Apple was an early pioneer in applying research on the role of touch to the design of its retail stores. According to behavioral economists, we're more likely to buy an item after touching it, a phenomenon they call the "endowment effect." Hence the long tables loaded with demo-ready iPads, iPhones, and MacBooks that have become Apple's retail signature.
With its first Brooklyn store, which opens on Saturday on Bedford Avenue, Apple is taking the touch-first model even further. Phone cases are displayed without their packaging, inviting shoppers to test their look and fit. Apple Watch bands lie flat in a rainbow display of colors and textures, ready for trying on customers' wrists. And on the other side of the room, across the polished concrete floor, a geometric display of cases and wristbands reads like a tactile mural, designed for interaction.
The strategy has certainly worked for hardware—Apple sold its billionth iPhone last week—and it just might work for accessories, too.
[Photos: Ainsley O'Connell] AOC