Tim Cook says $30M Carnegie Library Apple Store is more than about selling iPhones

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Apple CEO Tim Cook hopes the soon-to-open Apple Store at the Carnegie Library will be more than a retail outlet, one that reportedly cost $30 million to renovate, suggesting the focus is on community and creativity, rather than selling iPhones and other products.

An earlier photograph of Carnegie Library before Apple's construction work.
An earlier photograph of Carnegie Library before Apple's construction work.


Due to open on May 11, the Carnegie Library in Washington D.C. has undergone a transformation that started in 2016, with Apple renovating the building and preparing it for use as one of its major retail outlets. In an interview, Tim Cook however suggests the new space won't be primarily about sales, stating "Probably one of the least done things in an Apple Store is to buy something."

Rather than sales, people visit the Apple Stores to explore new products and receive training and services for devices they already possess, Cook told the Washington Post. "We should probably come up with a name other than 'Store,' because it's more of a place for the community to use in a much broader way."

The reconstitution of the Carngie Library was the company's "most historic, ambitious restoration by far, in the world," Cook claimed. Signature projects like the library will help the company showcase services via classes and sessions, like Today at Apple, but it will also help connect customers with creativity, an important part of Apple's culture.

"Our roots are in education and creativity, you think about where the company started from and Steve (Jobs) and the team at the time were very focused on providing people tools that allowed them to do incredible things," said Cook. "We've been serving the creative community as a company since the founding of the company, and the truth is everyone should be a part of the creative community, so this is our way to democratize it."

While Apple has not revealed the cost of the Carnegie Library project, with earlier reports suggesting it was paying market rent and between $1 million and $2 million to Events D.C. to cover losses relating to the Apple Store being in the space versus its prior usage, it is estimated that it has cost the iPhone maker in excess of $30 million to renovate.

Preliminary budget details shared with the report indicate $7 million was forecast towards a restoration of the facade, $300,000 towards the stairwells, and $2 million for site work and landscaping. As for the lease of the building, Apple is thought to be spending $700,000 per year over ten years, with earlier reports suggesting it had options to extend the term by five years twice.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    I work right next to this location. I can't wait to check it out when it opens and attend a class. The store in Georgetown is a bit too small to hold events in.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    allmypeopleallmypeople Posts: 382member
    On one hand, I do like the respect that Apple shows classic architecture. On the other hand, I'm mixed on inserting their anodyne and generally sterile aesthetic inside these places. 
    SpamSandwichGeorgeBMacstanhope
  • Reply 3 of 29
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 907member
    This is just weird...

    Apple must have to much money to know what to do with.

    You can get classes at regular Apple Stores...

    If you want to attract customers through education, why not give lectures at a university campus.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    This is just weird...

    Apple must have to much money to know what to do with.

    You can get classes at regular Apple Stores...

    If you want to attract customers through education, why not give lectures at a university campus.
    Customers paid Tim that money to stay upfront in tech products, not to fulfill his self-affirmation or to show off his ascendency in real estate.
    edited May 3 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 29
    minicoffeeminicoffee Posts: 28member
    This location is just blocks between the Capitol building and Union Station (a major transit hub), so legislators and aides will see, even walk by it, quite often. It will be an excellent public and government relations symbol for Apple. The "community" activities will only enhance the effect.
    stanhope
  • Reply 6 of 29
    FolioFolio Posts: 567member
    This will be DC's chief Apple Store. The store in DC's Georgetown area is cramped. Even though I live in the city, I go out to Virginia burb to Clarendon Apple Store which is also small and noisy. This is much needed. Plus being across from hotels and DC Convention Center should attract many out-of-towners. Dare I say some bored Android stragglers might even pop in?
    stanhope
  • Reply 7 of 29
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 375member
    Apple has to sell stuff to stay in business, and customers are going to have to buy. This outlet has to be a store. Sorry, Tim. 
    SpamSandwichtrashman69
  • Reply 8 of 29
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 358member
    larryjw said:
    Apple has to sell stuff to stay in business, and customers are going to have to buy. This outlet has to be a store. Sorry, Tim. 
    What he said was "Tim Cook however suggests the new space won't be primarily about sales, stating 'Probably one of the least done things in an Apple Store is to buy something.' "

    He's not wrong - go into Apple and watch how many people are actually buying vs. the numbers who are just playing with items or getting support.
    fastasleepGeorgeBMacstanhope
  • Reply 9 of 29
    the monkthe monk Posts: 54member
    This is just weird...

    Apple must have to much money to know what to do with.

    You can get classes at regular Apple Stores...

    If you want to attract customers through education, why not give lectures at a university campus.
    First, it’s going to become a regular Apple Store despite the architecture. And it’s all about branding. It means more to the consumer when they listen to an Apple employee giving Apple lectures in an Apple store in a highly restored building. How does that compare to a lecture in a class on campus that’s generally not open to the public?

    And they also want to connect to the best and brightest in this college town who will evangelize Apple products to their affluent, highly-educated circle. I bet there’s going to be a hundred selfies a day from that store in Instagram and Facebook posts.

