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Bill Bennett


Time we had a New Zealand Apple store

IDC Research reports Apple overtook Acer and Dell in a single quarter to become the second best-selling PC brand in Australian and New Zealand. Hewlett-Packard remains top.

Jumping a single place would have been an achievement, climbing two spots is outstanding.

Apple’s rise comes at a time the overall PC market is weak. Ironically, the main reason PC sales are soft because devices like Apple’s iPad and iPhone are eating into their sales.

IDC says one reason for Apple’s success is its retail store expansion. This is interesting because we don’t have a single Apple store in New Zealand while Australia has 13.

I understand there was, or may still be, a gentleman’s agreement between Renaissance, the erstwhile exclusive New Zealand Apple distributor and Apple saying the company will not open an own-brand store here until some future date.

That day can’t come too soon. I know of friends who fly to Sydney expressly to visit an Apple store. I see this as a measure of the unsatisfactory New Zealand Apple retail experience.

There have been Apple products in my house since a few weeks after the first 128K Macintosh went on sale. We bought two Apple products this year, two last year and have plans to buy at least two more next year.

Apple makes outstanding equipment. Now I’m ready for some outstanding retail customer service. Let’s hope we get a store soon.



6 thoughts on “Time we had a New Zealand Apple store

  1. Indeed. An apple store would be great. The deal with Renaissance has ended and you can buy stuff directly from Apple Australia and have it here in a couple of days. I don’t understand what the delay is. There is certainly enough business to warrant a Auckland store and possibly a Wellington one as well.

  2. There is simply no room to expand, however.
    Apple Australia/Asia manages Apple New Zealand, which basically just manages the NZ online site, and the official Apple Distributors (Ingram Micro and Renaissance). I think there are only about four or five staff who help manage Apple New Zealand.
    Yes, Auckland Central may be a prime spot for an Apple Store, but this would mean spending hundreds of thousands opening a store, and hiring hundreds of staff to manage Apple New Zealand, also taking into account the actual staff in store, which by Apple’s standards, means hiring about 50 people minimum to be on the floor at any given time. It would also mean allocating thousands of stock to New Zealand, when, to be perfectly honest, it is just too small of a country to be worth it.
    Auckland is 1.5 million strong, and there would be a great initial turnout to an Apple Store in Central Auckland. But there would be no room to expand, the only other place I can see Apple opening another store would be Wellington and I’m honestly not sure how many Apple products would/sell there.
    It would be fantastic to have an Apple store in New Zealand, we do deserve one, yes. But in Apple’s eyes, there is just not enough business to make a comfortable profit if they were to open here, and allocate stock for New Zealand, as well as building a store.

    However, has anybody been to see the newly opened iStore in Takapuna on the North Shore? (http://facebook.com/iStoreNZ) They are a fantastic store and the closest thing to Apple I have seen in New Zealand. They have young staff who know a lot about all of the Apple products, and their store even looks like an Apple store (closer than YooBee in my opinion). The name is very relevant and I see huge potential for them to grow and expand if they do things right. Go check them out, I have been very pleased with their customer service and with their store, I can’t wait to see some launch parties from them next year.

    1. Thanks for the tip about iStore.

      I don’t agree with your analysis of the numbers. Here’s how I figure it:

      Australia’s population is 21.5 million, New Zealand has 4.3 million. So if Australia can support 13 Apple Stores, New Zealand could support two. Well 2.6 actually, but that would be daft.

      New Zealand’s population is roughly the same as Sydney, There are six Apple stores in Sydney.

      It’s possible Apple will open more stores in Australia. I reckon New Zealand can handle at least one in Auckland and one in Wellington. It would be good to have one in Christchurch too – perhaps that’s the 0.6 store 🙂

  3. Yes, but you can’t go off population numbers alone. Using that logic China would have the most stores followed by India….

    Australia’s GDP is about 30% higher than New Zealand on a per capita basis and is trending in a different direction. On that basis the case for a NZ store falls away….

  4. NZ consumers buy as many devices per capita as Australian consumers, despite the GDP differences so that argument doesn’t make sense. Apple need to address the gap created here and recognise that each and every loyal customer deserves equal treatment regardless of where they live.

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