By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
November 14, 2009

Hollering and high fives at store openings in Queensland, Montpellier and New York City

Someday Apple (AAPL) will open a store and no one will notice.

But we’re not quite there yet.

The company held grand openings for new retail outlets on three continents Saturday — in Chermside, Australia; Montpellier, France; and New York City — and each was accompanied by huge crowds and predictably over-the-top staffers.

As the videos below the fold demonstrate, these events follow what is by now a well-rehearsed script. The customers queue up — true believers camping out overnight. When the lines reach critical mass (in the case of New York’s Upper West Side store, stretching around several city blocks), someone gives a signal and the employees go nuts, running wild through the crowd, whooping and hollering and giving high fives. Then the final seconds are counted down, and the faithful enter sacred ground, greeted by a gauntlet of blue, black, orange, teal or fire-engine red.

All this for a free t-shirt.

Below: The videos.

Chermside, Queensland, Australia:

Montpellier, France:

New York City’s Upper West Side, 1/2 hour before it opened:

No. 2 in line runs screaming through the gauntlet:

See also:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

You May Like