The Apple Store Needs a Checkout Counter

The Apple Store is a great place to go if you want to play with new Apple products or get help at the Genius Bar. But if you go there to buy something, the experience is confusing and humiliating.

Everyone knows how the process of buying something at a store is supposed to work:

  1. You pick up the product(s) you want to buy.
  2. You go to the end of the line at the checkout counter.
  3. When it's your turn, you step up to the counter, transact your business, and go on your way.

In contrast, here is how things work at the Apple Store:

  1. You pick up the product(s) you want to buy.
  2. You stand there like a child who has lost his mommy, looking around for a friendly Apple associate who can help you.
  3. As the Apple associates are always busy helping other customers, you pick one and stand nearby, hoping to catch their attention when they are finished with the current customer.
  4. Eventually, after helping the current customer, and maybe a few others who are also standing nearby, the associate asks how they can help you. You say you want to buy the things you have been holding. The associate says, "OK, I'll find someone to help you", and goes to look for one of the associates who has one of the magic credit-card-reading devices. You stand there looking lost again for a while.
  5. Eventually, a person with a magic device arrives to let you make your purchase. You fumble around, juggling products between your armpits, your crotch, and under your chin while you present each item for scanning. Then you drop all the items while you dig out your wallet and credit card.
  6. While you pick up the items you have dropped, the person swipes your card, then hands the little device back to you so you can check some boxes and sign your name. Again, your items have to go into your armpits and onto the floor.
  7. While you pick up your items again, the person goes to one corner of the store to get your printed receipt, then to the opposite corner of the store to get you a bag, then back to you. You help the associate put your items into the bag, and then you go on your way.

Wouldn't this all be easier if there was a checkout counter?

Sometimes the old ways are best.

© 2003-2017 Kristopher Johnson