The Apple store with no products

The Apple store in Liverpool, England, removes its products from display in seeming anticipation of riots.

Chris Matyszczyk

A fourth night of riots in England has spread far beyond London.

Cities such as Manchester and Birmingham are enduring more madness, more fear. As far north as Scotland, a 16-year-old was arrested after allegedly creating a Facebook page encouraging riots in his home of Glasgow.

One Apple store, in Liverpool, has seemingly decided, like so many other businesses, that it might soon be targeted. So it has removed all of the iPads, MacBook Airs, iPhones, and iPods from its pristine tables and shelves.

I am grateful to Gizmodo for introducing me to Terry Allen, who happened upon his hometown Apple store, which appears to be entirely Apple product-free.

Now that's minimalism. Terry Allen

Much of the footage that has emerged from the riots shows looters ripping technological goods from shelves and displays.

Yesterday, there was video of hooded youths raiding electronics stores and even dumping on the sidewalk flat screens they had presumably ripped from walls.

Yet a Reddit poster called LondonDave, who says he works for an IT company, offered that rioters in Birmingham's Bull Ring area ransacked a sports store but didn't touch an Apple store that was a mere two doors away. ("That sums up exactly the people doing the looting," he commented.)

Liverpool itself has not yet endured reports of violence there. It seems, though, that the management of its Apple store appears to be taking no chances.

Who can blame them, even if the pictures offer a very strange extreme of Apple minimalism?