Apple Computer is known for a sleek, clean and attractive brand reputation – and its stores are a key extension of that brand.  It’s unclear how that hip brand reputation is going to be impacted by odor.

Apple-Store
Image: The cue for iPhone 5S at one Apple Store.

According to a report in The Street the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) store in trendy Santa Monica smells, particularly in the morning and at the entrance.

Smell travels across US

The “stink,” which was confirmed by store employees, is not just a problem at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s flagship store in the California coastal city, but across the country.

This is ironic because Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is known to pay attention to the smallest details in stores.  Glass staircases are crafted in Germany, New York and Massachusetts, the stone floors come from Florence, Italy.  In its New York City flagship store, the glass cube that makes up the entrance cost Apple $6.7 million. So what is it doing about the stinky problem?

It’s not sweating it.

Computer generated problem

It turns out that much of the offensive odor isn’t from overworked employees or customers coming off a game of volleyball at the nearby beach, its overworked computers.  Seems that the computers generate odorous chemicals and carbon monoxide which significantly contribute to the smelly problem. Unlike a home office, where one or two computers at the most may be operating, in a store 20 to 40 computers can be buzzing to generate the smelly problem.

To combat the problem, the company installs high-tech “sniffers” that trigger a ventilation system to solve the problem.  Problem is, in the Santa Monica location, the “sniffers” are too high on the wall and the smells goes undetected for too long.

Given Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s control of its brand, one might expect some attention being paid to its Santa Monica store.