I set off on the train a little after 7am this morning from Edinburgh for the opening of the new Glasgow Apple store. The queue started at 10pm the night before and was a couple of switch-backs long when I arrived. The idea of queuing for this seemed to bemuse passers-by and denizens of the Starbucks opposite (which was doing a roaring trade).
At 25 minutes to opening time (9am) the cheering started inside. Chanting from outside briefly erupted 15 minutes later as people started to get more and more excited. Five minutes before opening time, the doors opened for the Apple staff to spill out cheering, run along the queue before disappearing inside again. With ten seconds to go the countdown started from behind the doors and was quickly taken up by the crows. Then, bang-on 9am, the doors opened for business to much applause from the throng and whooping from the staff. I had a quick peek at the security staff’s counter – I was number 218 across the threshold. The whooping carried on for at least ten minutes and was getting dangerously close to – dare I say it – a homage to the dancing monkey-boy himself, Steve Ballmer.
The store itself is stunning in both design and layout. The staff were very helpful and many have been shipped in from other UK stores to help out on what was obviously always going to be a very busy day. There were a few glitches with the mobile payment devices but I put that down to the sheer volume of purchases. The shelves (particularly the new keyboards) were being constantly restocked. I managed to limit myself to 45 minutes and escape relatively cheaply with a new Bluetooth Mighty Mouse.
It’s now just shy of two hours after opening, I’m sat in the aforementioned Starbucks enjoying a coffee and muffin and there is still a queue of at least a hundred people long waiting to get inside and be part of the Apple experience.
In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back”.