Apple Sniffs Out Solution to Retail Store Odor Problem
Ever since the first Apple (AAPL) Store opened in 2001, the retail chain has received accolades for its unique store design and unmistakable branding. Apple Stores typically feature sparse, minimalist interiors constructed from wood, stone, and glass materials. The combination of a knowledgeable retail staff, premium products, and well-designed interiors has given Apple the most successful retail stores in the U.S. According to Fast Company, Apple Stores average sales per square foot at over $6,000.
Obviously, Apple’s retail success means that the Apple Stores receive a considerable number of visitors each day. According to some customers, this has led several Apple Stores to develop a highly unpleasant feature: a strong smell of human body odor. The Street’s Rocco Pendola recently explored this problem after he was alerted by a friend that the Santa Monica Apple Store had a particularly strong odor, especially in the morning around opening time.
While the smell at the Santa Monica Apple Store could simply be due to hot weather, large crowds, or other unique environmental factors, a quick Google (GOOG) search conducted by Pendola revealed that reports of bad smells at Apple Stores is not an uncommon customer complaint. My own Google search found forum discussions about smelly Apple Stores dating back to at least 2007.
In order to sniff out the source of the problem, Pendola made an incognito visit to the Santa Monica Apple Store. Although one employee told Pendola that the bad odor was simply due to “human beings,” other sources have noted that the odor could also be due to the large number of computers running in a relatively small space. As noted by ValueWalk, computers generate chemical smells and carbon monoxide. While one or two computers may not create a noticeable smell, dozens of operating computers in an Apple Store can apparently generate a strong smell that resembles human body odor.