More than three out of five (65%) Macworld online readers voting in this week’s poll have visited an Apple Store in the UK. Over a third (37%) of these voters have visited the Apple Store in London.
The Apple Stores outside London score thus on the popularity scale: Birmingham 8%, Manchester 4%, Bluewater 4%, Sheffield 4%.
Another third of the 1,687 voters (35%) have not yet been to a UK Apple Store. This is either because they are “All too far away” (25%), because “you wouldn’t catch me there” (3%), or because they haven’t got around to it yet (7%).
Sticking down South?
Apple has attracted criticism on the Macworld forums for its focus on opening stores in the south of the UK. This southern expansion continued last weekend when Apple opened its sixth UK store in the Brent Cross shopping mall in north London.
With the addition of the Brent Cross store to Apple’s portfolio, UK shoppers in the south of the country can now enjoy the Apple retail experience in London, Bluewater Kent, and Brent Cross. Mac fans in the Midlands have the Birmingham outlet. And fans in the North of England can shop for Apple products in the Manchester and Sheffield stores.
One reader defends Apple’s focus on the South East. “Greater London has at least three times the population of Greater Birmingham, Greater Manchester - so it needs more stores. Hence W1 and Brent Cross.”
But as another reader points out: “There are no stores in Scotland, none in Wales, none in the South West, none on the South Coast. There are none in Northern Ireland. There are none in East Anglia.”
Forum users entered into a debate about whether Apple should open a store in Southampton, and in what could either be proof that Apple reads and reacts to the Macworld forums, or a result of supernatural forces, just days later, Apple added Southampton as an option for those searching for Apple retail jobs in the UK, suggesting that the company plans to open a store in Southampton’s West Quay.