The Apple Store in Lakeside, Thurrock, UK opened today and as with all store openings it seems that fun was had by all. By kind permission of Felix, here are a couple of photos and his rundown of the opening. You can find the full Flickr set of images here.
I went to the opening of the newest Apple Store in the UK today. This is at Lakeside Shopping Center in Thurrock, Essex. Its bigger than the Bluewater store, which has been open for some time now. I saw some of the staff from Bluewater there, they seem to have trucked them in from Regent Street as well. It was actually more exciting than I thought it would be and I managed to get 2 T-shirts and entered the Sweepstake.
The store's layout is two rows of tables half way down the store, along with tables along the walls. Genius bar is right in the back with the accessories and software. There's a kids area as well which you don't get in all the stores. It didn't seem to be as full as you would expect for an opening. However the entire mall was deserted, the Apple Store was the place where all the action was. They must have gotten everyone in the entire place to come to the Apple Store.
They seemed to have the new iPod Touch almost tucked away, only four on display. They do the same in Bluewater, don't know why. The staff are really pushing one-on-one selling and also the personal shopper scheme. Got spoken to three times about that.
They had the alarms go off and I took pictures of the system they use to disarm them. Actually kind of cool. But I decided not to publish the pictures, I think that's a responsible choice. There seemed to be a load of Apple Corporate staff around who looked nervous when the alarm went off. They were trying, but failing to be non-conspicuous.
All in all it was very exciting and I can see why they put this store in this location as the river is a sort of north-south divide.