November 13, 2009, 3:18 AM — When you blog about an industry from the comfort of your home office, you tend to rely on Google News a lot to get some competing takes on the same events or trends. Sometimes, however, you see a different phenomenon: pretty much the same take on the same event! That's when you realize that bloggers couldn't make it without those who leave the house and report on stuff, because that shared take comes from a group of reporters being at the same place at the same time.
So it was that I got a feeling of déjà vu as I read the stories from CNet and the New York Times and PC Magazine and Fortune on the opening of the new Apple Store on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The stories were all the same because, presumably, Apple trucked out reporters from all these publications and more for a special preview.
The effect mainly seemed to be of shock and awe with the numbers. Apple's stores are in fact some of the most profitable retail per square foot on the planet. And the gorgeous new store in what is America's most expensive real estate is certainly a statement about how much money the company and its retail venture is making. While Apple often quite rightly adopts the mantle of the scrappy underdog, there's something to say about the PR value of flexing your muscles.