Dienstag, 7. Mai 2013

A visit at the Apple store

A powerful location for a strong brand
I am not such a big user of Apple brands, except the iPad from time to time. However, in a city that included the 'hipster' descriptions as part of its identity, the absence of an Apple store was outrageous. Two years ago, when I was writing a guidebook about Berlin, I was told a gossip about such a store on Ku'damm, but after going around for a while I checked three times that it was not such a store in Berlin and went back home deeply disappointed. 

The location that was decided in 2011 and was relatively kept secret for a while. It is hosted in 'Haus Wien' designed in the style of Wilhelmian classicism, that till 2000 used to be either a home theater, a general store or where from time to time art exhibitions were hosted. 

The kids' corner 
The official opening of the store took place the last Friday and hours before the event, while I was having my coffee at the Starbucks opposite Kempinski, I saw a high concentration of media making interviews and getting ready for the show. As usual, there were people in the front of the store waiting as well and proudly checking their Apple devices, but compared to Japan or NYC, the street was still free and as far as I know from the media, there were not special health problems or accidents during the proceedings. 

Hard work and lots of gadgets 
The store in Berlin is the biggest in Germany - and in Europe, according to some evaluations in terms of customer service - , where there are other 10 shops, in Munich and Hamburg too, among others. Around 200 people are ready to serve their customers, in around 18 languages. A couple of seconds after I entered the shop yesterday, a nice smiling young man approached me asked me how he can help me and showed me a leaflet with the main events and workshops expected in the next days. At the first floor, a special office room is scheduled for businesses and various special encounters. Compared with other shops in Berlin, no one will ask you why do you take pictures. Dressed in blue T-shirts, the employees are running around like bees, helping, advising or testing the packages of products before the payment is made. Another good point is that you can pay by card (news, given some reticence for doing it in one of the biggest shops in the city). Near each category of products - all the famous types+accessories are here - among them iBooks, iPads, iPhones, Macintosh, Power Books and various models of iPods - the technical description and prices can be checked on an iPad. It's easy and you do not need to be a super specialized nerd to do it. 

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