I am standing in the line for the opening of the Bethesda, MD Apple Store. We got here about 20 to 10am, which is when it is to open. We are about 400 feet from the door. The store employees has done their walk through the line greeting everybody and thanking them.
[Updated May 9, 2004 12:30pm] This was the first store opening that I had been to. I was amazed at all those that were unaware of the opening and wanted to know "Who was there or what was being given away?" These people seemed a little confused that it was a computer store that was opening and just giving away t-shirts. One person said to me all those in line must be obsessed, but when I stated it is a computer that is easy to use and just seems to work as no other computer has ever seemed to before, the person seemed to instantly understand. They then began to ask people behind me about why they were in line, to which they stated the same things, great and easy to use products that enhance life not get in its way. This seems to make perfect sense to those unaware of Apple.
After going to the opening and seeing the light click on for those unfamiliar with Apple, it now seems to make a lot of sense as to why Apple has the stores. The stores create conversation about the product. The stores show passion about the product, which is hard to dispute when looking at a broad variety of people standing in a very very long line. The stores allow the new to Apple and the vets to mingle. The stores beautifully showcase the products. Even this Montgomery Mall store, which is one of the smaller stores I have been to, provides a calm environment to let the Apple products show themselves off.