People were queuing up for days in advance, free t-shirts were being made by the bucket load and I was getting up at 6am on a Saturday. Yep, this could only mean one thing, an Apple Store opening.
On Saturday 7th August 2010, Apple opened it’s largest retail store on Earth right here in London’s Covent Garden to a queue of thousands. I, of course, was there with my camera, Flip Mino HD and trusty fellow geeks to experience the Apple mania that had hit the city.
To begin with there was two lines, one for those wishing to purchase an iPhone, and another for those who simply wanted to take a look around. The queue was kept nicely motivated by camera crews interviewing the crowds, and Apple employees handing out free water to keep the masses nicely hydrated. We weren’t waiting long however as 10am soon crept up and loud cheering could be heard from the front of the queue. “Oh my god, it must be Steve Jobs” I hoped desperately as I flung my camera into the air to try and get a better shot. Soon enough though the queue was moving fast and before I knew it we were at the front of the store being high fived liberally as we walked in. I honestly felt like a celebrity walking down a red carpet! It was frigging awesome! This is obviously how they want you to feel though, as that way you’re more likely to spend some money!
In true Apple style, the store itself had been finished to a very high standard. There was a feel of old mixed with new as I walked about the place, with original stone and brick walls placed next to new glass staircases and elevators, giving everything a modern industrial feel.
The store, which employs a staff of 300, was packed to the brim with customers and celebrities alike. The man himself, Scott Forstall (Senior Vice President of iPhone Software at Apple) was even there to help the festivities along and create a little fanboy mania amongst myself and my friends! We got so caught up with the fact that “OMG Scott is standing RIGHT behind us,” that we didn’t even notice Matt Lucas standing even closer to us! We really are nerds.
Later on my friend plucked up the courage to ask Scott for a photograph to which he replied “yeah, very quickly,” which only made me more nervous hence the shaky picture below. I know he was probably very busy that day so we didn’t want to keep him long!
You can buy everything under the Apple sun in this store with products displayed over three different floors. Each product even has it’s own separate space with rooms specifically for Macs, iPods, iPads and iPhones.
The casing company Incase designed an exclusive iPhone case and a laptop case just for the opening of the Covent Garden store with an arches pattern that resembles the familiar arched buildings seen around Covent Garden. This theme was also carried over to the free t-shirts that Apple gave out to the first 4000 customers through the door.
Me and my boyfriend David looking undoubtedly cool in our matching Apple tees.
Given that we had all been up since about 6am, by the time 11.30am came about we were all noticeably flagging and starving, so we decided to leave the great temple of Apple worship and return back to reality. Overall, it was a really great day and I had a lot of fun. I only wish that I could work for Apple now! I do have a lot of video footage from the day which I will be uploading to Snap Gadget TV very soon! Here’s a few last photos from the opening, enjoy! :)
Photos by David Hodson