Interesting article on how Apple are closing down 20 retail stores so they can move them to alternative locations that allow them to be bigger:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/12/apple-closing-20-retail-stores-in-order-expand/

Interesting as of course the conventional wisdom for retailers for the last few years has been to from “bricks and mortar” to an eChannel strategy.

However there has been a lot of noise around people moving to research online and buy in a store.  Google commissioned some interesting pre-xmas rsearch on this behaviour:

http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/library/studies/holiday-consumer-intentions-2012/

51%  of people planned to research online and buy instore vs 44% that will research and buy online.  Would be interesting to see the breakdown of products, i.e Clothing vs iPads to see if that was a factor in this behaviour.

Personally I tend to research online in the evenings when I have time.  Then if I can I will buy online, unless die to a lack of planning I need to buy urgently during the day.

An interesting lately example was grabbing an iPad for Kathryn over at OptimalBI (after her awesome business case, damn we work with talented people!).

So in a hurry I popped into JB’s to grab a white iPad with 3G.  none in stock they could order me one in.  Interesting the guy looks on his mobile device to check stock.  Wonder why I cant do that from their website?

So down the road to Dick’s.  Guy goes into the backroom and has a look (Dick does deals but Dick doesn’t do mobile devices for sales guys it seems).  Nope none in stock he can do me a black one or order one in for tomorrow.

So I hope on my iPhone and check out Dicks stock in Manners st, mmm nope they are out as well.

Ok off to Yoobee then, they do nothing but apple, easy peasey.  Well blow me down they have no 3G ipAds in stock at all.  (Is that an indication YooBee is in financial trouble if they dont hold stock of one of the biggest selling items?)

So in the end it was onto the Apple store online and one was ordered.  Interesting that a delivery date of 2 weeks out was given but it arrived within a week, a ploy to over deliver perhaps?

So Apple please open one of your 20 new stores in sunny Welly!

And do it soon as I noticed you have dropped the price and upped the specs of your Macbook Pro Retinas and the 15″, 16GB RAM and 512 SSD Macbook pro Retina is looking very tempting, but bet none of your resellers will have any in stock!  (And yes I have just researched their websites first to check 😉