Steve Jobs is not one to listen to critics. Otherwise, he might never have proceeded with the rollout of Apple Stores. The company encountered widespread skepticism—and outright hostility from many analysts—when it opened its first stores in 2001. But the gambit paid off in a big way. The now 200-store (and still growing) Apple chain is not only wildly successful, it is one of the most compelling concepts in all of retail, with a sleek, high-touch, interactive format that is the envy of the industry.
Jobs’ success in retail is one of many homeruns he has racked up since returning to an ailing Apple in 1997 (he was ousted in a boardroom coup in 1985).
From the iMac and iPod to iTunes and the iPhone, Jobs, 55, has created a mega-brand with a cult-like following. He has revolutionized the dynamics of every industry he has touched. That he should do the same in retail should be no surprise.