the lucky few at the head of the queue were allowed in.
There was obviously no chance of my getting in for some time, so I went off to do more mundane shopping. An hour later I was back. Things had calmed down considerably, however there was still a queue to get in. As it was fairly modest I decided to join it, to see if I was still in time for my free T shirt (promised to the first 1,000 through the door). I had luckily hit a quiet patch as I only had to wait a few minutes (although the queue quickly built up again behind me). Then to cheers from the staff at the door we all went forward, to be greeted by smiles, more high fives, and a white box containing my apple T shirt (and very nice it is too).
Those Apple people are very clever. By only letting people in a few at a time, they prolonged the excitement outside, and general 'buzz'. Greeting us all with cheers and smiles (I bet those staff will be shattered tonight) made us all feel special, particularly as we got a present. And of course, once inside, (as numbers in the store were rationed) there was space to move around and see things properly and in comfort.
Chapelfield management must be delighted with their new tenant. I am sure that they will bring in lots of new customers. Indeed it is good for Norwich generally, already one of the top shopping destinations in the country (and being a fabulous city, a jolly nice destination in itself anyway). And I am already thinking of changing our office PCs over to Macs ....