Location: Sayegusa Honkan (Sayegusa company headquarters), 5-12 Ginza, 3-Chome, Chuo-Ko, Tokyo, Japan; at the corner of Ginza-dori and Matsuya-dori Streets, in the Ginza shopping district, and not far from the Imperial Palace.
Grand Opening: Sunday, November 30, 2003, 10 a.m.
First in Line: Devin, 6 a.m. Saturday morning, followed by Youichi and another Japanese citizen at 9 a.m.
Building: Technically called the "Sayegusa Honkan Building" built in 1965, it previously housed Sumitomo Bank on the ground floor, and was completely reconstructed to house this "high-profile" store, the first to open outside the United States. The 8-story building includes other tenants on the 6th through 8th floors, including several law firms. Apple's retail space is located on the first five floors, and occupies about 20,000 square-feet. The 5th-floor Studio Training Center holds hands-on classes will be held for prices of 11,000¥, 16,000¥ or 22,000¥ ($100, $146 and $200).
The store is organized by floor:
B1 - tenant parking garage, storage
There is a vehicle entrance off an alley at the back of the building that leads to an underground parking garage.
The building was designed by architects from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (Calif.), the associated architect was Gensler (worldwide), the structural and facade engineer was Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners Inc. (London-NY), the mechanical and electrical engineering was done by Flack + Kurtz Inc. (NYC), and the lighting design was by ISP Design Inc. (Miami). Project management was provided by Sato Facilities Consultants Inc. (Tokyo). The Kajima Corp. also provided design and development work on the project, and was builder. Many of these companies have also worked on other Apple retail store projects.
Features: This is definitely a showcase store for Apple, and the first store outside the United States: the outside façade is vertical, bead-blasted stainless steel panels (lower floors), and glass curtain walls and ceramic printed glass (upper floors). There are large white Apple logos on two sides of the building. There is a 10-foot, narrow display window on the side of the building. The front of the building is glass with two narrow steel panels on the sides, with doors in the center. The interior of the store models U.S. stores: natural wood tables, bright lights, stone floors, hands-on product displays, etc. What's different: a pair of constantly-running elevators from ground to 4th floor, an 84-seat demonstration theater on the 3rd floor, a 27-foot long Genius bar, and Mac Specialists speaking 10 different languages.
There is "crown" logo on the Matsuya-dori Street side that resembles the Rolex trademark, but is related to the owners of the building, the old-time Sayegusa family business that's still headquartered on the upper floors. At the back of the building, there is an outline-only (stealth!) Apple logo above the parking garage entrance--nice touch!
Check this description of the store from a architectural viewpoint.
Employees: 140, speaking 10 languages. The company began advertising job openings in early 2002, including the usual Mac Specialist, Manager and HR Manager positions. Several Ginza store employees trained at west coast Apple stores during October 2003. A Burlingame (N. Calif.) Apple store visitor told MacMinute they encountered several Japanese employees during a visit to the store during the Panther roll-out on Oct. 24th. The store manager is Steve Cano, no stranger to this high-pressure job: he also managed Palo Alto (Calif.) and SoHo (NYC) when they opened.
Other: In Sept. 2004 Apple reported the store hosts 4,000 visitors a day compared to 800 a day for U.S. stores, and sells ¥100 million ($913,000) a week in products, compared to about $283,000 a week for U.S. stores.
Other Web pages of information about the store:
as of 11-19-2003 [photo by Keith]
Sayegusa Building, before renovation began. Note the sign on top of