Johnson said that the size of a store signaled the importance of the brand.
"Is Apple as big of a brand as the Gap?" he asked.
Jobs said it was much bigger.
Johnson replied that its stores should therefore be bigger. "Otherwise you won't be relevant."
Jobs described Mike Markkula's maxim that a good company must "impute"
it must convey its values and importance in everything it does, from packaging to marketing.
Johnson loved it. It definitely applied to a company's stores.
"The store will become the most powerful physical expression of the brand," he predicted.
He said that when he was young he had gone to the wood-paneled, art-filled mansion-like store that Ralph Lauren had created at Seventy-second and Madison in Manhattan.
"Whenever I buy a polo shirt, I think of that mansion, which was a physical expression of Ralph's ideals," Johnson said.
"Mickey Drexler did that with the Gap.
You couldn't think of a Gap product without thinking of the great Gap store
with the clean space and wood floors and white walls and folded merchandise."
When they finished, they drove to Apple and sat in a conference room playing with the company's products.
There weren't many, not enough to fill the shelves of a conventional store, but that was an advantage.
The type of store they would build, they decided, would benefit from having few products.
It would be minimalist and airy and offer a lot of places for people to try out things.
"Most people don't know Apple products," Johnson said.
"They think of Apple as a cult. You want to move from a cult to something cool,
and having an awesome store where people can try things will help that."
The stores would impute the ethos of Apple products: playful, easy, creative,
and on the bright side of the line between hip and intimidating.