Edinburgh has an Apple Store… and it’s AWESOME.

Edinburgh has an Apple Store… and it’s AWESOME.
18 Oct 14

Its 5:30am on Saturday the 18th of October 2014… why do I have an alarm set?!

Oh yeah, its the grand opening of the Edinburgh Apple Store on Princes Street!!!

We arrive at the Store about 7:30 to find… no one infront of the store?  Do we have the wrong day?  Are we the only ones stupid enough to get up this early to see a store opening?  Nope, are a little searching we find a queue of about 30 people have arrived before us but they are being asked to queue up the side of the building, the gent occupying the front position is a Edinburgh native by the name of Leon, he arrived along with his friends at around 4am.

We have not been waiting long when Starbucks arrive with a welcome cup of free hot chocolate for all who want to partake.

After about half an hour the blue shirted staff make an appearance, chatting with the crowd and generally being very cheery, which is understandable given that its 8am, in Edinburgh, in October and we are not frozen or wet!

IMG_4835 IMG_4834

Some time passes are we are asked to move to the front of the store, I can only guess that they wanted a critical mass of people in the queue before we are allowed to stand in front of the store.  Due to our position in the queue we have a prime position, directly in front of the main doors and direct in line with anyone and everyone from the press wanting a chat, I lost count of the number of times my daughter was interviewed and photographed!

At about 9:55 the staff exit the store led by Bagpipes only to return about 3 mins later to get ready for the count down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, a cheer goes up and the first 10 people in the queue are rewarded for their patience by entering the store only to be surrounded by approx 30 staff members cheering, whooping, chapping and generally making a din (I am sure one of them had a kazoo)


After about 5mins it was our turn, as we were at the front of the queue i sent my daughter in first, apparently the first kid in the store so they made a HUGE deal over her, giving her the same welcome as the first person some 5mins prior.  We were all given our Apple box (containing the obligatory black T-Shirt with the store name on it 'Princes Street'.  My father was grabbed by the Scotland on Sunday to get his view on the happening as he was the "first person through who wasn't a teenager" (i was insulted by this comment).

We were then grabbed by a passing Genius from the Southampton store to give us a tour!  This was the first time i had a chance to see the store from the inside and I have to say, i was impressed.  I have been in a number of Apple stores  including Covent Garden, Glasgow and of course the 'mother ship' store in Cupertino but the Edinburgh one is something special.  The helpful genius explained that the iron girders you will see int he photo below are from the 1700's, lovingly restored to be part of the store.

The Edinburgh store doesn't have the normal glass stair case, it has a impressive stone staircase leading up to the 1st floor.

IMG_4918 IMG_4905

Once in the 1st floor the first thing i noticed is the complete lack of a Genius bar?


I enquired as to its whereabouts and I was told that the Edinburgh store has a '360 genius bar' (below) to "remove the big bit of wood between [the genius] and you, it's more personal".  I happened to have an issue with my phone and was helped there and then and I agree, it is  a much nicer experience.


They even had a kilted genius or 2…


All in all it was a great morning and the Apple store is a welcome addition to my (2nd) favourite city.  It you get the chance to attend an opening  of an Apple store in the future, I would highly recommend it, an experience my father, daughter and myself will never forget.

I created a little video of the day and uploaded to You Tube, be gentle, surprisingly I have never used iMovie before today!


Paul Wheatley


Leave a comment:

* Required.