Re: Planning restrictions
>> The local apple store is barely a cupboard - I bet they don't meet their own standards!
Probably not. And wouldn't be the first time.
A couple of decades ago I used to part own a small dealership in a small market town in NW England. Back then there were two grades of dealer - "normal" and "Apple Centre". AppleCentre was something similar to the current Apple Stores - Apple only, defined branding, etc, etc. Just like the story, everything was defined, down to minimum sizes, computers in the mandatory training area, floor covering, wallpaper, furniture, and so the list goes on. In return for this, they got an extra 2% margin (we paid 32% off list, they paid 34% off list) and marketing kickbacks.
Even as a "standard" dealer, we still had to meet a long list of requirements - one of which was to produce a 2 year business plan with **detailed** breakdown of what we planned to sell. Anyone else see the nonsense in that when working with a company that won't tell you what it's product range will be in 2 weeks time, let alone 2 years !
But in both cases, these rules were flexibly applied according to Apple's requirements. Ie, if it suited them to ignore something, then they would. One story I recall involved a then large retail group who were having cashflow issues - and were known to have "extended credit terms" with Apple. Some other AppleCentres demanded the same terms and were turned down. Next thing, several of them invited their Apple sales manager to visit - by which time there were strategically placed stacks of IBM boxes shouting "we're prepared to dump Apple".
The next day, the large dealer chain went into administration.
But better still, a friend tells me a good tale from the local Land Rover dealership. They have a very nice showroom with a lovely slate floor. Land Rover standards required carpets - apparently the conversation went along the lines of :
Land Rover - "we want you to carpet the floor"
Dealer - We''ll carpet the floor when you make vehicles that don't leak oil"
Land Rover - silence
They still have a slate floor !