Apple Store Beyond Manhattan?

September 13, 2007

Apple retail staffers are scouring Brooklyn (NYC) for an appropriate space for a retail store, according to the Racked Web site. Their story speculates on which neighborhood might eventually be selected: Red Hook, Smith Street, Dumbo, Downtown or Williamsburg, with the latter being the most logical choice, Racked says. Right now, Apple has two stores in Manhattan and one in Staten Island, but has not occupied The Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn. [The Gothamist Web site tips the area on Atlantic Avenue around Clinton Avenue. Take a look on Google Street View.]

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mac Guy September 13, 2007 at 2031

Remember that Queens and Brooklyn are the two largest boroughs of New York City, so it is only logical Apple would start looking to put a store in one or both places.

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zoetmb September 19, 2007 at 1558

Right, but Apple needs to decide whether it wants to be hip or whether it wants to be in a place where there is plenty of foot traffic and easy transportation.

Red Hook: in 5-10 years, will probably be “the place” and an Ikea is going in there pretty soon, but the current population is heavily working class and there’s no good public transportation there.

Downtown: Flatbush Avenue and Fulton Street are dumps. They don’t want to be there, although the presence of an Apple Store there could help revitalize the area. But a store in the center of Brooklyn Heights might make sense.

Williamsburg: Very hip and lots of new apartment condos are rising, but no one goes there who doesn’t live there.

Dumbo: Rich loft dwellers and a few hip stores, but it’s a relatively scary place to be walking around alone, especially at night. Long term a great place to be, but short term I would predict the store would be empty most of the time.

Smith Street: South of Atlantic is too quiet; North of Atlantic is kind of dumpy. They’d probably be better off on Court Street, near the movie theatre, but that area can be dumpy and uninviting also.

My recommendations: Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights (although zoning for a big Apple store would probably be tough) or 7th Avenue in Park Slope (although 5th Avenue is hipper and has all the good restaurants.)

Queens: Very unhip, but there’s a giant space available on Queens Blvd in Rego Park where CompUSA used to be. That could be a killer location for Apple, but it’s certainly not like being on 5th Avenue or in Soho. Another good area for Apple would be in Bayside and maybe even Austin Street in Forest Hills. A different approach would be to locate near Steinway Studios in Long Island City.

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Peter November 13, 2007 at 1239

Hey, there’s an Apple Store on Staten Island, so I can’t see they’d be afraid of putting one in Queens.

There’s a Loehmann’s going in where CompUSA used to be, so that’s obviously out. I’d be happy to see one open on Austin Street or even Atlas Park, but the logical first location would probably be the Queens Center Mall.

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zoetmb January 6, 2008 at 1148

I think Atlas Park, although a nice attempt at a different type of mall environment, is a disaster — I don’t think it generates much traffic and there’s no interesting stores there. The next six months should be key – to see how many stores there go under. There is plenty of room (and buildings) there for more expansion, but I don’t see it happening.

Before the expansion, the Queens Center Mall was the highest-grossing (per sq ft) mall in the U.S. — by doubling in size, it’s probably lost that distinction, but in any case, it’s a very downscale place and I don’t think it’s a place that Apple would want to be, regardless of the traffic. Except for iPod sales, I don’t see that mall’s customers as Apple’s customers.

Although it doesn’t generate as much traffic as a large scale indoor mall, I think the outdoor mall in Bayside might be a better Queens location for Apple. And I still think some large obvious spot on Queens Blvd would be good for Apple, although not very hip. It might be really cool if Apple knocked down some of the incredibly awful architecture on Austin Street west of Continental Avenue and built a totally new facility. But I don’t see that happening either – it’s too neighborhood oriented.

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