Ajaz Ahmed takes issue with Retail Week stores editor John Ryan’s review of the new Apple store on Regent Street

Dear John,

I read your column about the new Apple store with great interest.

It ended,  “Or am I just being curmudgeonly?” I’m from the north, so I had to go to my Apple Macbook Air and type into Google to find out what curmudgeonly means. I now know.

The photos of the store look beautiful. We don’t have a store like that up here, and I can’t wait to buy a cheap day return to visit Regent Street to look at the refurbished Apple store and the Burberry store I have heard so much about. I will probably want to get my prayer mat out and start praying to good design when I am down there.

I was once talking to the former chancellor of our local university, and we began talking about our Apple phones.

He then asked me: “Have you visited the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York?”

“No,” I replied.

“You must on your next visit – it’s stunning, it’s worth a visit.”

I was amazed I was talking to someone about a shop.

“I couldn’t believe Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise was telling me to visit an Apple Store”

That former chancellor at the University of Huddersfield is a local lad, Sir Patrick Stewart. I couldn’t believe Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise was telling me to visit an Apple Store, and enthusing about how good it was. That’s the Apple effect. (I was on the governing council at the university by the way.)

I’m a founder of Freeserve and I was invited to the opening of the Regent Street Apple Store when it originally launched. From the photographs it does look different from when it first opened.

The big thing a lot of businesses get wrong is ‘pivoting’. You need to keep changing.

Lots of businesses only change after they have problems – just read Retail Week and look at the examples of companies that are going through change because their customers are abandoning them.

Apple stores are still busy because they go through a pivot when people are still shopping there, rather than when they’re not.

Obviously some people don’t understand this.

And as for those who say “Samsung is coming”? Not on a plane with the Galaxy Note 7 – you’d get arrested.

  • Ajaz Ahmed launched Freeserve and is the founder of Legal365.com