Today is the international launch date for the iPad 2 and as usual with Apple product launches, there seems to be a lot of demand for the new gadget. It seems every store in the city that had some had lines in front of it with a ton of people hoping to get their preferred model.
I was lucky enough to be in the US 2 weeks ago to get mine. I ended up visiting a Best Buy in Vermont to get it on launch day and today I was once again in line, this time buying it as a gift for my parents. The difference between the two is astonishing. This is of course completely anecdotal, but it shows the difference in a well organized store and a disorganized one.
In Vermont, the Best Buy had pre-printed coupons. One coupon per iPad in stock. At around 4PM, they distributed the coupons and it took maybe 20 minutes to get through the line. At the Futureshop downtown here in Montreal, employees had no idea what to do, coupons were distributed using the most complicated way they could find. The wait, which should have been painless ended up taking 3 times as long as it should have.
When people ask me where they should buy their Apple gear on day 1, I always say the Apple Store. The lines are often longer, but Apple knows how to handle popular product launch.