iSTYLE opens 50th Apple Premium Reseller store in CEE as international network grows
'We continue to grow because our customers are happy, and keep on returning to our stores, our website and our service locations.”
October 2, 2021 saw the opening of a new iSTYLE Apple store in Sibiu, a well-known Romanian tourist destination for both domestic and foreign visitors. Located within Promenada Sibiu shopping center, the store is the 13th iSTYLE location in Romania and the 50th in Central Europe – consolidating iSTYLE as the regional leader for Apple monobrand shops, offering a best in class customer experience within the full Apple ecosystem in dedicated physical stores.
The new iSTYLE store, designed and arranged to the usual high-quality Apple standards, offers the public an area of over 55 square meters of hi-tech Apple products presentation, served by a team of certified specialists, ready to provide individual assistance to each visitor. iSTYLE Sibiu offers the traditional combination of Apple products including the best quality accessories and excellence in customer service, something which has become the popular brand’s slogan.
“Apple experts can’t wait to meet you! That’s the headline on our billboards in the city, and it is more than just a marketing slogan, it’s what we feel. We are pleased that, despite the unfavorable epidemiological situation, we are able to offer the people of Sibiu a very pleasant and easily accessible place to discover the Apple ecosystem in complete safety. Moreover, iSTYLE plans for 2021 do not end here; before the end of the year another store opening is planned,” said Valeriu Ion, General Manager of iSTYLE Retail in Romania, Bulgaria and Adria.
The opening of the store attracted many happy visitors who took advantage of special offers for a selection of products and enjoyed other surprises and gifts. Among the Apple products they were able to test were the recently released iPad models, including the sixth generation iPad mini, a technical marvel offering sensational performance in an extremely compact and attractive design, and the ninth generation iPad, a robust, versatile device at an extremely affordable price. In addition, customers were able to place pre-orders for the long-awaited iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models.
How it all started
iSTYLE CEE started in 2005 in Budapest with a street location on the Andrassy avenue 4. Since then, the company has grown to reach a significant milestone of 50 stores and 400 employees, covering nine countries across Central Europe.
“Back in 2005 and in the ensuing years, our core business was selling Macs, iPods and a limited selection of accessories. No iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch or AirPods. The main challenge was how to generate enough traffic and attract enough customers just with iPods; the Mac in 2005 was used by a limited number of businesses usually around graphic and design, and not by consumers,” said Georges Abboud, the iSTYLE leader at that time.
“So, to begin with, store profitability was a huge challenge. Think about it – all the innovative new products that came later represent today about 80% of our revenue. Even when the amazing iPhone was introduced, it was sold only through the phone carriers, making our job even more complicated.”
“Building a great customer experience was not so easy to achieve in the stores due to the limited resources and of course, online sales were non-existent. Our marketing was exclusively billboards and radios, and with the small budgets we had, the impact was negligible. Patience, the conviction we were doing the right things, the alignment with Apple, and the support of the Midis Group allowed us to go through the bad times and become a major retail, online and service partner for Apple,” Georges added.
Looking to the future
Csaba Gyarmati, Regional Manager for iSTYLE CEE tells more about the bright future now in prospect for the Group: “Our goal is to become the top omni-channel Apple Reseller in Central Eastern Europe. To reach this goal we aim to provide the best customer experience; we will increase our leadership with the number of Apple monobrand stores operated in the region, as well as acquire regional leadership in online sales of Apple products. We continuously work on improving our consumer offers, and our customer service to be our customers’ preferred local Apple Expert.”
“Premium monobrand retail has always been at the heart of the proposition for iSTYLE. Being close to our customers is important for us, and we continue to grow because they are happy, and keep on returning to our stores, our website and our service locations.”
“We keep on increasing our network of premium stores to reach all key locations in the region where Apple customers are looking for that premium experience and support. We have ambitious goals for the coming years,” said Csaba.