The Com­pany Store

It’s the only part of Ap­ple’s head­quar­ters that isn’t a se­cret, and Adam Banks re­mem­bers it fondly

Mac|Life - - RAM -

Ap­ple’s In­fi­nite Loo p cam­pus isn’t open to the public, and even au­tho­rized vis­i­tors are ush­ered firmly to and from the de­part­ment they’ve been in­vited to. There’s just one area where ev­ery­one’s al­ways wel­come: the Com­pany Store.

Es­tab­lished in 1993, it pre­dated the Ap­ple Store chain and re­mained for years the world’s only of­fi­cial Ap­ple store. It was the high­light of my own first trip to Cu­per­tino, in the late 1990s: Phil Schiller’s press event, which I’d flown 5,000 miles to at­tend, was (un­usu­ally) rather dull, but wan­der­ing around In­fi­nite Loop with a col­league was ex­cit­ing – even if we were warned off at­tempt­ing en­try by the not-so-dis­creet gaze of se­cu­rity guards. At the Com­pany Store, en­try seemed al­most com­pul­sory, though. Mod­estly sized and blandly styled, it felt like a mu­seum gift shop, but what mat­tered was its ex­clu­sive range of branded mer­chan­dise – bags, mugs, T-shirts, hats – bear­ing the cov­eted rain­bow-striped logo.

In 2015, un­ex­pect­edly, the Com­pany Store closed for the sum­mer and re­opened as a full-blown Ap­ple Store. One Bri­tish vis­i­tor on TripAd­vi­sor sniffed that the ex­panded out­let’s “red T-shirtwear­ing drones” could no longer sell him “any of that cool Ap­ple swag.” You can, in fact, still buy a $35 Ap­ple pen, a small se­lec­tion of min­i­mal­ist apparel, or even an Ap­ple cock­tail shaker. But the lo­gos are un­com­pro­mis­ingly monochrome.

As In­fi­nite Loop’s work­force de­camps to Ap­ple Park, the Com­pany Store will be re­born once more in the site’s vis­i­tor cen­ter – sep­a­rate, again, from the “moth­er­ship” where the real work will hap­pen. Spread over more than 10,000 square feet, ac­cord­ing to the plans, it’s surely go­ing to be worth a visit: if you never make it any closer to the in­side of Ap­ple’s em­pire, at least you can say you got the T-shirt.

The late, lamented Com­pany Store’s en­vi­able merch.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.