Amazing amazing shop. Always heaving with people - I am always very tempted to wander in and play on the iPad. If you are an apple fan I know you will agree with the fact that you can never walk past without venturing inside.
Staff all know their apple stuff and are very helpful if you are lucky enough to be purchasing something.
I've been in the store a few times, mainly prior to my getting a job selling Macs elsewhere, so whilst you are welcome to keep in mind that I work for a competitor, please note that my review is intended to be unbiased on my experience there.
When I last sought to buy a new machine, I knew I wanted a Mac. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford one. But that didn't mean I couldn't go in and drool, did it?
And so I did.
I was lucky to be there on the rare occassion in which they were largely empty. As such, I was able to hog an assistant or two. Being about a year ago, and my memory always being poor, I unfortunately can't remember his name - but as he's now supposed to be working as a manager at Disney Land Florida, I guess it's sorta moot. He was very nice to me, and did a great job in broadening what knowledge I had on the fairly fresh concept of running Windows on a Mac, and OS X on a non-Mac, as well as discuss specifics on the compared functionality once doing so. Not to mention numerous other wonderful gadgets them Macs have.
He was also able to thwart my querying of the ability to have a machine with 16GB (or 32GB, I forget which it was at the time) of RAM, with stupid amount of processors, and many terrabytes of harddrive space, which a wonderful example he'd had of a research/science department of a university recently buying about 8 of them at full possibly specs. Damnit. I want one!
The few others I've met working there since have always been quite nice.
I've heard people comment that they don't always tend to be too helpful when it comes to discussing the specifics of Mac vs Windows, on an understandable laymans term basis, but I pay them the respect that this is sheer misfortune at the time, or the odd bad apple that every store has.
It surprises me that Apple don't seem to cater to businesses through the stores, though part of me can understand why - however, surely even just having the capacity to say "Here you go, whilst we don't do business specific dealings through stores, we can help you to decide what you want and then put you in touch with an Apple business department" (who then, assuming a joyous set up, would then seal the deal, credit that sales assistant for that sale due to the lead, and then develop it for themselves after). Instead, they get nothing special.
However, if you're a student, expect stupidly crazy student deals.
I am slightly sceptical of the self monikered 'Geniuses' who make up the Genius Bar. (Are they collectively known as Genii?). Anyway, did they name themselves? Because I feel that a term as weighty as Genius should be bestowed, not chosen.
I took my Mac into the Kingston branch of the Apple store once, it was having a bit of a wobble, and couldn't get internet connection. The helpful server said 'don't worry, the geniuses will have the answer.' Well, they thought they did, and guess what? It didn't work!
The rest of the staff are very helpful, and to be fair, so were the Genii, just not effective. My other problem with this store is not really its fault - it is located in The Bentall Centre, and this shopping centre does not have any air conditioning, so the shops get really hot and stuffy. It is just not conducive to shopping. If I spend too long in this Apple shop I get over heated and scarper. This shop is far, far smaller than the flagship store on Regents Street, but can often get very busy, so I would pick your times carefully as to when you visit.
This smaller version of the flagship store in central London is great. They have all the selections of products out for everyone to try- the crazy photo booth option on the computers being a favourite option!
The staff are extremely helpful and very commited to helping customers as we found when after a while of standing by the computers with a friend I became dizzy and nearly fainting. When my friend said Please can you help my friend is dizzy and il he replied Could you wait one moment please I'm helping a customer! The other staff helped and said they had taken a first aid course 2 days earlier! So I can safely say that the staff are very helpful and first aid trained and the products themselves are as good as always with more variety of colours and one of the thinnest laptops I have ever seen!
I definately recommend it!
I try not to step into this gleaming temple of Mac-dom too often; as a long-term fan, it can be all too tempting to lust after the latest update or newest 'baby'. Yesterday, I had to go in, as my mouse had been misbehaving and I needed to put it to rights.
The Apple-bod who greeted me was brilliant. He showed me the two mouse options in-store (costly variants and more elaborate than I needed) then suggested that I could find what I was after at a high street competitor, for a lot less dosh. We ended up chatting for a while and he offered me lots of tips and insights into getting the most out of my Mac.
My only real criticism of the store is that it was vastly over-heated (perhaps due to the nature of the beast) so that doesn't really encourage visitors to feel comfortable spending too much time in store.
I am an avid Mac user, love all their weird and wonderful gadgets and just adore this store. It's modern, trendy, uber cool and very stylish. There's something sexy about a Mac and this store reflects the brand extremely well, no expense is spared and I'd say this is true for Macs and those who use them. For me a Mac is an investment and this store reflects that.
I love the service, the staff are experts within their own rights, are passionate about the brand and have a fantastic way of making their customers feel individual to meet their needs.
I've attended a few of the free learning sessions in the Mac store and would recommend anyone who is making the shift from boring dull PC to enroll and find out what you are missing!
I love that the products are out there to be tried and tested, the only thing I find frustrating is the number of children in there trying them all out like toys, causing chaos and getting in the way!