The first Apple retail location could have opened in the late 70s, according to a new account from distinguished Silicon Valley marketer Regis McKenna (via CNET). During a fireside chat held Thursday at the Computer History Museum, McKenna recalled a 1976 meeting in which he turned down an offer from Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to market the Apple II.

However, McKenna stated that he eventually decided to assist Apple after a dinner with Jobs where both discussed the future of the company:

Jobs and McKenna had dinner and talked about what the future of Apple could look like, and McKenna signed on. Eventually McKenna drafted an eight-page marketing plan in December 1976. Lo and behold, what was written under "Distribution Channels"? Apple stores.

"I had actually presented this to Apple a couple of times," he said. "I had talked about putting them in different parts of the country.

apple_store_royal_hawaiian

Apple Retail Store located at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Honolulu, Hawaii

McKenna went on to state that his plan for Apple's retail locations were to have them placed in office parks, and to cater the stores toward high-profile customers. McKenna also added that the locations would have served as centers for corporate sales and training, and that the eventual goal was to shift toward more traditional retail stores for the company, similar to Apple Stores today.

Apple opened its first two retail stores on May 19, 2001 and currently has 420 stores total, with 166 of those located outside of the U.S. During its financial results conference call covering the 2013 holiday quarter, the company reported $7 billion in revenue generated from its stores with 21,000 visitors per store per week, and an average revenue per store of $16.7 million.

Top Rated Comments

SkippyThorson Avatar
94 months ago
The idea for a product based company to have a retail store!? Before the age of online sales? Revolutionary! :rolleyes:
Retail stores dedicated to computers in 1976... Yes, I'd call that revolutionary myself.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iMacx Avatar
94 months ago
The idea for a product based company to have a retail store!? Before the age of online sales? Revolutionary! :rolleyes:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talmy Avatar
94 months ago
So, it took Steve Jobs 25 years to bring that to fruition. We all know he is maniacal about perfection, but the time from conception to creation and marketing makes one wonder how that company stayed in business.

Why wouldn't they stay in business? Until then most computers (Macs, PCs, and others) were sold by independent computer stores and electronics chains. The only exceptions I can think of being starting in the late 80's Dell, Northgate and Gateway as mail order only, and Radio Shack which had dedicated computer stores until mid 80's (I'd guess that date). Radio Shack's computer stores (and their major brand Computer City stores) all eventually failed, as did their computer line. The failure of Gateway's attempt to go to dedicated retail stores led many to seriously doubt Apple's retail move -- it led to Gateway's demise as a company. And look at how we all laugh at the Microsoft Store! Somehow I think that if it weren't for all the iPods and later iPhones and iPads the Apple store would be gone as well.

I'm not a big fan of the Apple store, but they do seem well trained. I really didn't like the Byte Shop in the late 70's. They had a real "better than you" attitude. Then the raft of Computer City, CompUSA, and big-box electronics stores with knowledge-free staffs turned me off as well. I pretty much have always avoided these retail stores going instead for hole-in-the-wall parts stores and mail-order.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
iPad Pro Mini LED

Mini-LED iPad Pro Expected at Apple Event on April 20 as Production Ramps Up

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:53 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, and one of the new products expected to be unveiled at the event is a new iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display. In a brief snippet shared with paid subscribers, Taiwanese supply chain news website DigiTimes today reported that Apple supplier Ennostar has substantially improved its yield...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
spotify car thing 1

Spotify Announces the 'Car Thing' as its First Hardware Device

Tuesday April 13, 2021 7:03 am PDT by
Spotify has today announced its first hardware device, the "Car Thing," which is an in-car dash-mounted music and podcast player (via TechCrunch). Spotify is looking to provide a product for customers who want a "more seamless" and personalized in-car listening experience, especially in the large number of cars that do not support modern in-car infotainment systems. The Car Thing is aimed ...