Apple Opens Mini Retail Stores -- Further refining the retail experience of buying a Mac or iPod, Apple opened six new retail stores that feature a "mini" layout compared to existing stores. The smaller design puts products and information along the side walls (which are made up of aluminum panels, like a real-world Finder!), with the main floor space open. A single retail counter doubles as a Genius Bar. Most intriguing is a new self-checkout kiosk built into one wall, where customers can scan and purchase products without employee assistance. The stores appear to be geared toward more general users: the iPod is heavily represented, as are portables and the iMac, but the eMac and Power Mac G5 don't appear at all. Apple now operates 93 Apple Stores in the United States and Japan. [JLC]
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