Jason, you raise some very interesting points. Having worked in an Apple retail store, the personal shopping experience has really changed. It has gone from a browse and then if you need talk to someone, to more being about wait and talk to someone.
I also think since Apple have the genius bars in stores the footfall in most stores triples, mostly those people are not in to in to actually buy a product. This also doesn’t help with most stores nearly doing away with tills as well. The Genius Bar is usually at the back of the store, which can give some of the store a feeling of busyness.
I would be interested to hear your opinions on how you would improve it?