Manchester may be the home of The Premiership and European Champions and also 2 Apple Stores, but today we travelled 35 miles down the M62 to be present at the opening of the Apple Store in Liverpool.
Leaving the house at 6:45, we had a clear run down the motorway. Whilst I drove, Elaine amused herself by following Google Map’s blue dot on my iPhone – using the GPS feature of the 3G, the dot was appeared to be following us along the M62 – although we entered a black hole somewhere near Warrington and lost 3G, Edge and O2 altogether.
A crafty game of Monkey Ball by my passenger ensured that by the time we got home at 6:00 my battery life was heading south!
We arrived in Liverpool at 7:30, parked up in the new underground Q-Park car park and headed for the Apple Store. There were already about 10 people in front of us including Mark Johnson from the North West Mac User Group.
We kept ourselves amused by Twittering, keeping our fellow followers (try saying that after a couple of pints) updated with the latest news from the queue. In fact we weren’t the only twitterers – the guy in front of me, following Tweets from the Apple Store queue said to his son “I wonder who Mike Thomas is”. Of course, I replied that it was me!
By 8:30, the queue had stretched to over 100 people and included some other friends from the Mac Club – Tom and Bob. Also present was Don MacAllister from ScreencastsOnline, who, it turned out, had never seen a white iPhone “in the flesh”.
At 8:50, the Apple Store staff came out to do the traditional high-fives – although this was really just to get us in the mood (or whip up a frenzy of excitement) and at 9:00 sharp the door opened to the sound of the staff counting down…10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1
We’re in…wooo hooo…T-shirt…high fives…more woo hoo…more high fives (I wonder what the builders working on the construction site opposite thought – I mean I don’t think any other shop opening saw this kind of behaviour – though of course this is how Apple Store launches are celebrated all over the world
Compared to other Apple Stores, the Liverpool Store is relatively small in both depth and width. The store is on 2 levels with the Genius bar and all the checkouts are upstairs, although there is plenty of hardware on display on the lower floor (iPhones, iMacs, MacBooks etc).
We spent an hour or so upstairs chatting to a few people – Bob from the Mac Club, Mike from the Apple Store (who recently transferred from The Trafford Centre branch to the Liverpool branch) and Damian – one of our MacBites listeners (well, wearing a MacBites T-Shirt did kind of give it away when he said “Are you Elaine and Mike from MacBites?”). Great to meet you by the way Damian.
Well done to Apple – this was by far the best organised and “whooped up” store opening that I’ve attended.
Photos and videos can be found on the MacBites Flickr page