An Apple reseller is taking the Mac message to some of the largest shopping centres in Sydney in an effort to convince Windows users to switch to the Macintosh platform.
Over the next month, the Apple Centre Taylor Square team will take up residence at Westfield Shoppingtown Eastgardens, selling the Apple story to passing shoppers under the slogan "test drive a Mac today".
"We want to be a forerunner in the retail space," said operations director Ben Morgan. "Westfield is the boldest thing Apple's ever done and I think if we can keep the project running for 12 months, we will double our turnover. We have a chance to reach customers that are largely Wintel-based and give them a powerful presentation on Apple's products."
The concept, known as an iMall, is a marketing strategy supported by Apple to help its resellers take the Apple story to a wider audience, but Morgan hopes to do more than just sign passers-by up to a mailing list.
"We are trying to get rid of the lazy mindset of sitting in a retail store and letting business come to you," he said. "We're excited by this -- Big Kev style."
The Apple Centre has taken a hard look at its operations over the past six months, deciding to refocus its energies on the retail space after dabbling with the corporate market. On the back of this new strategy, the reseller is launching a new online facility, rebranding operations and employing a new generation of design professionals. Under the mantle Ecom, Apple Centre Taylor Square will take on 30 students from the Computer Graphics College in East Sydney, who will produce TV commercials and marketing material for the store and its online operations.
"It gives them the opportunity to work and learn and it's our way of doing our bit for our own customer community. If we can take our physical store and assimilate that with an online and offline solution, we can bring back the viability of the Internet."
Morgan also plans to produce his own series of Apple Switch commercials using his own customers. In the US, Apple recently launched an advertising campaign featuring customers who have switched from PCs to Macs. Apple is still looking at whether it will launch the same campaign in Australia.
Apple marketing director Arno Lenior applauded Apple Centre Taylor Square's move. "I think it is fantastic. It is great to have a strong channel that is as passionate about the products as we are. We are ramping our whole marketing effort up through the channel and with Jaguar just released there has been a huge amount of interest."