September 21, 2010 in Business

Line up, Apple fans: Store opens Saturday

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Map of this story's location

Apple Inc. has never said it will open a store in Spokane, even though the company’s distinctive retail space has been taking shape downtown for weeks.

That changed Monday, when Apple said its downtown store will open Saturday at 10 a.m.

Apple began planning to build the store as far back as February, obtaining permits and arranging a lease for space in River Park Square. The downtown shopping mall is owned by Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

The location at 710 W. Main Ave. is Apple’s first retail store in the Spokane area. The nearest other stores are in Bellevue, Wash., Portland and Boise. When the Boise Apple store opened earlier this month, several hundred people waited in line, according to news reports.

The Spokane store will employ more than 70 people, spokeswoman Amy Barney said. Those people will work in retail sales as well as at the Genius Bar, Apple’s face-to-face advice and tech support team.

The store will also offer free weekly training sessions to help customers learn how to use Apple products, she said.

John Dresel, president and CEO of Banner Retail Marketing in Liberty Lake, said Apple’s decision to build a store in Spokane enhances the area’s retail landscape.

“It’s a great thing when a great brand like Apple comes in here,” Dresel said. “It raises the level of all retail boats in the community.”

Apple will give away T-shirts to the first 1,000 customers through the doors Saturday.

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