Leaked Holiday Window Display Shows Strange Store

November 19, 2013

A leaked image of this year’s Apple store holiday display window reveals it will consist of a curtain of LEDs, but the most intriguing element of the image is the depicted retail store itself. The image—it’s not clear if it’s a photo, retouched photo or even a rendering—was provided to the 9to5mac Web site by a tipster. It’s possible the image depicts Apple’s internal store model that’s known to exist at the Cupertino headquarters…or a completely rendered store. This year’s window display is composed of two suspended curtains of about 2,100 LED lights each, suspended behind iPhones and iPads mounted on slim metal poles. The LEDs are programmed to display moving images of stylized snowflakes. The display is being rolled out to stores this week, and first appeared at the expanded Fashion Show (Las Vegas) that opened last weekend. Update: In fact, sources say, the image is a complete rendering, created as part of the instructions given to each store’s visual merchandising team, to show them how the LED window display should appear when they are finished with installation.

In the image posted on 9to5mac, the new display is shown just inside the front windows of a store that appears to be 40 feet wide, but just 25 feet deep, a very small and very unusual configuration. Outside the store, the floor is covered with dark, purple-tinted carpet, a very unusual material for any shopping center. In fact, the storefront doesn’t match any of Apple’s existing 417 locations as shown in a gallery of storefronts.

Furthermore, the storefront has an overhead back-lit Apple logo that represents an earlier design that has been replaced at most locations by a suspended logo. The image also contains strange shadows for the pole-mounted product displays that make the displays appear to be outside the front glass windows. There are three metal door handles instead of just two, no door hinges or locking hardware, and no interior wall-mounted graphics. There are no doors on the back wall leading to the back-of-house area.

Perhaps most strangely, the storefront appears to be indoors, yet the window glass reflections are of open sky, tree trunks, branches and leaves.

View a larger version of the image to see details of the holiday storefront.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Throwthatham November 19, 2013 at 0557

Trying to decide how long it will be until an unattended child takes one of those curtains down.


GadgetGav November 19, 2013 at 0641

It looks completely rendered to me. Either that or it’s had a lot of over-sharpening.
Like you say, the depth cuing on the products in the windows looks wrong. The text on the glass of the windows looks too sharp. The three handles on the door looks like a rendering error to me – a shadow / reflection effect that is mistakenly offset too far up and to the left.
Pretty sure it’s just a rendered mock up that they use to evaluate window displays.


Tape November 19, 2013 at 0700

the “picture” looks like some kind of rendering.

I haven’t been to another store in a few weeks, but the new Rockingham Park store location already had this window display up when it opened on Saturday.


FormerAAPL November 19, 2013 at 1854

It’s a render. Straight up. The Mock Store is a lot different. These get sent to all the stores and are just meant to illustrate the basic idea of what the displays should look like. These are distributed to any and all stores that have window displays. Some have different measurements for the different widths and heights.


Megan Sucks November 19, 2013 at 2102

100% correct.


Norman Laurila December 8, 2014 at 1443

Does anyone know who manufactures the programable light curtain used by Apple for their holiday windows (2013)?


Gary Allen December 9, 2014 at 1110

I received tips and other information that pointed to Bowen Technovation of Indianapolis (Ind.). I investigated further, including contacting the company. However, the company’s founder was what I would call “reluctant” to confirm any connection with Apple. Traditionally, Apple’s contractors are sworn to secrecy by contract, so it’s understandable. My research revealed no other company making either the hardware or software.


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