Border Town To Sprout Apple Store

by Gary Allen on June 21, 2011

While researching and analyzing cities and locations for Apple retail stores, the company’s retail team has pondered El Paso (Tex.) carefully—it has been one of the most intriguing opportunities on their list of possibilities. Now the team has made their choice, and will locate a store on the ground floor of the Cielo Vista Mall along Interstate 10 on the city’s east side. The Simon Property Group mall covers 1.2 million square-feet and has 140 shops, all just three miles from the Mexico border town of Ciudad Juarez. According to city building permits, the store will occupy a space next to the Gap store on the lower level and cost $500,000 to construct. Importantly, on the U.S. side of the border, the store will fill in a huge, seven-state black-out zone serviced only by the ABQ Uptown (NM) store. From the other side of the border, it will attract Mexico residents to the closest Apple store access across the entire chain (Otay Ranch, Calif. is second-closest at five miles). And significantly, government research says those Mexican residents account for about 16 percent of retail sales within El Paso, or about $1.6 billion a year. Lastly, and perhaps most intriguing, the average household income of Cielo Vista visitors is among the three lowest in Apple’s chain according to IFO research, just $43,079. Yet according to a 2010 Experian report on Apple store locations, El Paso is the fourth most-loyal city without an Apple store, and #36 in loyalty overall. Based on construction schedules, the store could open in early 2012.

Download the city building permit (pdf) for the mundane details about the store, and also U.S. Federal Reserve Bank data (pdf) on Mexico’s contribution to El Paso’s retail commerce.

A group of investors has announced construction of the Fountains at Farah shopping mall just south of the Cielo Vista Mall, on the adjacent 55-acre site of a former jeans manufacturing plant. The mall will reportedly be upscale and expansive, but won’t open until at least late 2012. It’s not clear what factors Apple’s retail team considered when deciding to lease at Cielo Vista now and not wait for the new mall to open. [leasing brochure, pdf]

The Apple could might be located next to the Gap store on the lower level.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

sergio June 21, 2011 at 1602

Please Apple, we need a store in Laredo Tx. the Best Buy in store is great but doesnt feature all the products, and Laredo is the most important border crossing city between Mexico and USA


Tim Holt June 22, 2011 at 0639

Not only is the Mexican traffic going to be huge at the store, the local Military base, Ft. Bliss, is expanding by getting tens of thousands of new soldiers. I am sure all Apple had to do was sit in the local Best Buy parking lots and count the number of cars coming from Mexico: easily 20-30 percent of the traffic.

Currently in El Paso, there are several Best Buys and a PX that all have Apple stores-within-stores.

The upscale mall you speak of, Fountains at Farah, is having trouble getting off the ground. They delayed their opening by a couple years because of the recession, cleared the land, and nothing much else has happened there.

I have always wondered why Apple hasn’t opened one earlier. Counting the metro areas of El Paso, Juarez, Las Cruces and southern NM, you literally have close to 3,000,000 people. Of course the economy in El Paso is closely tied to that of Mexico, and acts differently than the overall US economy. We don’t feel the downturns or upswings as much as the rest of the nation.


Brian June 22, 2011 at 0912

Heh… While it’s good to see one coming, I’ll probably never go there. Hopefully I’ll be out of this excuse of a city by then. The Cielo Vista Mall is probably the most populated mall (or building, in general) in the region. Seeing it filled with people who probably don’t know the Pledge of Allegiance (nor basic English) is an instant turn-off for me.

Sorry, but it’s 100% true. El Paso is one of the worst cities in America. It should just be apart of mexico.


Marktrek June 22, 2011 at 1517

I hope that you find a home town that you like. But in the mean time, how do you think the Apple store will do? Is there an independent dealer doing well in El Paso?
For the record, El Paso is apart from Mexico.


T Man June 22, 2011 at 1747

I’m actually being processed to work there. I haven’t decided as I’m hoping to land a position closer to Las Cruces, NM.


Donovan June 23, 2011 at 2010

It is funny how they keep on mentioning how close the Apple Store will be from Mexico. While it is about 3 miles geographically speaking. The closet port of entry is the Bridge of the Americas. Doesn’t really make a difference compared to the closet Apple Store currently from El Paso is Albuquerque.

