NYT Strays Into Sony Style, Runs Back to Apple Store's Loving Arms

We already knew that The New York Times is warm and fuzzy on the Apple Store. But the lovin' gets hot and sloppy in yesterday's article "Apple's Lesson for Sony's Stores: Just Connect." How unconditionally does the Times' Randall Stross love the Apple Store?

He's unabashed in his affection from the get-go: "The best innovation was present on Day One: the 'Genius Bar,' with a staff of diagnostic wizards whose expertise is available in one-on-one consultations — free. Pure genius."

He's open to new things, however, and decides to swing with the other woman by taking a trip to a couple of Sony Style Stores. But he's neglected in the cold, empty space by a group of slacker 20-year-olds, left to gaze longingly at an Apple Store a few yards away that was "simplicity itself" and "packed, yet the sales people were alert and attentive."

Rebuffed by Sony Style, he takes comfort in the reassuring words of analysts, who affirm his love for Apple Stores, like Wendy Liebman, the founder of WSL Strategic Retail, who said that they exemplify "emotional connection."

Still, he wonders, "Is it the store? Or the goods?" He whispers to himself, "It may be that as long as personal computer makers stick with Windows, no amount of merchandiser ingenuity will be able to gin up passion matching a Mac enthusiast's."

Could the Sony Store change, change so that Stross could be made to love it? Maybe. "What it lacks...is a machine so extraordinary that people would come just to gawk at it, and then, perhaps, would notice surrounding products that shine in the reflected light."

To us, that seems superficial, like a girl with fakies. He might give her more than a passing glance, but we know where his heart truly lies. He's a fanboy in neutral colors. Good thing the sales numbers from the Apple Stores back him up.

Apple's Lesson for Sony's Stores: Just Connect [NYT]