Ten years ago today, Apple cut the ribbon on its first official retail store location in Tysons Corner, Va. Under the guidance of Ron Johnson, senior VP of retail at Apple, the new retail stores had a simple job: allow Apple's products to sell themselves. Johnson believed that Apple's products were so good, all people needed was to be in an attractive location with unobstructed access to the laptops, iMacs, and iPods. So instead of stores loaded with shelves and boxers, customers were greeted with an open, airy layout with nothing by wood tables and stone floors.
Johnson also wanted Apple Stores to be more than places where people buy Apple goods. He wanted them to be a places where the Mac faithful could stop in and experience something. For that, Apple Stores host a number of events ranging from in-store performances, lectures, discussions, movie screenings, and seminars. The computers on those wooden desks are all Internet-connected and available for browsers to use to check their e-mail or favorite blog. Over the years, despite their clear capitalistic intentions, Apple Stores have morphed into little hip community centers.
Since May 19, 2001, Apple has opened 324 retail locations around the world. Some are simple, located in shopping malls or plazas, while some are amazing structures built from the ground up like New York's Fifth Ave location. Rumor has it Apple has a big remodeling plan in the works to celebrate its decade-long run, but before it does, take a look at the 5 Most Breathtaking Apple Stores in the world.