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Inside The New Apple Store

This is the new Manhattan Apple Store, tucked away in an unassuming Meatpacking District warehouse. In fact the only identifier to the building is a huge roof billboard, which sits uncomfortably amongst the cool frontages of the surrounding designer stores and bars.

Apple has chosen an interesting location for its new Manhattan store. Whilst 14th Street traditionally conjures up visions of Union Square’s hustle and bustle with its Circuit City, Virgin Megastore and summer festivals, Apple has chosen the more exclusive end of the street. It feels like this entrenches an image of designer media brand rather than aiming at the the mass market.


Walking into the store, the staircase is a stunning centerpiece amongst now familiarly identikit furnishings shared with other Apple stores.

Perhaps in an attempt to capture some of Acer’s stratospheric laptop sales volumes, Apple has placed the computers on the ground floor which reminds you to look at them before heading up to the iPod and iPhone floor. With the iMac having to start again earlier this year it will be interesting to see if the MacBook range can capture some of the PC market share which the Intel move was meant to facilitate. Certainly MacBooks are the primary focus downstairs.

Moving up a floor and it’s all iPod, iPhone and Bose, the now familiar Apple music partnership. Everything is well layed out, if now a little passé, with plenty of staff on hand to assist. On the top floor is the Genius Bar.


Coming back down the staircase is definitely one of the fun experiences in this store. Another is imagining how cool this place would be as loft apartments or a club…and that stimulates the key question for me: What is this store doing here?


For the Saturday afternoon before Christmas, it feels empty because the shopping action is elsewhere. For tourists, there’s the 5th Ave store. For local residents and small businesses there are little independent stores in Chelsea and the Village to help them out with any worms in their Apples. Perhaps this is the target market?

As I leave someone is handing out flyers to his local independent Apple store…I hope he gets along with his new neighbor.

Neil Berman

http://www.neilberman.com/

More from the staircase…

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Dec 25, 2007 - Posted by | Apple, Audio |

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