AppleCentre Chatswood branches out

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AppleCentre Chatswood proprietor Henrik Kocharians opened a second store to huge queues on Saturday, 19 June, with the stated aim of serving customers based on Sydney’s northern beaches.

AppleCentre Chatswood proprietor Henrik Kocharians opened a second store to huge queues on Saturday, 19 June, with the stated aim of serving customers based on Sydney's northern beaches.

Kocharians said the northern beaches were under-served by Apple. Many customers had previously been forced to trek to Chatswood Mall or Dee Why for service and support, he said.

'Apple hasn't had a good representation on the northern beaches, in terms of showcasing Apple's products in the way they need to be,' he said.

The new $150,000, 62 square metre store was in Warringah Mall -- which Kocharians said had one of the highest amounts of foot traffic of anywhere in NSW. The other northern beach AppleCentre -- in Dee Why -- was not in a mall, he said.

People could combine their Apple needs with regular shopping trips to Warringah Mall, he pointed out.

Kocharians said that Sydney already had at least 'seven or eight' AppleCentres. However, the queue outside the new Warringah Mall AppleCentre when its doors first opened on Saturday suggested there was room for one more.

'On Saturday, we were scheduled to open at 10am and had to open at 9:45am, because we had a lot of people queuing up for 20 to 25 metres trying to get into the store. It was hard to get out of the store, and it continued like that until about 5:30pm,' he said.

He said that the new store had been only lightly advertised. Advertising had been placed on Apple's website, in a couple of local newspapers and on the Chatswood AppleCentre website. Chatswood AppleCentre had also been hard at work promoting the launch to its client base -- many of whom lived on the Northern Beaches, he said.

'A lot of it is our own client base. They were coming to [the] Chatswood store, from anywhere from North Sydney or Palm Beach up to Hornsby,' Kocharians said. 'Some people also work in Sydney but live in northern Sydney and it is much more convenient for them to come [to Warringah Mall] over the weekend.'

He said the new store had sold 70 iPods, plenty of iBook and PowerBook laptops and software on Saturday. Some customers had been on their way to local mass market merchants in the mall to buy Apple gear, but spotted the new AppleCentre and decided to try there instead, he said.

'Two of our software bays are now 70 percent empty. It's just like we were raided,' Kocharians said. 'A lot of people I talked to on Saturday were already Mac users but just passing by, but we also had a lot of people who had been going to mass merchants.'

AppleCentre Warringah Mall would be mainly consumer-focused but Kocharians' operation also had corporate and education facets, he said.

'A lot of schools around the beaches had a lot of principals visiting us on Saturday, discussing this and that,' he said. 'But primarily it will be a retail business and consumer base.'

Warringah Mall AppleCentre had three full-time staff --one new hire joining Talin Danielian and a technician from AppleCentre Chatswood -- and two newly-hired casuals. Staff numbers would be reassessed as time went on, he said.

The store would stock every kind of Apple product and offering and plenty of third-party gear, Kocharians said.

Replacement staff for AppleCentre Chatswood were being sought, he said.



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