Flashback: “Why Apple Stores Won’t Work”

Here’s an amusing BusinessWeek article written in 2001 regarding Apple’s decision to set up retail stores across the US. At the time, Apple’s business model was unheard of, so many experts thought that they would quickly fail.

Apple’s market share is a measly 2.8%. “Apple’s problem is it still believes the way to grow is serving caviar in a world that seems pretty content with cheese and crackers,” gripes former Chief Financial Officer Joseph Graziano.

“I give them two years before they’re turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake,” says Goldstein.

The article compares the new Apple stores to the cow-themed Gateway stores, which have since completely vanished. It’s amazing how successful Apple has actually been, despite only selling high-end products.

I always hear people asking “Why didn’t I invest in Apple when I had the chance!?” But the answer is clear: How could anyone have known that Apple was going to be successful? Everything they did was unconventional, but they have still managed to climb to the top.

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