Victoria Gardens Grand Opening Report

Thanks to Brian for this report on the grand opening of the Victoria Gardens (S. Calif.) retail store:

What a fantastic Morning it was at the Victoria Gardens Apple Store Grand Opening! We had fresh snow on the mountains and the sun came out to shine. You could not ask for a more beautiful day to open the Apple Store in what we locals call the “Inland Empire” in Southern California. Victoria Gardens is known as a “Lifestyle” shopping experience. It is comprised of a newly designed Downtown Main street design shopping district. If you mix Main Street USA at Disneyland with the Apple Store, Macy's, Starbucks and a ton of other stores all on a few streets, there you have it! It is really the most beautiful shopping setting I have ever seen. The Grove in Hollywood: Your competition has arrived. I showed up this morning around 9:30 a.m. to a line of over a few hundred people that went around the corner of the block.

The Apple Store Team in its entirety opened the front doors at 10:00 AM sharp and that was fun to watch. They came busting out screaming and hollering, letting everyone know…”The Apple Store has come to town!” It was really fun. They went down the line and did High Fives with every person as not to miss anyone.

Our line of people quickly entered the Apple Store and what a nice design it is! The Store is absolutely a stunning experience. First off, if you think this was an Apple Store 2003 design you would be wrong. Apple has customized this one-story layout in what I would call a new and improved Wide Span Open Isle Product Wall Side Design. In a more simple tone, the center walkway of the Store is more open allowing people to venture to respective Product areas. You can call it a freeway aisle in the middle of the store where as the product areas are like Freeway off ramps. It keeps the entire store moving freely regardless if it has 100+ people roaming around in it or even just a few.

As I entered the Store I was given the famous little Grey Apple Box containing an Apple T-Shirt. I told the woman thank you and walked through the two-sided line of Apple Store workers on both sides of me. It was like a red carpet moment for everyone entering the Store. I told the people thank you. It was like I was a singer or a movie Star. That was too funny! “No Please Everyone, you are too kind!” The Apple Store Team made everyone feel extremely welcome. They were very attentive to customers who had serious questions: some easy and others tough to answer or difficult. A few of my tough questions that could not be answered were sent over to the Genius Bar immediately and the store employee walked with me to the Bar to ask for further help. I thought that was Class A. All my questions were answered promptly and with style.

As you would expect the Store itself was immaculate. On display were fresh G5 Towers, G5 iMacs, eMacs for the Students, iPod Photo, iPod Minis, and the regular iPods. Just like all the recent Apple Stores: Software Titles, Accessories, and other Tools to complete the Digital Lifestyle were all available and in stock.

How awesome is that folks? You have to love Apple. How many times in your life will one experience a day like this? Hello. This was my first time and it was the best ever. I was so proud that Apple Store came to the Inland Empire. We have been waiting years for this day and at last today arrived!