Why can't anyone else build retail outlets like Apple builds Apple Stores?

Apple Tower Theatre is the latest Apple Store to take an existing building and turn it into something designed to sell iPhones and iPads and Macs and Apple Watches. But unlike some companies, Apple didn't gut it and turn it into a shell to fill with blue lights and gaudy point of sale posters. It turned it into something new, yet old. Something that's unmistakenly Tower Theatre, but also unmistakenly Apple.

Now I know that might have sounded alarmingly Jony Ive-esque of me, but I stand by the point. Apple not only has some of the best real estate on the planet, but it has turned them into the best retail experiences, too. Sure, for every stunning Apple Tower Theatre there's an uninspiring Apple Meadowhall – but that's shopping malls for you. Whenever Apple is given the chance to do something amazing with a gorgeous building, it does it.

Imagine any other company saying this about a retail outlet.

"At every corner, Los Angeles bursts with creativity across the arts, music, and entertainment, and we are thrilled to build on our relationship with this special city," said Deirdre O'Brien, Apple's senior vice president of Retail + People. "Apple Tower Theatre honors the rich history and legacy of this entertainment capital."

Then there's Apple Marina Bay Sands, the world's first floating Apple Store. It's a big sphere in the middle of the water and it's stunning to look at.

See what I mean?

Microsoft tried to replicate the Apple Store magic and all it did was make white boxes that looked like Apple Stores. It didn't go out and find the most unique building it could find and then mix in the Apple Store charm to great something better.

Like Apple did when it opened Apple Via del Corso last month.

Again, see what I mean? I bet this place has the best iPhone buying experience ever!

But none of this is rocket science, is it?

  1. Acquire a gorgeous building in or near a shopping area.
  2. Get rid of the rubbish but keep the character.
  3. Add the Apple magic including location and time-specific art, structure, everything.
  4. Put some wooden tables inside.
  5. Put some colorful M1 iMacs on the wooden tables.
  6. Profit.

You're welcome, the entire retail industry. I'll take a cut of the profits please and thank you.