The Apple Boutique Store
On December 5th 1967, two days before The Beatles' Apple Boutique store opened in London, the band held a small launch party with accompanying fashion show. Only George Harrison and John Lennon attended with Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Boyd. Paul McCartney was in Scotland and Ringo was busy filming Candy.
Cilla Black and a few other celebrities turned out for the party at 94 Baker Street. Because there was no alcohol license John and George served the guests apple juice.
Apple Boutique closes
Two weeks after the boutique opened on December 7th, traders started to complain to the council about the multi-coloured mural on the outside of the building, which resulted in The Beatles having to repaint the front of the building in its original colour.
This was only the beginning of the problems. After only eight months The Beatles were forced to close down the boutique due to heavy losses; most of which the result of shoplifting by both customers and staff. On July 31st 1968, The Beatles gave away the remainder of the stock to staff and members of the public.
"Once we were told we had to get rid of the painting, the whole thing started to lose its appeal. The whole tone of the events around the Apple shop was going sour, and - as it was not working out - we decided to sell it. We ended up giving the contents away. We put an ad in the paper and we filmed people coming in and grabbing everything." - George Harrison
"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." - Paul McCartney