Augusta just took a bite out of an Apple… and it is a DELICIOUS one! I had the pleasure of being second in line at the Grand Opening of the Apple Store, located at 3450 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta GA (Across from P.F. Changs at the Augusta Mall). Rumors have been circulating around for a while now that Apple was making its way to the Garden City. When the construction started on the storefront, word spread fast. And just like everything that comes with anticipation, anxious Apple fans began plotting their schedules accordingly. The social networks facebook, twitter, posterous and more were abuzz with chatter about the launch date. And people were preparing.
One person that was extremely prepared was Becky McCulley, resident of Augusta and uber-geek! A week before the grand opening, Ms. McCulley made frequent trips to the near completed Apple store. One of those days she solidified her dedication and staked her claim on the coveted “First in line” spot with a self made sign taped to the ground. And I thought I was prepared! Arriving at 5 A.M., September 19, 2009, I stepped out of my vehicle and was confident that I was ready to claim bragging rights on the first Augustan customer to step foot in the new Apple store. I was sorely mistaken. But that’s not a bad thing. The absolute joy on Ms. McCulley’s face as she happily bounced to her spot in line was something to see. She shared with myself and others in line how wonderfully happy she was that we now have an Apple store in town. And while we chatted, the line grew. And grew, and grew and grew a bit more.
By the time the sun had rose, a photographer from Apple’s Corporate office had taken many shots for the official Apple records/website. More corporate and local employees arrived, as well as anxious customers waiting to get inside. The first 1,000 people to walk through the doors were treated to an co-branded Apple/Augusta T-shirt to sweeten the deal. The line was buzzing with rapid fire fingers tapping away at their iPhones, Blackberries and numerous other smart phones. Twitter was chattering away with people throughout the line connecting with each other, pictures were snapped and excitement was in the air.
And to make it even more exciting, the moment had arrived. What seemed like over 50 Apple Employees ranfrom the back of the line, yelling, clapping and rousing the crowd into a near tizzy as they made their way to the front of the store. The doors opened and the employees began chanting. But it wasn’t Apple they were chanting. It was “Becky”. This brings me to my point. If the Apple store in Augusta continues with this type of attention to detail, they will continue to spread that same excitement from their Grand Opening for years to come. When they finally allowed everyone in the door, there was a line very similar to how a football team will line up and welcome the starting line up onto the field. The first set of people allowed in were greeted with cheers, high fives and smiles. You felt welcome. You felt important. And THEN you made your way to the products. And with that type of welcome, you wanted to stay inside and browse. Take note business owners when you’re crafting your customer service policies. While inside, I was approached by at least 5 Apple employees in search of wanting to introduce themselves and/or help.
They are equipped with the Apple standards, the Genius Bar for dedicated help, an array of Apple products from iPods, peripherals, iMacs, Macbooks, software and more. Please do yourself a favor, even if you are a dedicated PC user. Go visit the Apple Store at the Augusta Mall. Treat yourself to an experience, talk to the employees, tell them Augusta’s Choice sent you, and get yourself something nice while you’re at it!