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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