What would an Apple Store have looked like in the 1970s? Would it have resembled a waterbed or a hot tub store? That’s the question that a report from CNET brings to mind.
In another universe, in another time, the world may have had its first Apple retail stores in the 1970s. Why? According to just-released documents, that’s when Apple originally considered building its own line of shops. The documents come courtesy of Silicon Valley marketing guru Regis McKenna, who gave a talk at the Computer History Museum earlier this week.
McKenna reminisced during the talk, speaking about the first meeting he had with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976. The meeting led to a marketing plan that proposed Apple Stores as part of the plan.
The Two Steves were reportedly looking for marketing help to push their Apple II. McKenna hit it off with Jobs, but with Woz, not so much. McKenna turned down their business that night, but says that, “Steve [Jobs] called back probably 40 times that night.”
Jobs and McKenna eventually broke bread together and discussed what the future of Apple could look like. Eventually, Mckenna gave in and drafted an eight-page marketing plan, and presented it in December 1976. In a section entitled “Distribution Channels,” McKenna had included, “Apple Stores.”
The retail locations, sprinkled around the country, would initially serve as centers to spur corporate sales and training, and would be located in office parks. Gradually, the company would have made the move into malls.
I remember what ’70s retailing looked like, (yes, I am just that damned old), and all I keep seeing in my minds eye are waterbed and hot tub stores with a giant rainbow Apple logo everywhere. Shag carpeting, it feels good beneath my Earth Shoes…