Cielo Vista is a prefect place for the Apple Store. Fountains at Farah would of been nice, but since they aren’t open they can’t make the bid. Cielo Vista is probably the nicest mall in El Paso.

Who cares if the average household income is roughly 43,000. Doesn’t mean people won’t buy it on credit.


Sergio June 24, 2011 at 0647

Si em verdad fueras patriota, no harías menos o hablarías mal de una parte que forma a tu Pais, lo que deprisa de hacer son propuestas para mejorar esa ciudad y mucho menos con Mexico. De ser asi, regresenos todo el estado de Texas, que en algún momento de la historia fue de
Nosotros. Asi que a proponer tus ideas. Gracias!


Brian June 24, 2011 at 0829

Hmmm… The demographics are what, 90%~ hispanic? Plus, people come over the border everyday, so it’s even more hectic. I wouldn’t be surprised if less than 10% of the population knew what the Pledge of Allegiance was. No Googling.

Keep ‘em out.


Tim Holt June 24, 2011 at 0925

As a white guy that has grown up and has lived in El Paso my entire life, I am offended of your portrayal of my hometown. If you don’t like it here, fine, leave. Yes, El Paso has a large hispanic population. So what? Miami has a large Cuban population. So what? San Francisco has a large Asian population. So what? Chicago has a lot of Polish folks. So what? New York has a large ..well New York has everyone. Are you saying Apple should close all of the stores in those places because the population doesn’t meet your criteria?

I love the fact that El Paso has a diverse community. There is very little racism here, except from people that come from out of town and tell us that we are bad because we aren’t “white enough” or “American enough.”

The Apple Store will do well here because of all the many people, White, Brown, Black that will visit it and purchase things. And Apple is COUNTING on people coming over the border everyday. It drives the economy of the city.

By the way, who do you think will be selling those Apple products in this “90% Hispanic” city? Yep. Hispanics. Get over it Cracker!


Brian June 24, 2011 at 0940

Heh, cracker, that’s funny.

This town is so unpatriotic that’s it’s sickening. Very rarely will I go to a restaurant or department store and hear people speaking English.

This is the worst city you could possibly live in. Ft. Bliss is the only safe-zone.

Also, the drivers here are down-right horrible.

I could write a book on how El Paso is the worst place to live. Should just be apart of Mexico. Would give the U.S. fewer issues overall.


T Man June 28, 2011 at 0936

I can only figure you are in El Paso because of Ft. Bliss? A soldier fighting for the United States of America maybe? I appreciate your service if this is true, but I am sad to find that you’ve forgotten what it means to be an American. Americans are the most adaptable people on this planet. Most of us know how to change with time, but fewer know that it is essential. History proves it. The nations that stand entrenched against change are the ones that eventually crumble.

Anyways, as a Filipino-American raised throughout the nation and the proud son of a service man born from Vermont (a State with few minorities), I know what it means to be an American.

I know your argument is that you are patriotic and the people of El Paso need to conform to us. They need to learn English and use it. Unfortunately, you are grouping all of these people into one category. Illegal immigrants that don’t wish to nationalize properly are very unpatriotic, but I’m sure most of the citizens of El Paso are very patriotic, more so than cities up north.

Sorry for the rant. And if you are a soldier, thanks for serving. Please know who you fight for and that even the Spanish speaking citizens of El Paso are thankful.

Sergio June 24, 2011 at 0652

Apple, por cierto deberías de considerar abrir una tienda aqui en Mexico, mejor dicho varias en distintos puntos del Pais como en las principales ciudades como lo son: Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexico por decir algunas o empezar con estas. Creo que te aumentarían las ventas ya que los “terceros” le aumentan sus ganancia. Que mejor xomprarlo directo con ustedes Apple. No es lo mismo en la pagina store Mexicana., sino queremos sentir esa sensación que tanto nos mencionan que se siente al visitar una tienda de ustedes. Gracias


Jacob Probasco June 25, 2011 at 0819

This is fantastic news, and with all of the higher-end traffic we get from across the border this store will most likely be one of the best Apple Store return in investment that Apple has accomplished in recent years.


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