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Apple Genius Bar Promises Community

When the first Apple Store opened in 2001, there was no iPod or iPhone, and 97 percent of people in the U.S. were on dial-up Internet. For every hundred people who visited the store, one person actually bought something. Most people who walked through those glass doors in 2001 didn't own a single Apple product, and the team at Apple were totally comfortable with that, because they knew that if they got it right, success would come off the back of becoming meaningful to people.

That success took a few years to arrive because people didn't understand the stores or the Genius Bars at first, but the Apple Store eventually became "the most successful retail concept of all time," according to Fast Company [magazine]. As Ron Johnson, former VP of retail at Apple—the guy we have to thank for the Apple Store concept—said, "People really love our stores because we are more than a store; we are a place to belong."

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