FreakoutITGeek's Blog

Random IT postings from Freakz

Tag Archives: Braehead

Capital City. I was wrong!!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…., Ok it was 2010 (in California ?) when Gary Allen of ifoapplestore.com ( @ifostore ) first heard rumours of an Apple Store proposed for Edinburgh.

Moving on to last year, at the time of the lead up to the opening of the Braehead (Glasgow/Renfrewshire, Scotland ) Apple Store, I posted on here my view that I thought Edinburgh was a poor fit for Apple and that Princes St was nothing but a tourist trap.

As much as I still believe that parts of Edinburgh are still swamped with tourist shops full of tartan tat, I have seen a different side to the city over the past year or so.

I was recently at the Edinburgh festival to see a friend of my wife’s performance at the Assembly venue at the University. Just before leaving I saw the site of the proposed store, the insides ripped out of the building and only the outer shell showing (ifoapplestore.com have a good image of it ). It struck me that this is what happened when Apple created Scotland’s first Apple Store at Buchanan Street, Glasgow.

Now a smart, modern Apple Store could look out of place against the other stores in the street but when you see the recently covered steps out of Waverley Station, that lead almost straight up to the proposed site and the recent matching glass and metal walkways that bring the historic train station bang up to date and yet strangely mirroring the design of many Apple Stores, there appears to be some form of synergy.

Until recently I had also not realised that just down the road, round the corner and down the hill from the proposed site is the fairly recent Omni Centre. This glass fronted building plays host to a cinema, several bars and restaurant and a Virgin fitness centre and is the type of modern building that fits with my perception of the type of place Apple would be happy being located near.

So I admit it, I was wrong. An Apple store would look Awesome in Edinburgh and I hope it’s not too long before the poor old empty shell of a building is brought back into life with a shiny new Apple Store at it’s heart. I know I’ll be standing in line when it opens, tweeting as I wait patiently drinking my Starbucks hot chocolate (assuming that their staff are as accommodating as they were at Buchanan St & Braehead Apple
Store openings – thanks guys).

Check out all the rumours that IFOAppleStore.com have on proposed future Apple Store (including Edinburgh). Thanks Gary !!

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Thoughts on Apple Store Braehead Grand Opening

On Saturday at 9 am the Apple Store Braehead opened it’s shiny glass doors to the public for the Grand Opening.

The crowed was small but they were clearly Apple fans and some of the younger members of the queue were heard to mention that they would have liked to have worked in the store.

As with All Apple Store Grand openings you could hear the Apple Staff throughout the shopping centre and on numerous occasions I spotted shoppers wondering what the commotion was about as they peered down from the first floor balcony to the shiny new store below, looking bemused and confused by the event.

The Apple staff were in great spirits and some appeared to be leading their colleagues from the front of the corridor of blue t-shirts just inside the front of the store, creating a ripple of excitement (or in my wife’s case fear, as she hates Apple Store openings.. loves the products, likes the stores, loves the design of the non mall stores, but hates the hype) as each customer made their way from the queue into the new Store to claim their Opening Day t-shirt & Visitors Guide, a chance to gaze at the new store & the shiny new Apple products on offer within.

Something that summed up the opening for me was the kid that was getting photographed at the front of the store, I assume that he was first in the queue and won something. The kid was surrounded by the hyper Apple staff and was being photographed, but like a true Scottish kid, did he smile? No chance.. He looked like he was going to school when he had a test that day.. If I’d won something I’d have been bouncing off the ‘king walls..

Over the weekend it has struck me that there was a lack of press coverage.. no tweets from Braehead Shopping Centre (just double checked – only a few replies to others tweets about the store and a link to their store directory listing for the Apple store). The press that mentioned back in February / March that the store was coming didn’t appear to have a presence at the launch. Even the Internet appears to have passed on this store opening for the other Grand Openings in the US and Germany.

I know Braehead is not the most exciting place to have an Apple Store, but it’s our store, Renfrewshire’s Apple Store (despite the address showing Glasgow).. Well until the next Scottish store open anyways.. [looking at the rumours on ifoapplestore.com]

I’ll post some photos when I’m back at my desktop Mac.. ( or check my Color feed) for those of you that are interested..

If your interested in finding out other people’s views on the Grand Opening see Colin Kell’s blog of the Grand Opening

Apple Store Braehead opening confirmed

Last night ifoapplestore.com had a posting that they had noticed an update about the Apple Store Braehead was opening on Saturday the 17th September, unfortunately it appears that the change disappeared from Apple’s site as soon as it appeared.

This morning I noticed that again ifoapplestore.com had updated to advise that the listing was now live on Apple’s site.

