This week marks twenty years since the first Apple Retail Stores opened their doors. From suburban malls to landmark architecture projects in the world’s top cities, the story of Apple Stores is one no individual can tell. It took a global team, still growing today, to shape a crazy idea from dream to reality and prove the skeptics wrong. Here are twenty highlights from along the way.

🎈 This is part two of a four-part series celebrating twenty years of Apple Stores. Read more feature stories and special content at the links below.


"I'm not a Genius, but I'll stand behind here." Steve Jobs, Apple Tysons Corner


"Folks capture the moment on digital cameras as they get their first glimpse.", Apple SoHo Grand Opening


"In Tokyo we are opening a store on the Ginza, which is the #1 shopping street in the world." Steve Jobs, WWDC 2003


"Our mini store is a big experience that fits in a small space." Ron Johnson, Apple mini store Introduction


"Attend the world premiere event at all Apple stores" Mac OS X Tiger World Premiere


"And we said 'Subterranean? Are you crazy?' But then we called him back a day later." Steve Jobs, Apple Fifth Avenue


"...Eager shoppers who began lining up early Thursday spent the night on folding chairs and in sleeping bags — one even brought a mattress." CNN, June 29, 2007


"This is the first of many stores we will open in China." Ron Johnson, Apple Sanlitun


"What I want to know is why I wasn't at the Louvre opening this week." David Muir, Apple Upper West Side Grand Opening


"It's kind of a landmark in glass engineering." Steve Jobs, Remarks On Apple Pudong


"We'll be closed from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday." Apple Stores Pause For A Celebration Of Steve Jobs' Life


"A search for a new head of Retail is underway..." Apple Newsroom, October 29, 2012


"GPS will tell you how to get to the nearest Apple Store. With iBeacon, Apple hopes to guide you around once you're inside." Associated Press, December 6, 2013


"What we've done is we've painstakingly restored it to its original glory." Jonny Walker, Apple Brisbane Store Leader


"It starts with this beautiful custom table, where you can see all of the Apple Watches beautifully displayed." Tim Cook, Apple Special Event, March 9, 2015


"The connection to inside and out is one of the things most important to us." BJ Siegel, Apple Union Square Grand Opening


"Did you learn something? Were you inspired? Did we enrich your life?" Angela Ahrendts, Remarks On Today at Apple


"To work within one of Italy's historic piazzas is both a great responsibility and wonderful challenge." Jony Ive, Remarks On Apple Piazza Liberty


"In New York, the walk begins at the Apple Store at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street and heads straight into the park." New York Times, Today at Apple [AR]T Launch


"It's a swifter way for us to serve customers." Deirdre O'Brien, Remarks On Apple Express

Links to the photos that inspired the illustrations in this article:

2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

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About the Author

Michael Steeber

Michael is a Creative Editor who covered Apple Retail and design on 9to5Mac. His stories highlighted the work of talented artists, designers, and customers through a unique lens of architecture, creativity, and community.

Contact Michael on Twitter to share Apple Retail, design, and history stories: @MichaelSteeber