NOT even two topless male models outside the Abercrombie clothes shop could compete with the opening of Apple’s fourth and biggest store in Spain.
Emotions were running high at the La Cañada shopping complex in Marbella last Friday as the curtain rose, nearly 100 staff rushed to the front to the chants and cheers of the crowd outside.
Employees sang, chanted and stomped their feet and raised their hands.
When the doors finally opened they formed a long passage which the first customers ran down to cheers, some with their iPad’s recording the moment.
The first 1,000 customers got a free t-shirt and each one ran the gauntlet throughout the morning as the shop filled with customers.
“It was the best experience of my life,” said the Apple store’s first customer, 31-year-old watch repairer Guillermo (William) Ruiz. He had been waiting outside La Cañada shopping centre since 7pm the night before.
“I went early as it was very important to me that I was the first person,” said William.
“About five minutes later the second person arrived, so I got there in the nick of time. Between then and about 8am there were about 20 of us camping out overnight, then the line began to fill quickly and by 10am there were thousands.”
William was one of the many hopefuls who wanted to work at the new store.
“I have gone to two interviews and am still trying,” he said. “The human resources manager has agreed to meet with me for the third time to get to know me. I already feel like everybody here is like a second family and it would mean the world to me if I could work here; it is my ambition.”
The Apple store takes up 1,700 square meters on the ground floor opposite the main entrance of the La Cañada shopping complex in Marbella.
This is the first Apple Store in Andalucia and fourth in Spain. In the past year, three Apple Stores have opened in Madrid and Barcelona to long queues of people eager to get through the doors.
While most of the companies involved in the creation of this store were Spanish, one of them was Costa del Sol based British company, Oasis Energy Solutions.
In addition to offering Apple products, this store has a ‘Genius Bar’, which offers technical support and help for Mac, iPad, iPod, Apple TV and iPhones.
By Nicole Hallett