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Hi, Kevin Coupe here and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy…coming to you this week from University Village in Seattle, Washington, where I’ve just had the chance to visit the brand new Apple Store there. It has been open just a few months, and this 6,300 square foot store is a replacement for a smaller store that was just a few yards away.

And quite a replacement it is.

This Apple Store is all glass and wood and light, an airy temple dedicated to the secular religion that is Apple. (Pictures below.) It has smart salespeople … Geniuses who can help fix almost anything … all sorts of classes and lessons taking place all the time … tables and Adirondack chairs outside the store that encourage people to congregate and create a sense of community … and all the great and imaginative products that one would expect to find at an Apple Store.

It is this last that I found myself thinking about during my visit there … because I realized that pretty much every product in the store could be bought online. One doesn’t have to go to the Apple Store, but one does …. because it is a distinctive shopping experience that i worth visiting. (Not so much, by the way, with the Microsoft Store around the corner, which, I am sorry to have to point out, was pretty much empty when I visited it even as the Apple Store was crowded.)

That’s a great lesson for every bricks-and-mortar retailer. Not everybody can be Apple, of course, but everybody can make being differentiated, distinct, relevant and resonant key components of the physical store.

That’s something that every retailer should do … think about how his or her store is different, and then, let them count the ways.

KC's View: