The Apple shop in Baker Street closes down

Wednesday, July 31, 1968
Timeline More from year 1968
94 Baker Street, London, UK

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On this day, The Beatles closed down their Apple Baker Street shop and gave away the stock for free. The shop had opened on December 7, 1967.

The following press release, written by Paul McCartney, was issued:

We decided to close down our Baker Street shop yesterday 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. The Kings Road shop, which is known as Apple Tailoring, isn’t going to be part of Apple anymore but it isn’t closing down and we are leaving our investment there because we have a moral and personal obligation to our partner John Crittle, who is now in sole control. 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.

Paul McCartney

We decided to close down the shop last Saturday – not because it wasn’t making any money, but because we thought the retail business wasn’t our particular scene. We want to be free to devote more time to recording and films. So we went along, chose all the stuff we wanted – I got a smashing overcoat – and then told our friends. Now everything that is left is for the public.

Paul McCartney

We should never have tried to beat Marks & Spencer’s at the boutique business.

Paul McCartney – From Associated Press – from “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman
From Crowds outside the Apple boutique, run by the Beatles’ Apple Corps,… Photo d’actualité – Getty Images – Crowds outside the Apple boutique, run by the Beatles’ Apple Corps, on the day of its closing, when all its remaining stock was given away, London, 31st July 1968. The shop, on the corner of Baker Street and Paddington Street, was opened the previous December. (Photo by Bob Aylott/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
From 31 July 1968: The Apple Boutique closes down (

The boutique gave every indication of being an enormous success. The shop was packed throughout the Christmas season, and the merchandise seemed to fly off the shelves almost as fast as we could replenish our stock. The trouble was that so much of it seemed to disappear from the premises without benefit of a cash transaction. Our turned-on, tuned-in staff was not only loath to apprehend shoplifters, for fearing of appearing un-hip, but also felt no scruples about helping themselves to which goods happened to take their fancy. Even The Fool eventually had to be taken severely to task for their constantly expropriation of Apple property. Not surprisingly, within seven months, the boutique was to lose almost £20,000.

Pete Shoton – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

People were walking in and walking out with stuff without paying. It was a shoplifter’s paradise. But, it did bring so much business into Baker Street. The other traders in the street loved the shop, because it was now a tourist attraction. But then, one day, we got a letter from the landlords, the Duke of Westminster, from his lawyers, saying we had to paint our building white. We had to whiten it out. We battled and, in fact, the rest of the Baker Street traders, the estate agents, restaurants, shops, every kind of business there, raised a petition, saying, ‘No way. We want to keep it.’ This was, after all, a tourist attraction for the world. But, we lost, and we had to whiten it out.

Alistair Taylor – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

Last updated on April 25, 2024

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