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Apple's SoHo expansion calls for temporary shop at unknown location

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
In a first-ever challenge for the company’s retail division, Apple this summer plans to temporarily relocate one of its highest trafficked New York City retail stores so that its original space can undergo a much-needed expansion.

The smallest but eldest of Apple's four Manhattan retail stores, the SoHo shop has been struggling to accommodate its thousands of daily visitors for years. Apple has reportedly received clearance to expand the store by taking over the ground-floor space at the rear of the old U.S. Postal Service parcel that was vacated back in 2009.

Ground flour expansion

The first floor of the existing SoHo shop will be overhauled and rearranged to accommodate the expansion into the former post office space, but the store's iconic glass staircase -- the first ever for an Apple Store -- and upper level will remain largely unchanged.

With the remodeling requiring Apple to temporarily shutter the shop, the company will reportedly attempt a first-ever store relocation to an unknown Manhattan site until the renovations are complete. The bold move, expected to take place sometime in the next three months, underscores the critical role served by the SoHo store to Apple's multi-billion dollar retail business and Manhattan's more than 1.5 million residents.



The original flagship

Built in 2002 within a former United States Post Office branch, the SoHo store was Apple's original flagship location and currently spans some 16,000 square-feet. It's home to the first of the company's icon glass staircases and also features a glass bridge, skylight and 46-seat theater. It's one of a handful of stores in which Apple's architects faced sharp restrictions in their freedom to alter the buildings' exteriors due to local landmark preservation laws.



While the city considers the building on Prince Street to be a heritage structure, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission determined the construction work, “will have no effect on significant protected features of the building.” The additions, depicted in the diagram below, will add another 5,000 square feet to the SoHo store, bringing it up to par with the size of the company's three other Manhattan locations -- all of which occupy at least 20,000 square feet.


Apple launched their first retail store in 2001 and since then have built over 300 more around the globe. In 2010, 233 million people walked into Apple Stores all over the world as profits soared to $2.354 billion compared to $22 million in 2002. Apple is expected to open 40-50 new stores during 2011 including a new retail space on July 2nd in Rozzano, Italy.
post #2 of 18
This will be nice if it reduce the noise level in the place. There is always so many people in such a small space.
post #3 of 18
Yes, that place is so crowded nobody goes there any more.
But seriously, it is a sign of Apple's success that they have outgrown the space, though they really did that on day 2 or 3.
And with two out of four Manhattan stores under re-construction at the same time, it sounds like time for a fifth store. Perhaps Brooklyn?
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by richardk32 View Post

Yes, that place is so crowded nobody goes there any more.

So crowded... no one goes... but crowded... but no one...

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #5 of 18
He's referring to a quote by Yogi Berra, the legendary Yankees manager.

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

He's referring to a quote by Yogi Berra, the legendary Yankees manager.

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

I love that quote
post #7 of 18
I worked in a few Apple Stores in my day, and that one has the most amazing team I've experienced. Best of luck to them in the remodel, though it will probably be held off for quite a while, as these things tend to.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So crowded... no one goes... but crowded... but no one...


It is a Yogi Berra line, said while waiting at the entrance to a restaurant. No wonder no one goes here any more. Its too crowded,
Manager? Well, yes but, he was a regular All-Star catcher and appeared in more World Series games than anybody.
post #9 of 18
This is not the first ever store relocation. The Knox Street store in Dallas got relocated a few months ago. This web site even reported on it for the iPad 2 launch. Thats the makeshift store that dude was in front of.
post #10 of 18
Apple's real problem is not small New York stores, it is no store in Brooklyn or Queens. 4.8 million people and no stores. I mean Milan, Italy will soon have three stores for 1.3 million people. And Turin is as close as other stores in the New York area are to Brooklyn. Sure with more products a larger store is better, but where else (except China) does Apple have stores but skip almost 5 million people?
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by drumpat01 View Post

This is not the first ever store relocation. The Knox Street store in Dallas got relocated a few months ago. This web site even reported on it for the iPad 2 launch. Thats the makeshift store that dude was in front of.



Ditto this, I was just going to make this same comment, that this is not the first, since the one in Dallas did the exact thing months ago.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by richardk32 View Post

Yes, that place is so crowded nobody goes there any more.
But seriously, it is a sign of Apple's success that they have outgrown the space, though they really did that on day 2 or 3.
And with two out of four Manhattan stores under re-construction at the same time, it sounds like time for a fifth store. Perhaps Brooklyn?

He he - coulda been a Groucho Marx line.
Yes - a Brooklyn store sounds right, but where?
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Yes - a Brooklyn store sounds right, but where?

Undoubtedly somewhere in Williamsburg... Though I don't think the timing is right just yet.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Ground flour expansion

I've always wanted to get in on a ground flour expansion. Let the baking begin!
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by richardk32 View Post

Yes, that place is so crowded nobody goes there any more.
But seriously, it is a sign of Apple's success that they have outgrown the space, though they really did that on day 2 or 3.
And with two out of four Manhattan stores under re-construction at the same time, it sounds like time for a fifth store. Perhaps Brooklyn?

Thank-you, I just snorted coffee up my nose. I love Yogi Berra quotes...
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interdyne View Post

I've always wanted to get in on a ground flour expansion. Let the baking begin!

not an oxymoron, it's... damn can't think of the term. "Ground flour" is silly because you cannot have "unground" flour - grinding is how you make flour from grain.

And yes I know I digress, since the author most likely meant ground floor.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
post #17 of 18
I'm surprised they need to close the store to renovate it. They can simply put up a temporary wall in front of the ground floor rear wall that adjoins the post office space and then work from within the post office space.

As for opening stores in the "outer boroughs", I think it's difficult to find a location that's both "hip", highly trafficked and has enough style to meet Apple's requirements. Jobs once killed a Manhattan store location (I think on 23rd street) because he didn't like the neighborhood. Williamsburg probably has the right demographic, but it's largely inaccessible. Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights also would have great demos, but their shopping districts might not be strong enough to attract Apple as they don't generally attract people from outside the neighborhood. Queens would be even tougher. A store somewhere on Queens Blvd (the old Comp USA space is available in Rego Park) would probably attract the crowds, but the surrounding shopping area is ugly and unhip.

And even though Manhattan already has four stores, I think they need one on the upper east side, perhaps around 3rd avenue and 86th street.
post #18 of 18
One likely spot for a Brooklyn store would be as part of the Barclays Center/Atlantic Yards project. It would have the advantage of easy access via the LIRR and 9 subway lines, but the question is how the surrounding community will change once the Nets move there.
Williamsburg is certainly hip enough, but the only mass trans option literally takes you to "L" and back.
More in keeping with the current store esthetic might be Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, or Court St./Borough Hall. But as someone else noted, Steve was rumoured to have nixed the landmark Flatiron Building among other sites, so reading the tea leaves only guarantees wet, scalded, fingertips.
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