Apple Opens Montreal Flagship Store
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Personally, I am best familiar with Apple's New York SoHo branch on Prince Street. Its ostentatious cubic form aside, the Montreal store is in many ways similar. The lower floor is where all the Apple goodies (and most salespeople) are, while the upper level houses a "genius bar", and the software and accessories section.
Compared to what I remember from New York, the software section is more comprehensive. All major items, from Microsoft Office to Adobe to Apple's own software titles are here. Canadians will appreciate several accounting software packages targeted specifically to the local market.
Now, my personal reason to visit the store was not so much to write up this report as to get a new computer. Sadly, my previous Mac had just expired. The salesperson who ended up helping me out (after briefly ignoring me, may I add) was reasonably nice. The whole process is super-efficient from the moment of the first staff interaction, since there's no need to line up at the cash register to pay. Each salesperson has a wireless card reader and is able to print the receipt almost literally "on the fly" (yes, think about it). Simultaneously with the printing, they send a message to the back office telling them to bring out your new toys. You can be in and out (with your new purchase) in less than five minutes... provided that you have a knack of flagging down salespeople.
All in all, this store is a win for everybody: local students, designers, Mac-heads, the city of Montreal, specifically St-Catherine Street and, of course, Apple. It's been a long time coming (I was fuming on this site's forum at the lack of Apple shopping options in Montreal all the way back in 2004), but I guess, better late than never.