57 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2019 7:09 PM by jomoenginer

    Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK

    jomoenginer

      I was wondering when something like this would happen but the good folks with the Raspberry Pi Foundation have opened a store in Cambridge, UK quite appropriately called The Raspberry Pi Store.  This  is an awesome looking place where one could interact and buy various Raspberry Pi products, sort of in the same vain as another Fruit Store. I could envision these branching off to offering classes and instruction on how to use the RasPi, and not just for the STEM/STEAM aged folks. Maybe collaborating with the local Hacker Labs.

       

      I'm looking for one to open in my locale in the US which I would suspect would be extremely popular.

       

      The Raspberry Pi Store:

      https://www.raspberrypi.org/raspberry-pi-store/

       

        • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
          shabaz

          I think it looks awful. I wonder who it's supposed to appeal to - parents already educated on what the Pi is, or kids. The interesting bits are under glass! And if I were (say) 12, I wouldn't find those shelves of content interesting.

          They ought to test that store style in a more 'normal' town/city, where there is less wealth, and there are no similar-looking Apple or Microsoft stores..

            • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
              jomoenginer

              shabaz  wrote:

               

              The interesting bits are under glass!

              The counter in the middle has Raspberry Pi boards connected with an associated monitor and Keyboard and Mouse to interact with; kinda of like an Apple store.  There are also Pi's with what looks like 7" LED screens along the wall with Monitors and Keyboard and mice.   In the US at least, they would have to be sure to lock those boards down otherwise they will walk off.

               

              From my experience, not all parents are educated on what a Pi is; few for that matter.  Many kids learn in the classroom and outside of those tech minded parents or maker types, the parents have no clue what the kids are learning.  Those were fun interactions at the local Maker Faire last year. 

               

              As far as not looking like an Apple or Microsoft Store (who goes into them outside of accessing free wifi anyway), good, I'm glad they went that direction.  However, I was not impressed in the new Lego store that went up at a local mall though.

                • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                  shabaz

                  I've only casually observed externally Apple/Microsoft stores, to me it looked similar, appealing to the wealthier clientele, but my wording wasn't great. I shouldn't have assumed this is what those stores are like inside.

                  I love the US malls from what little I've seen. Especially the kids play areas, food courts for families etc.

                  In the UK, many large towns are unlikely to have the high-end stores, some are even lucky to have a book store. A store looking like above appeals to wealthy/middle-class families, who may already have a tech-savvy family member.

                  But I don't like the store idea anyway, because most families would have trouble spending the cost of a Pi on a child, and in that context, it's distasteful when the impression (unintentionally) that is left is that if you want to educate your child in technology, this is the stuff you have to buy : ( I wonder if their intent is to be more of a walk-in helpdesk, and occasionally sell Pi's perhaps.. the 'Pi Store' name is unfortunate.

                  Maker Faire's are mind-blowingly great, and something of interest for all ages it seems. They're a lot of fun.

                    • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                      michaelkellett

                      shabaz  wrote:

                       

                      , because most families would have trouble spending the cost of a Pi on a child,

                      I'm going to have to call you out on this one (in the nicest way possible) - I couldn't find any figures for distribution of Christmas present spending on children but I did find this:

                       

                      Retailers predict £1.1bn will be spent on toys this Christmas, with an average of £105 spent on younger children.

                       

                      and that was for 2016 : www.telegraph.co.uk/christmas/2016/12/05/much-should-spend-christmas-presents-year/

                       

                      This suggests to me that the PI is not outside the reach of most families (it would take more research to prove it, but I wonder where you got your data from.)

                       

                      I couldn't find any large towns without book shops either - but I couldn't easily find relevant stats, so I used www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch.aspx and looked in places featuring on lists of poorest areas in UK.

                      In Jaywick you would need to travel 1.4 miles to WH Smith or 10 miles to Waterstones, but Jaywick is the "most deprived area" in the country and not that large.

                       

                      I don't much love the R Pi org but it is pretty cheap (in a good way).

                       

                      MK

                      5 of 5 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                          shabaz

                          Hi Michael,

                           

                          You're right, my guess could be extremely wrong, it is just based on local perceptions.

                          Ten years ago, I'd sometimes people-watch at the local Woolworths (long story why - there was a technical reason!) what saddened me was just watching parents.. we concluded that nearly every time it would be the case that parents (especially mums with their kids), would pick a £5 toy over a £10 toy. I could only speculate that if they were single mums who were extra sensitive that they needed to make their money reach.

