MacSpecialist River North

MacSpecialist downtown Chicago expansion in the heart of River North.​

Director of Sales & Marketing, Partner (33% shareholder)

Solidify MacSpeicalist's market position as the premier Apple Specialist in Chicago

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MacSpecialist River North

In 2008, MacSpecialist opened a second physical location in the downtown Chicago neighborhood of River North.  

I stumbled upon the location at 500 N. Wells after visiting one of our Lightspeed point-of-sale clients who owned a modern furniture store in the neighborhood. It was surrounded by ad agencies, production houses, luxury retail boutiques, art galleries and nightlife, all of which fell into our target markets. From the moment I saw the space, I knew it was the location that would define the MacSpecialist brand in Chicago.

Over the following months, my vision became a business and marketing plan that eventually impressed Apple enough to fund a significant share of the buildout costs in the form of a grant. This was something they weren’t exactly known to do for our channel and the assistance was greatly appreciated. Apart from the buildout grant, they covered a large portion of our grand opening marketing efforts.

Because such a large part of the marketing plan focused on building a community around the brand, the buildout needed to produce extraordinary results. I wanted everyone who walked through the doors to feel like we built the place especially for them. I wanted them to know that we were the Apple store for the professionals.

Apple Specialist Designation

Eventually, everything came together and MacSpecialist River North opened with the Apple Specialist designation. The space featured a boutique-style retail floor, a service and repair area, an inside sales office and a 10-seat training room. Our staff provided Apple Authorized Sales, Service and Training in a facility that held its own against any corporate Apple store.

While I was with the company, our River North team hosted regular seminars and special events for market niches that resulted a portfolio of high-profile clientele that included top agencies, high-end retail, film production houses, and some of the biggest names in the music industry.

Core Responsibilities

My core responsibilities, key projects and accomplishments at MacSpecialist River North

  • Marketing plan development
  • Store design
  • Brand identity
  • Merchandising
  • Seminars and Special Events
  • Public Relations
  • Partnerships 
  • Oversaw sales operations
  • Recruiting (vertical specific)
  • Exclusivity deals w/ vendors
  • Launched MIX division to provide Mac support for concert touring clients
  • Friedman Group: Store Management implementation
  • Business plan development
  • Secured bank financing
  • Secured grant funding from Apple
  • Credit line increases from major distributors
  • Multi-store Lightspeed POS integration

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