The Apple Store’s Biggest Fan is Dead at 67 – RIP Gary Allen
Gary Allen – possibly the biggest fan of Apple’s retail stores, and creator of the now-shutdown ifo Apple Store website – is dead at age 67. Allen suffered from brain cancer, his brother confirmed to The Washington Post.
Allen didn’t care so much about Apple’s new products (though he bought many of them.) He cared about the stores, the sleek and often innovative ways Apple presented itself to the world — the winding staircases, the floor-to-ceiling glass, the exposed brick.
Allen, a retired EMS dispatcher, tracked the Apple Store from the earliest days of the now ubiquitous chain. Allen’s website reported on open stores and their changes, as well as provided details about stores, both announced and unannounced, that were to open in the future.
Allen had travelled to over 140 new Apple Store openings, both across the United States, and internationally. He visited locations in Europe and China, sharing each visit on Twitter and via his website.
He especially loved the people he’d meet there. They would get each other food, hold spots for bathroom breaks, offer up portable chargers. “He made all kinds of friends all over the world,” his brother, Jim Allen, told me when he called to tell me about Gary’s death. “I think that’s the part of it he most enjoyed.” Each store was a window into a city’s culture and style. And the way Apple designs its stores was just an extension of how the company designs its products.
While Allen announced in March that he would be shutting down ifo Apple Store due to the widespread reporting that was available about the Apple Store and its doings, the shutdown was likely due to the brain cancer that finally took his life.
The ifo Apple Store website now simply reads: “Please come back later.” Rest in Peace, Gary.