NYC Store To Relocate During Remodel, Expansion

June 30, 2011

As incredible as it seems, Apple will close its landmark SoHo retail store in New York City within the next three months during a renovation to increase the store’s square-footage, but will open a temporary store at an unknown Manhattan location to accommodate the store’s thousands of daily visitors. The store is the smallest of four stores located in Manhattan, and is constantly crowded. The SoHo store opened in July 2002 inside a former branch post office covering about 21,000 square-feet, and celebrated its five millionth visitor just four years later. That popularity has steadily increased, now forcing Apple to expand the store by taking over ground-floor space at the rear of the parcel that the U.S. Postal Service vacated in 2009. The first floor will also be renovated and reconfigured, according to city building permits spotted earlier this year. The store’s glass staircase, first in the chain, and the upper level will not be changed. The city considers the building on Prince Street to be a heritage structure. However, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission determined the construction work, “will have no effect on significant protected features of the building.” It’s not clear how long the SoHo store will be closed.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marktrek July 7, 2011 at 0452

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 now has 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? is Apple too concerned about “perfect” locations? How about an “OK” location in the mean time. Move it when the right location becomes available. As an example, Apple seems to be waiting for a shopping center to be built in Marseille, France. Why not open another store in the mean time. Even if it is a poor location they get the business, train employees and make Windows switchers. Then when the new center is open, move everybody over to the new location.

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ZoetMB July 11, 2011 at 0906

Just because there are no Apple stores in Brooklyn or Queens (or The Bronx or Staten Island?) doesn’t mean those people aren’t served because many of those, especially those most likely to buy Apple, work or shop already in Manhattan. Besides, Apple products are sold in many other places now that exist in those boroughs like BestBuy, Costco, BJs, etc.

The problem with both Brooklyn and Queens is that while there are “hip areas” that Apple might like to be in (like Williamsburg, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Red Hook or Astoria), those are not necessarily high-traffic areas. And the high-traffic areas (like Kings Highway or parts of Queens Blvd. or Northern Blvd.) are not “hip” areas. And the upscale areas, like Bayside, Forest Hills, Brooklyn Heights and the prime parts of Park Slope don’t have dense enough populations and in half those cases, don’t have great subway access. So I can understand why Apple hasn’t ventured there yet. (But if they want to, there’s an empty, large two-story building formerly occupied by CompUSA in a very visible location on Queens Blvd in Rego Park. Not very hip, but otherwise a very good location.)

Jobs once rejected a potential location on either 14th or 23rd street because the street seemed scuzzy to him and he didn’t want Apple in that environment.

The borough president of Brooklyn, Marty Markowitz, tried to get Apple to take a location on Court Street in Brooklyn Heights, but Apple didn’t go for it. While surrounded by very nice areas, that particular block tends to look “disheveled” and I bet that’s why Apple rejected or ignored his request. Markowitz should have used his discretionary funds to renovate the public aspects of the block first with a new street scape. That might have attracted Apple to the site.

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silverpie July 19, 2011 at 1319

Actually, there is an Apple Store in the Staten Island Mall.

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