                          A Pi isn't the same as a toy, it's educational, so I do believe parents will spend more and do everything in their capabilities, but it's still not nice seeing that store design.. I can't put my finger on it, it seems unpleasant having your education priced on an upmarket shelf perhaps, in an exclusive-looking Apple-like store.

                           

                          We have a local WH Smith store in a town of 160,000, and no other new or used bookshops as far as I'm aware : ( apart from a charity shop or two which have a small collection of whatever gets donated.

                          It's probably not a good comparison that I made, although for me Amazon is good enough, and networks of colleagues who occasionally recommend books.

                            • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                              michaelkellett

                              I don't like the look of the store either.

                               

                              It evokes the same feeling as glossy websites with no actual data sheets available.

                               

                              It won't encourage people to really get into how things work but it's all designed at making it an artificial experience where stuff is consumed as is rather than messed about with.

                               

                              It encourages you to eat cake but doesn't really want you to bake any yourself.

                               

                              I would prefer a shop with boxes on the floor, racks of parts without quite enough room in between, second hand stuff as well as new and staff who look more like e14 people and less like Mr Bearded Millennial in the promo video.

                               

                              MK

                              • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                beacon_dave

                                we concluded that nearly every time it would be the case that parents (especially mums with their kids), would pick a £5 toy over a £10 toy. I could only speculate that if they were single mums who were extra sensitive that they needed to make their money reach.

                                 

                                It could also be to do with toys typically having a very short lifespan in terms of child interest. Does a £10 toy get played with twice as much or for twice as long as a £5 toy or does it end up at the bottom of the toy cupboard just as quickly ? I can always recall parents saying that their children often got more fun out of playing with the large cardboard box than with the expensive toy which came inside it.

                                 

                                A Pi isn't the same as a toy, it's educational, so I do believe parents will spend more and do everything in their capabilities, but it's still not nice seeing that store design..

                                 

                                It probably relates closer to that of a craft or hobby more than to that of a toy. It's also only educational if it comes with the right resources to support educational activity, which is often sadly overlooked. Back in the 80's this was one of the problems with the home microcomputer market  as there often wasn't the educational material to support the learning activities. As a result, most probably ended up as games consoles rather than educational devices.

                                • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                  Problemchild

                                  Hey Shabaz I can understand what you are saying  but I think the issue is more socio economic. Also kids for the most part don't want to play with the RPI it's a dead lump of plastic until you animate it and these other "toys"  work out of the packet.

                                  I think it's unfortunate but it wrong to think like we did where we had blind enthusiasm and an urge to program and play with these things. OK this was more of a thing in the 80's but then it had to be as everything was less polished, now this isn't the case they are just a product like buns so very few want a make your own bun kit but most like eating buns however.

                                    • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                      shabaz

                                      You're probably right, nevertheless sticking a store design such as this in Cambridge surely only appeals to the middle-class, parents who are aware of what the Pi already is. They may as well have designed it like a Jimmy Choo in London or similar - same thing. Others may be fine with it, but I don't like seeing such exclusiveness like that from any charity.. Anyway it's just an opinion.

                                      They could have set it up next to a public library, or inside. That's where kids from all backgrounds can be found..

                                • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                  beacon_dave

                                  " A store looking like above appeals to wealthy/middle-class families, who may already have a tech-savvy family member.

                                  But I don't like the store idea anyway, because most families would have trouble spending the cost of a Pi on a child, and in that context, it's distasteful when the impression (unintentionally) that is left is that if you want to educate your child in technology, this is the stuff you have to buy "

                                   

                                  Wasn't one of the original aims of the Raspberry Pi to produce a low cost affordable microcomputer for education though ? (However the additional peripherals quickly bump the price up somewhat.)

                                   

                                  I recall back in the 1980's if you wanted to educate your child in technology in the UK, you were expected to have to pay out around £250 - £300 for the basic BBC micro, as that is what the schools would ultimately be using. More if you wanted the monitor to go with it ( to avoid losing access to the TV in the living room for hours on end ), the data recorder / disk drive and ultimately a dot matrix printer.

                                   

                                  I was surprised recently at how much lower income parents still allow their children to spend throughout the year on apps stores for games.

