What I didn't find:
- Big glowing Apple on the front of the store
- Cash Register
- Sales People
- Name Tags
- Genius Bar
What I did find:
- A huge brightly lit space with tons of people!
- 14 custom built wooden tables which were the center of attention.
- Shelves with accessories against the walls.
- A huge screen in the back with giant leather balls in blocks for seating.
- The Apple logo tucked in the corner.
- Many people running around with an Apple logo on their T-shirt.
Why am I telling you this? As you know, I have retired.... well, kind of retired. I'd rather say that I have evolved to the next place in my life due to my circumstances. I will always be doing the Tech I love because I do not know how not to do it. It is in my blood and is as much a part of me as my right arm. The part I have eliminated after 35 years of doing it is repair. I can no longer tear apart your iPhone, iPad or Mac. So what do you do if you spill wine in your keyboard? Take it to the newly renovated Apple Store! I talked with one of the Apple guys running around with the Apple logo on his T-shirt and he assured me that they have a new big repair room in the back of the store and they can handle most any repair themselves. This is awesome news as the smaller, older store could not. If you do not live in the area, Apple will be upgrading all of it's stores to this new design soon, so be patient, it will be well worth the wait.
Navigating the Store: The new Apple Store is located next to Macy's in the Kentwood Mall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When you first walk past the store all you notice is how big and bright it is! There is no sign or logo on the front of the store so it really piques your interest as to why there are so many people in this store and what they are doing. The 4 wooden tables in the front are filled with Apple products. Macs on the left, then iPads, Apple watches and iPhones finish up on the right. If you are there to buy an Apple product, go to the table and pick it up. One of the Apple logo T-shirt people will find you.
The next row of 4 tables are the new Genius tables. If you bring something in for repair that is a software installation or something simple, they will fix it right there at the table while you watch. All hardware issues are done in the back. Many things can be done while you wait. Before you bring anything in, you must go through Apples web site first to schedule a repair. Never bring anything to the store without an appointment because they will not see you. Go to https://getsupport.apple.com to start a repair.
The last tables in the back is mostly for free training. The Apple Store has training all day long so if you are in the area you could stop by and catch up on something. Check it out here: https://www.apple.com/today/
The last part of the store are the window cases all around the perimeter. These showcase all the accessories and cool stuff that goes with Apple products. If you want to buy something, just use the Apple Store App on your iPhone and you can do it yourself or find one of the people with the Apple logo T-shirts and they will help you. You could even use your Apple Watch if you really want to show off.
Yes, things are changing and I think for the better.