The empty and the packed

The online/offline dynamic in e-commerce and physical retail has drawn a great deal of attention, recently with Walmart’s supercenter strategy, previously with Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition, and generally for some time with the growing importance of online commerce for traditional retailers, and vice versa.

What seems to have been noted and discussed more intermittently, with a less focused public eye despite its global enormity and growth, is the Apple Store.

Wikipedia

This is the most interesting case among them all, in two important ways:

(1) It is the one in which the brand and product are the company’s own, and

(2) is dedicated exclusively to the digital experience.

A walk around the midtown retail area the other day – off-season if you will, after holiday shopping had ended – revealed the following:

The department stores, the boutiques, all empty… the Apple Store was packed.

At a high level, the reconnaissance speaks to item #2 above, at a more narrow level, #1.

“Your debutante just knows what you need
But I know what you want…”

Dylan (entrepreneur and early analyst of product-market fit)