                              • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                balearicdynamics

                                I agree with you. For me (and many of us, I suppose), this video is something exciting, nice, clean... Ok, too clean! It's a bit aseptic if I can say. When I was young electronics was different but the most exciting shops were just where it was possible to ask exchange ideas and opinions, together with the staff and the other older and younger customers. It was a sort of meeting point. I remember passionate hobbyists and engineers arriving with their half working prototypes in plastic bags, sowing them on the bench and asking what was better...

                                 

                                I love - in an abstract and absolute vision point of view - this shop, it's fascinating but thinking to the target, and focusing the probably most important three ones, I think too something else:

                                 

                                1. A maker can visit it once, then come back to online forums (maybe element14, hopefully) and continue his projects ordering online
                                2. Industrial engineers involved in PI used for prototyping of embedded Linux devices (or similar) stay far away from this place, as well as he will buy stuff for himself
                                3. Kids, that if not trained by parents (already trained) that knows more or the same, they can find nothing better than what they see on the Internet, with the not secondary option to chat with the creators themselves. And - sic! - the interesting stuff is under glass. True that you can ask, but it's different than seeing it, touching it and - why not? - seeing it in action.

                                Is there a fourth target this shop scenario is oriented to?

                                 

                                Enrico

                                4 of 4 people found this helpful
                                  • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                    shabaz

                                    Regarding bringing stuff in, you've reminded me of the old Tandy/Radio Shacks.. my local one had a soldering bench and tools in their back office, the manager would let me use it after school to fix my projects.. From the video, the idea of Pi's switched on and ready to use is really good, so that kids can pick up some experiment ideas from around the store or elsewhere and try them out, so I hope they keep that part of it.

                                    The US Fry's Electronics seems exciting too, they have themes like Inca temples or space age.. I know nothing about aesthetics, so I could be wrong about what appeals to kids.

                                    Also I agree with your point about seeing things in action. Here my 8 and 5-year old nephews love going into the shed and seeing me do stuff, they get involved too like gluing wood to make a box for their toys, or watching me cut things.. that seeing in action or tactile suggestion makes a lot of sense.

                                    3 of 3 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                        Problemchild

                                        Yeah can any one in the US throw up a picture or two of the insides of Fry's apparently it's a sight to behold

                                        I'm glad there are a radio rally or 3 around here that has a pile them high sell them cheap attitude to selling electronic curiosities!!

                                          • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                            shabaz

                                            They are so good... I've been to about half a dozen : )

                                            Here I like Clas Ohlson (Swedish store). Nowhere near the same, but they have a bit of electronics (LEDs etc) and a few kits, as well as home furnishings, garden stuff, tools that are useful for electronics, etc. Quite interesting store! When I first visited it, I spent 3 hours.. and wrote them an e-mail complementing their store : ) They replied too.

                                              • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                                Problemchild

                                                I think half the problem is that  modern Malls and even in town shops  have exorbitant rents which couldn't be met by selling 5p LEDs and the general Tat(tm) that we all love. There are many small outfits about but they are very much in the back streets and industrial buildings where  the price is more reasonable. This is what led to the Gadgetification of Maplin as they struggled to be competitive in the Highstreet!

                                        • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                          beacon_dave

                                          "I wonder who it's supposed to appeal to - parents already educated on what the Pi is, or kids."

                                           

                                          Perhaps it is an attempt to try and return to the 1980's retail store where the microcomputers were all laid out for hands-on use (as well as for purchase), but with help available from the in-store assistants if needed ? I recall John Menzies in the 80's being swamped by the local school children at lunchtimes, but in the background you would also see the assistants talking to the older generation about office type software which was starting to emerge on those platforms to handle the accounts as well as word-processing and start replacing the one-use document storage and retrieval typewriters.

                                           

                                          It may also be aimed at those buying a copy of the Mag Pi magazine but also those wanting to be able to pick up some of the hardware to be able to work along with the cover article without the need to wait for mail order.

                                           

                                          Or it may be an attempt at computer literacy in the older generations who may benefit from sales assistance and after-sales assistance. There has been a huge push recently on improving computer literacy in the schools, but there is still a huge short-fall in the older generations.

                                           

                                          I'm sure that there will be a write-up about it in a forthcoming Mag Pi issue.   

                                          2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                        • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                          stevesmythe

                                          The Raspberry-red and white USB keyboards (with built-in USB hub to connect red & white mouse) look good and as far as I know haven't been available before or online. £18 in the shop apparently.