I can confirm that the listing is showing at Apple.com/uk/retail and I have recently received an e-mail from Apple confirming the Grand opening on Saturday 17th at 9:00.

The new page for the Apple Store Braehead is now live on Apple’s UK retail store pages at http://www.apple.com/uk/retail/braehead/

See you there 😉

Hunting High & Low

Since I first heard about Apple opening a store in Braehead I have periodically popped in to the shopping centre to play spot the store.

Early on I thought it may have been beside Marks & Spencer, but that wasn’t an ideal location and didn’t provide the store front that Apple have used for their other UK shopping centre based stores. As it turned out, it wasn’t the location, as it’s now an H&M.

Then I thought it would be in the centre section, which although the space looked small, appeared to fit as an ideal location with loads of natural light, loads of space outside the store for the massive opening queues and being close to the food hall, staff and customers could get a Costa coffee, a snack or lunch. Again these locations have now been filled.

On my last trip I started getting disheartened by the store fronts that were vacant, not what I would consider prime Apple Store locations. Although the stores that have been there for a while have moved about a bit recently, so maybe in a few store shuffles time, the ideal store may just appear.

My mind is now wandering to the possibility that the store could be built in the X-Scape part of Braehead, although if they did that, they would get the younger audience and people who go there to get a meal, watch a film or go on the SnoZone slope. I can’t see Apple placing there store there, unless they are trying to make a statement & shun the UK shopping centre fronts that they have used recently.

I have heard people suggesting that the store is going to be located in the old PC World unit, just outside the Shopping Centre, but it would then be a stand alone unit, squashed between Halfords and Dixons, not really a prime location and not one that I would have picked.

I’d love Apple to build a store from
scratch at Braehead, or renovate one of the old buildings that are dotted around outside of the centre, putting the Apple brand on the area, but I don’t think that that’s the intention, at least not at the present time.

So, with no nice Apple banners appearing in the area to shroud a fledgling store of the future and bringing excitement to the area and no visible hints yet, I guess I’ll have to continue visiting Braehead to play my game of cat & mouse.

Either I’ll spot something or I’ll be standing in the queue awaiting the store opening, whenever that may be.

Update:

After an accidental stumbling on the SkyScraperCity site It appears that there are indications that the Apple Store will take the spot vacated by GAP [although the posting is from 2010]. Cross referencing this information with another site it appears that the store will be at 8 Braehead Shopping Centre ?. That puts the store next to ‘The Officers club’ at 10, Wallis Fashion Group at 7 & Bay Trading at 6.
If my memory serves me correctly, this is where Braehead currently have a renovation barrier which said something like ‘ making way for a new exciting store’.. So the clues appear to be pointing in the same direction? Only time will tell..

Update 04/09/2011:

I have recently been informed that a store front that has been getting some work done on it is now displaying the Apple logo.

After a quick look online brought up a link to ifoApleStore.com, which has a picture ( see the [Barricade] link) of what I have recently suspected to be the site of the new Braehead Apple Store . The original plain black hoarding has now got the Apple logo and Apple’s UK URL added, indicating that the launch should be soon. On the http://www.ifoapplestore.com home page is a suggestion [see ‘Grand Opening Schedule’ at the top right] that the store could launch on Saturday the 10th September. There is no official posting of this date on the Apple UK website at this time.

[Update 09/09/2011]

Earlier in the week I posted (On my Twitter Acount, via Color ) a few quick photos of the hoarding that is currently up around the location of the new store, Whilst there I did a quick check for any telltale Wi-Fi signals that would indicate that the store was ready for launch, nothing apparent showed.

Still no sign of an official Apple opening date. ifoapplestore.com are now showing a possible opening of the 17th.

Personally I have heard from different sources that Apple are currently recruiting for weekend or possibly part time staff (sounds like 1st interviews), whether this is for the Braehead or Glasgow store I’m not sure at this point & it could be that these are XMas positions? If they are for the new store then I would then put the opening date as sometime during September weekend (local Public Holiday weekend Friday 23rd – Monday 26th) Which has always been my preferred date (those who know me know why) If so it should be a good weekend.

Update 14/09/2011

Apple have finally announced the Grand opening of the Apple Store Braehead on Saturday the 17th September. A new Apple Store page has now gone live on Apple’s UK retail Stores area http://www.apple.com/uk/retail/braehead/ (see my blog page ‘Apple Store Braehead opening confirmed’)

Looking to the future

As anyone that reads my blog is aware I’m a bit of an Apple Fanboy, so it’s no surprise that I regularly follow rumours on the proposed future Apple product developments, taking everything with a pinch of salt (as you have to with any rumours).

I have recently been looking on the Internet to see if there are any further rumours about the proposed (ie reported in the Scottish press) Apple Store in Braehead.

