Once again an important product debut keynote began with an update on Apple’s retail chain, this time showing the recent grand opening of the Passeig de Gracia (Spain) store and its overnight waiting line. Apple CEO Tim Cook walked on-stage in San Francisco to applause from the press and Apple employees, and within just 45 seconds a slide of the Barcelona store appeared behind him. He said the company had spent 2½ years working on every detail of the store,”getting everything exactly right.” He mentioned that Apple used limestone from a local quarry to restore and modernize the store. “No one would have done this but Apple,” he said. “It’s absolutely gorgeous.” At last June’s World Wide Developers Conference, Cook highlighted the retail chain at the beginning of his keynote to formally introduce iOS 6.
“It has a signature glass staircase and the opening had a signature crowd,” Cook narrated as the slides changed from the store interior to the outside waiting line. “Our customers in Barcelona loved this store,” Cook continued, adding that, “It’s the perfect place to explore and discover Apple’s latest products.”
Cook then set up a video of the grand opening that he wanted to show the audience, saying “These picture don’t quite capture the energy and enthusiasm we saw at the opening.”
The two-minute video showed the impressive interior of the store without people inside, and then the grand opening with the store packed with crowd of happy visitors. (Music in the video was It’s Time by Imagine Dragons).
After the video ended Cook told the crowd, “Our stores offer the best buying experience and the best customer service on the planet.” He noted the grand opening of a store— Täby Centrum—in Sweden “this Friday,” bringing Apple retail to a 13th country. (At the time of his keynote, the store was posted on-line as opening on Saturday the 15th.)
He also noted the retail stores hosted 83 million visitors last quarter—almost an average of one million per day, and boasted that on several days, “We’re significantly higher than that. Absolutely amazing.”