                                          2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                          • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                            jomoenginer

                                            I knew better than try to post something positive on this unsocial site.  I'll be sure to listen a bit more to that little Cricket on my shoulder next time.

                                            • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                              Christopher Stanton

                                              This looks pretty awesome, considering Maplin, Tandy and similar have shut down these days along with a bunch of trade counters, there aren't many places for people to go for something like this.

                                              • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                                John Beetem

                                                This is a very fun discussion.  It reminds me of the early days of Raspberry Pi, when any criticism of RasPi at the official site would get you banned with Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" playing in the background.

                                                 

                                                I particularly remember when alert element14 members were diagnosing a heat problem with the original RasPi Model B caused by a design defect, where the outputs of the large 1.8V regulator and the USB network chip's internal 1.8V regulator were shorted together.  On some RasPi boards this would cause the USB chip to provide all the 1.8V power, which overheated that chip.  On other boards the 1.8V regulator worked fine and there was no overheating.

                                                 

                                                Here's one discussion on the topic: More power/heat related problems ...

                                                Here's another: RG1 1.8v regulator

                                                 

                                                The RasPi people didn't want to hear about this defect and people who talked about it at the official site got the ban hammer.  Around here it became a badge of honor to be banned chez RasPi.  They did fix the bug in the next version of the Model B.

                                                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                                • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                                  rsc

                                                  I'd like to know what their start-up cost was?

                                                  Scott

                                                  • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                                    Raffaello Palandri

                                                    Well, I have to say that this kind of store is not the one I would consider as really "useful" for someone who uses RPI. It seems to be a nice front store, where to show the products, maybe selling some, probably more useful to make some course, some seminar, some interaction with some Hacking group.

                                                    My ideal store is the one like the electronic components of the 80s/90s. That kind of store where you would enter and find endless boxes full of components from where to pick what you had in your BOM. The interaction was between people who, like you, was looking for some specific Zener or IC to complete a project that was ready to be used in real life.

                                                    The RPI store seems to be too neat, too "classy", and not full enough of all that bunch of cables, components, printed datasheet that were hanging from the shelves. Today you must rely on online stores to find what you're looking for. When I studied physics, at the electronics lab, we had tables full of breadboards, where you could test right there if your circuit was functional, before actually getting the components you needed.

                                                    Even Elak, the store in Brussels, is too neat for me. Everything is on the shelf, you cannot touch nor try anything. I think that if you want people to start appreciating electronics, you must let them have some dirt on their precious hands at the store ...






                                                      • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                                        Christopher Stanton

                                                        This reminds me of when I started to build my own personal computer. I first built mine in the era of the AMD K6-2 400Mhz, though I'd been inside them earlier than that.

                                                         

                                                        Friends of mine, or people I knew, were afraid to touch the insides of a computer, or electronic components.

                                                         

                                                        "Won't you damage it?"

                                                         

                                                        "You'll get an electric shock!"

                                                         

                                                        "There's so many wires it's scary!"

                                                         

                                                        It's easy for us to forget that these are the first impressions a lot of people have when it comes to bare electronics, and that's what you get with the Raspberry Pi. I think if we're looking at this store and going "well, they could have done this, or that" then the store's not for us, and that's fine, because eventually people who pick up the hardware thanks to stores like this will be more confident with the hardware.

                                                         

                                                        Thinking about it, I've not heard a single comment about the Raspberry Pi and being afraid of static discharge.

                                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                          • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                                            michaelkellett

                                                            cstanton  wrote:

                                                             

                                                            Thinking about it, I've not heard a single comment about the Raspberry Pi and being afraid of static discharge.

                                                            The static thing is difficult - while it certainly can damage components the risk varies a lot with the environment. Here in damp SW Scotland in a rather damp factory unit it is very rare to get a static shock.

                                                            When I lived somewhere drier and centrally heated with carpets it was common.

                                                            In most factories they would carry Pi boards about in conductive trays and wear wrist or heel straps. I doubt that many home/school users bother and that doesn't seem to have resulted in mass Pi death.

                                                             

                                                            MK

                                                          • Re: Raspberry Pi Store opens in the UK
                                                            Problemchild

                                                            I think that was the point that the others were trying to make Raffaello. Like a super clean engineering workshop that looks great but no work gets done!