During my trawl, I found a page from the Paisley Daily Express that appeared to indicate that Apple are considering an Edinburgh store in Princess St?? I also found an older website that also had this suggestion (although it also suggested East Kilbride) and this has got me thinking..

Just to justify my comments for a second, I like the hidden parts of Edinburgh with it’s Indy record stores and quirky little shops (I miss the Chocolatier that used to be near the Scottish Parliament – cracking choice of hot chocolate), but there’s too much tourist tat and the parking is horrendous. East Kilbride is Ok, but it’s not got anything you can’t get in Glasgow and the old parts of the shopping centre are feeling very dated the last time I was there ( which was some time ago, so to be honest it may have improved?)

Going back to my original point, could there be places in Scotland that Apple could open stores, places like Edinburgh and East Kilbride that have tried to pull their shopping streets and shopping centres up from their bootstraps, but struggled because of the economy. Could Apple use their retail magic to turn these pumpkins into crystal coaches and bring other big names to cinderella’s ball like they did with Regents St, London?

On a Personally note, I would love Apple to open a store in the Glasgow Fort, partially because it’s on my doorstep, but also because it’s a great location and, since the rumour that Marks & Spencer’s were going to build a store there a few Xmas’ back, there hasn’t been much in the way of exciting new developments ( sorry I’m not interested in fashion clothing stores & the loss of Borders has ripped out the heart of the fort for me).

In my mind, there are a few things going in the fort’s favour, including late night shopping on the run up to Xmas and twice a year the fort opens early for the Next sale, which snakes round the closed stores as the coffee shops (Costa & Starbucks) and the food stalls provide the queuing shoppers with morning rolls & drinks. I’m sure that the centre management and security would happily accommodate the same for a store opening or several product launches.

Looking at the area around the fort, North and South Lanarkshire, who I believe use a lot of Apple products in their schools, would benefit from the store and the store would benefit from parents and teachers purchasing from the store. Areas of Glasgow, not already covered by the Buchanan Street store or the proposed Braehead store, would also benefit in a similar way.

Since it appears that M&S aren’t going to build the store rumoured at the fort, there is enough land for Apple to build a shiny new store right next to the M8 which would act like a beacon for style shoppers who have passed but not taken the opportunity to pop in.

Where will Apple wave it’s retail wand in Scotland next? Only they know, but I’m sure I’ll be there when they do, to get a launch day t-shirt! (ok so I didn’t go to the Aberdeen opening.. but you can’t have it all)

Update (26/04/13): I’ve just had a look on my WordPress stats and someone searched for “when does the apple store open in the fort in glasgow”, do they know something no one
else does, or is is just coincidence? I’m not aware of anyone else touting The Glasgow Fort as an Apple Store location so it’s interesting to spot this.. If you are the person who searched, thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment or contact me on Twitter (see the Braehead Apple Store posts).

Rotten apples?

As most Apple geeks in the West of Scotland are aware (according to press reports in February), Apple is allegedly building the third Scottish Apple store in Braehead Shopping Centre, which appears to be an ideal choice.

Braehead and the Hillington area are situated just off the M8 motorway and the area is already home to some exclusive brands such as Porche and Porcelanosa, Making it an ideal location, especially as the store will fit in nicely within the Breahead shopping centre.

So why the sour taste in my mouth? The reason is that whilst openly welcoming Apple to the Renfrewshire area ( Braehead is classed as being in Renfrewshire rather than Glasgow), I’m aware that the local council are actively forcing schools and other council departments to buy Windows based PCs with a view to having the IT estate Windows only within under 5 years!!

It is my opinion that Apple systems, despite their initial costs, have a better Return on Investment, Total Cost of Ownership and lower running costs compared to the ‘recommended’ Windows based computers currently forced on the council departments and support staff.

I’m sure that there is some sort of policy on the ‘green’ credentials of the machines purchased and I would be amazed if Apple could not pass or surpass the same criteria.

So why the apparent anti-Mac stance?

I believe that the majority of the support staff do not understand how to support OS X and are very Windows centric.

I believe that Apple’s OS X performs better than Windows and is more compatible with Windows / Unix servers and desktops than Windows could ever be with OS X because it had been designed to (to coin a phrase from most teachers end of term report cards) ‘work well with others’.

I hope that Apple decide to donate some systems to the local Schools, just to see what the impact will be within the council and to see their red faces as they try to explain their position to the press and Apple.

( looking at Google today I found a confirmation that Apple are actively recruiting for the store -> http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?oe=UTF-8&hl=en&q=cache:W0IkNWlRW4UJ:www.apple.com/jobs/uk/retail.html )