Cult Apple store lurks in suburban California mall

Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:55pm EST
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By Sarah McBride

GLENDALE, California (Reuters) - Before there was an Apple store under a giant futuristic cube near New York's Central Park or beneath a sleek glass cylinder in Shanghai, there was "store 001" on the second floor of a 70s-era suburban California shopping mall.

It may be unassuming and, yes, a bit uncool, but it's not forgotten, not by Christmas shoppers who flock these days to the Glendale Galleria mall and especially not by Appleheads at the core of the cult brand.

Doors actually opened on May 19, 2001, the same day as another Apple store in Virginia's Tysons Corner, a shopping mecca outside Washington D.C.. But the one in a brown-brick mall in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale is listed as store 001 in Apple rankings.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, many Apple shoppers were surprised to learn of the store's status.

"You're kidding," said Mike Morales, 24. "Glendale was first?" asked Margaret Lambert, eyebrows raised high, who described herself as fortysomething. "Here?" asked Robbie Nock, 26. "It's a horrible mall."

But that's not how Apple sees it. Several major Los Angeles freeways run nearby, bringing in traffic from a wide area. Shoppers hail from all income brackets, ethnic groups, and levels of tech prowess.


Hard-core Apple fans don't care about the humdrum surroundings. Abel Keshishian, 23, likes to stop by every couple of months and says he thinks about the store being first every time he steps over the threshold.   Continued...

<p>Shoppers walk past the Apple store at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California December 8, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>