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Apple store is trigger for Strong reaction

Sat., July 9, 2011

Business refocuses on training, consulting

Not everyone in Spokane rejoiced when the Apple retail store came to Spokane last year.

Among those who felt a disruptive impact from Apple’s arrival is Jack-Daniyel Strong, owner of Strong Solutions, a technology business he’s operated since 2009.

Until the Apple store opened downtown last September, Strong’s business, at 1718 E. Sprague Ave., was Spokane’s largest full-service Apple retailer and business consultant.

Ten months later, the downtown store has sucked a lot of Strong’s retail business away.

Strong’s reaction, initiated this week, is refocusing operations less on retail, more on training, consulting and business services.

“They (the Apple store) are now focusing on the consumer, and so we’ve decided to focus more on business customers,” he said.

The changes include opening the store at 8 a.m., two hours earlier, and closing on Saturdays.

That gives business customers a chance to get service or help earlier. The Apple store opens at 10 a.m.

“We’re now seeing two to three or four people coming to our store before 10,” he said.

He’s expanding the menu of business training options. He’ll also offer more classes and training sessions on using Apple products or on integrating iPads or iPhones into a business environment.

Strong said he learned his earlier plan of having classes on weekends didn’t appeal to businesses. “They said they didn’t want to send employees on their own time to a weekend session,” he said.

Strong Solutions will still sell Apple products but won’t carry a large inventory. “That won’t affect things, since many of our sales are custom-ordered for a customer or a business,” he said.

His business and consulting services go beyond Apple to include customers who use Windows or Linux, as well. Another key service, he noted, is securing company data and resources when employees are accessing company networks with personal devices.


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