The Beatles owned and operated 'Apple Boutique'
located at 94 Baker Street
in the Marylebone section of London
The Beatles gave 'The Fool' £100,000
to design and stock the boutique
with their garments and accessories
Several dozen art students were employed
to paint a psychedelic mural across the building's front
"The concept of the boutique
was that absolutely everything was for sale
and a beautiful place
where beautiful people can buy beautiful things"
“Clive Epstein or some other such business freak
came up to us and said, 'You got to spend so much money or the tax'll take it. We're thinking of opening a chain of retail clothes,' or some barmy thing like that. And we were all muttering about, 'Well, if we're going to have to open a shop, let's open something we're interested in.' We went through all these different ideas about this, that and the other. Paul had a nice idea about opening up white houses where it would sell white china and things like that, everything white because you can never get anything white, which is pretty groovy. It didn't end up with that, it ended up with Apple, with all this junk and The Fool and all the stupid clothes and all that.”
The boutique was managed
by John Lennon's schoolfriend Pete Shotton
and Pattie Harrison's sister Jenny
Apple Boutique was a commercial failure
and closed within eight months
Shoplifting was thought to be the main problem
with customers and staff alike proving unwilling to pay
Paul, John, George, and Ringo
closed its doors after loses exceeding 200,000 Pounds
after just seven months in business
“We decided to close down our Baker Street shop
and instead of putting up a sign saying, 'Business will be resumed as soon as possible', and then auction off the goods, we decided to give them away. The shops were doing fine and making a nice profit on turnover. So far, the biggest loss is in giving the things away, but we did that deliberately. We're giving them away — rather than selling them to barrow boys — because we wanted to give rather than sell. We came into shops by the tradesman's entrance but we're leaving by the front door. Originally, the shops were intended to be something else, but they just became like all the boutiques in London. They just weren't our thingy. The staff will get three weeks' pay but if they wish they'll be absorbed into the rest of Apple. Everyone will be cared for ... All that's happened is that we've closed our shop in which we feel we shouldn't, in the first place, have been involved. Our main business is entertainment — communication. Apple is mainly concerned with fun, not with frocks. We want to devote all our energies to records, films and our electronics adventures. We had to re-focus. We had to zoom in on what we really enjoy, and we enjoy being alive, and we enjoy being Beatles.”
The night before closing Apple Boutique
The Beatles with their wives and girlfriends
came to take what they wanted
The next morning it was announced
all the remaining stock was to be given away
on the basis of one item per person
Word spread quickly and the shop was empty within hours
The public numbering in the hundreds
nearly rioted trying to get their share and police attended
"We ended up giving the contents away.
We put an ad in the paper.
We filmed people coming in and grabbing everything."