Back in 2001, Apple's retail store initiative was new, and one web site tracked every move the company made.

Now that web site is winding down. A hearty farewell to Gary Allen, who for almost the last decade and a half has reported on Apple's retail store machinations on his ifo Apple Store blog.

On Friday Allen posted a blog entry entitled My Work Here is Done, declaring "a happy ending" to his blog.

Back in 2001, It seemed like I was the only person studying the stores. In fact, most onlookers were skeptical of the stores' future success.

more recently, interest in Apple retail has expanded to financial analysts, designers, architects and other special interests

Now, everyone is interested in the Apple stores—and most of them also seem to be writing about the stores. Who am I to keep up with them?

Allen's done some great work tracking Apple's progress with its retail stores, which now rank as one of the great retail success stories of the 21st century. Apple's retail arm is incredibly popular and influential and continues to grow.

Allen says he'll continue to update the site with "list-type material" but plans to just write for fun instead of keeping up new content all the time.