iMmune To Diversity Shakedowns
May 20, 2011, 08:12 AM
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It's hard to tell about dogs that don't bark, but I get the impression that Apple Inc. is relatively immune to the diversity shakedowns that everybody else pays. Apple is considered just too cool. Thus:

A local Detroit (Mich.) business owner has been talking with Apple's retail team, trying to convince them to locate a store inside the ground floor of a downtown office building. In an interview with WXYZ-TV, Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert said he's marketing the ground floor of his company's 14-story Chase Tower to Apple, a 1Â?-story former banking office. ... Gilbert is part of the latest public-private effort to reinvigorate the city-center by relocating suburban employees into empty downtown office space. He's already committed to moving 4,000 of his own employees to downtown offices as part of the revitalization project. There are already four Apple stores in the region, but in the very far suburbs of Detroit.

In other words, Apple has been making a fortune off its Apple stores in snazzy locations and has seldom felt like wasting money and/or tainting the brand by getting involved in any early stage urban renewal projects. It doesn't have to shell out for white elephants in black cities. Why not?

Because it's Apple! For example, lots of big firms have felt obligated over the last 15 years to put their outlets in the best black neighborhood in LA at the base of Baldwin Hills (what I call Magic Johnsonville, who redeveloped it in the 1990s) as a sporting gesture, but there are no Apple Stores in LA south of Wilshire Blvd.
Apple has more money than God (a recent business press article argued that Apple's market capitalization will grow to $2 trillion [warning: do not invest based solely on second-hand smoke blowing]). But, the general feeling among the people who matter seems to be that if Apple had to waste a penny on the usual diversity payouts, that might delay the release of the iPad III by a week or whatever, which would rob their lives of all meaning.