    Despite what Cook says, they’ll make profit. I’m sure sales figures from their crowded, smaller store in that area reflects that. They’re not stupid. The reason they make their billions is because they watch every single penny they spend.
    randominternetpersonstanhopetrashman69
  • Reply 10 of 29
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 224member
    A little Apple Museum in there would be nice. After all, isn't these area are all museum stuffs.
    GeorgeBMacretrogusto
  • Reply 11 of 29
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 869member
    Rather hang out at an actual grand library instead of a corporate retail space. 
    stanhope
  • Reply 12 of 29
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,989member
    Latko said:
    This is just weird...

    Apple must have to much money to know what to do with.

    You can get classes at regular Apple Stores...

    If you want to attract customers through education, why not give lectures at a university campus.
    Customers paid Tim that money to stay upfront in tech products, not to fulfill his self-affirmation or to show off his ascendency in real estate.
    No, customers paid money to Apple to buy their products. They can do whatever the hell they want with that money.
    Solirandominternetpersoncornchipretrogusto
  • Reply 13 of 29
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 180member
    This is just weird...

    Apple must have to much money to know what to do with.

    You can get classes at regular Apple Stores...

    If you want to attract customers through education, why not give lectures at a university campus.
    A lecture Hall does not have the huge selection of Apple inventory that customers want to buy. The community gathering atmosphere, classes, product demos, gorgeous restoration of historic building, views of beautiful historic downtown streetscapes that the Apple stores provide along with product inventory is genius. You will not find that on a college campus. 
    fastasleepstanhope
  • Reply 14 of 29
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 666member
    This location is just blocks between the Capitol building and Union Station (a major transit hub), so legislators and aides will see, even walk by it, quite often. It will be an excellent public and government relations symbol for Apple. The "community" activities will only enhance the effect.
    I don’t know about that. I don’t live in the city but I spend most of my time there.  I doubt if legislators are
    often around there.   It is right across the street from the convention center and a few hotels.  Also close to the Verizon center and Chinatown.  I don’t think of it as an awesome location but good for considerable convention traffic and good enough for those of us closer to it than to pentagon city.  Georgetown is out of the question. 
  • Reply 15 of 29
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,339member
    Latko said:
    This is just weird...

    Apple must have to much money to know what to do with.

    You can get classes at regular Apple Stores...

    If you want to attract customers through education, why not give lectures at a university campus.
    Customers paid Tim that money to stay upfront in tech products, not to fulfill his self-affirmation or to show off his ascendency in real estate.
    Guys, Please check out: macrumors.com

    fastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 29
    MicDorseyMicDorsey Posts: 45member
    Latko said:
    This is just weird...

    Apple must have to much money to know what to do with.

    You can get classes at regular Apple Stores...

    If you want to attract customers through education, why not give lectures at a university campus.
    Customers paid Tim that money to stay upfront in tech products, not to fulfill his self-affirmation or to show off his ascendency in real estate.
    Tim Cook is one weird dude – poster boy for SJW and the oldster *so* out of touch, desperately catering to the young crowd he cannot comprehend. Out of touch, consumed in the Apple force field. He needs to go. And in case you're thinking this is ageism, I am older than Tim, and he is just an embarrassment.
    Latkoquakerotis
  • Reply 17 of 29
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,197member
    It’s difficult to believe that Tim, who worked so closely with Steve Jobs for so many years, would fail to comprehend what is the core reason Apple is able to do things like this which have little discernible bottom line benefit. It’s partially marketing, partially about sales. What does it benefit Apple to pour millions into a beautiful building when four plain walls and a cash register would suffice? It’s all about image!
  • Reply 18 of 29
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    mknelson said:
    larryjw said:
    Apple has to sell stuff to stay in business, and customers are going to have to buy. This outlet has to be a store. Sorry, Tim. 
    What he said was "Tim Cook however suggests the new space won't be primarily about sales, stating 'Probably one of the least done things in an Apple Store is to buy something.' "

    He's not wrong - go into Apple and watch how many people are actually buying vs. the numbers who are just playing with items or getting support.
    But 10 minutes later (if it suits him better), he’ll say AppleStores have the highest sales yield per square feet - so why listen to this blatter
    edited May 4
  • Reply 19 of 29
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    Latko said:
    This is just weird...

    Apple must have to much money to know what to do with.

    You can get classes at regular Apple Stores...

    If you want to attract customers through education, why not give lectures at a university campus.
    Customers paid Tim that money to stay upfront in tech products, not to fulfill his self-affirmation or to show off his ascendency in real estate.
    No, customers paid money to Apple to buy their products. They can do whatever the hell they want with that money.
    If your landlord (or carmaker) starts making phones you might see the lunacy of that
    edited May 4
  • Reply 20 of 29
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 62member
    Latko said:
    mknelson said:
    larryjw said:
    Apple has to sell stuff to stay in business, and customers are going to have to buy. This outlet has to be a store. Sorry, Tim. 
    What he said was "Tim Cook however suggests the new space won't be primarily about sales, stating 'Probably one of the least done things in an Apple Store is to buy something.' "

    He's not wrong - go into Apple and watch how many people are actually buying vs. the numbers who are just playing with items or getting support.
    But 10 minutes later (if it suits him better), he’ll say AppleStores have the highest sales yield per square feet - so why listen to this blatter
    The statements “AppleStores [sic] have the highest sales yield per square feet” and “probably one of the least done things in an Apple Store is to buy something” can both be true. 
    retrogustofastasleep
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