On Friday, Gary Allen -- the brains behind the ifoAppleStore.com website -- wrote a farewell piece. After 14 years of providing the most detailed news about Apple Stores to readers and other bloggers, Allen has decided to move on.
Allen notes that back in 2001 when he started the site, "I was the only person studying the stores. In fact, most onlookers were skeptical of the stores' future success." But 14 years later, the retail outlets are a very big part of the Apple story around the world, and "Now, everyone is interested in the Apple stores -- and most of them also seem to be writing about the stores. Who am I to keep up with them?"
The "ifo" in ifoAppleStore means "in front of", and Allen was famous for joining the crowds in front of new Apple Stores to help celebrate -- and document -- the openings. All in all, Allen says he's visited 140 stores around the world, and in 2011 he drove cross-country to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first Apple Store in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
Both at TUAW and here at Apple World Today, we always looked forward to reading Gary Allen's insights on what was happening in Apple Retail, seeing video from another store opening, and getting the latest scoop on what far-flung global city was next to get an Apple Store. We wish Allen a happy "retirement" from writing for the site, and want to thank him for his hard work since 2001.