Apple opened its first Apple Store in May 2001 and now operates more than 200 retail stores around the world. TWICE is awarding the chain this year's Excellence In Retailing Award in the Best Vendor Retailer category.
Through its stores Apple provides consumers a hands-on way to experience its products, which are displayed in a variety of category-specific areas to encourage customers to test and play. In addition to showcasing and selling its own products, the stores also carry a variety of third-party accessories and software titles that are compatible with Apple products.
Beyond its product offerings, each Apple Stores also features a Genius Bar where consumers can get their product-related questions answered by a "genius," the company's name for its trained staffers.
Apple Stores was ranked at No. 8 in TWICE's latest Top 100 CE Retailers Report. It showed 40.5 percent sales growth from 2006 to 2007 and closed last year with $4.1 billion in sales. Last year also marked the opening of Apple's first three-story store, located in Manhattan's fashionable Meat Packing District. However, the company's de facto world flagship store remains on Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, where the underground facility is accessed through a 32-foot-tall glass cube.