Storefront Variations

Apple's prototype store designates a specific storefront width (30 to 75 feet) and design (stainless steel & glass). But there are several variations of that design, and also many stores that don't conform to it.

The original 2001 storefront design featured black metal panels with white, back-lit Apple logos. In Sept. 2006 a new design debuted that included an all-glass storefront framed by stainless steel. Most of the original stores have been remodeled to this V2.0 design, but many of the black-paneled stores remain.

Here are some representative examples of Apple's storefront design. Also check this collection of Apple's photos of their storefronts.


(S. Calif.)

The most common mall store configuration, using black panels and the back-lit logo on either side of a center-positioned door. In this case, there is a third panel on the mall wall to the left.

Roosevelt Field

A variation on the standard design, with one black panel and display window in front, and then a second panel around the corner to increase visibility. At this store, there is another black panel down the corridor at the far left, near the exterior door to the mall, to attract mall visitors when they first enter. The Keystone (Ind.) store has a black panel and logo on the mall's exterior wall, near the mall entrance that leads to the Apple store.


This single-panel store incorporates the stone facing from the North Michigan Avenue and Burlingame stores, usually reserved for outdoor stores.

Colorado Blvd.
(S. Calif.)

Apple retained the original façade of this building along a major shopping street, but still managed to discreetly use its black paneling and back-lit logo design. The SoHo store was built inside an old Post Office, and its exterior was left entirely intact. The future Regent Street (London) store is inside a building that is historically protected, and will retain the refurbished 1898-era façade.

Palo Alto
(N. Calif.)

This building was protected by a heritage law, so it could be expanded or extensively changed. Apple retained the green exterior tile work on the left and right sides of the front windows. They also used black I-beams to frame the front window, and then highlighted the building with two black panels and back-lit logos on either side of the center door.

The Grove
(S. Calif.)

This newer store design uses stainless steel panels, back-lit logo, and a large display window to attract attention. This is a two-story flagship store with an interior glass staircase and skylight.

(N. Calif.)

This is a mini-version of the distinctive 2-story North Michigan Avenue (Chicago) store, and is one of a few stores that uses stone siding. Note the long horizontal display window on the side, which is also used at the Ginza (Tokyo) store. The two logos are white plastic set into cut-outs of the stone siding.

West County

This "reverse" configuration uses stainless steel for an interior mall.

Legacy Village

This corner spot in an open-air mall follows the traditional stainless steel design for a one-story store.

Knox StreetKnox Street

Apple adapted its usual architectural design for this existing storefront in an outdoor mall, using red brick to weather all of the elements--rain, snow, tornados, locusts, and heat waves. Update: On Jan. 30, 2011 this location will close and move to a nearby, temporary space. This location will then be expanded into the adjacent retail space to create a larger store, opening by Thanksgiving 2011.


North Michigan AvenueNorth Michigan

Perhaps the most impressive store in one view, after the Ginza store. It offers a massive appearance, yet captures your eye with the see-through Apple logo, cut out of the stone façade. The 2-story, stone-faced store features a glass staircase, skylight and rooftop garden. Note the third story at the back of the building.

Regent StreetRegent Street

Opened in Nov. 2004, the store is within an impressive 1898-era building owned by the Queen's Estate. The store occupies two floors, generally behind the centers arches in this architect's rendering. Other retailers occupy the lower floors, and offices and apartments will occupy the uppper floors. (full building rendering)

Regent StreetSoHo

Apple barely touched the outside brick façade of this former 2-story Postal Service Station A. The interior was gutted and fitted with a glass staircase and skylight. The only "Apple" presence on the outside are two small black signs with a cut-out Apple logo.

Country Club PlazaCountry Club Plaza

The Plaza is an old shopping district of Kansas City, and Apple did not disturb this building on Broadway St., just south of downtown. The "Sunrise" tile mosaic and the red-and-blue lamps on the second level are particularly distinctive. But the overall light-red brickwork, tile roof, and arches above the windows and under the eaves are also spectacular. (photo by Scott)

Country Club PlazaGinza
(Tokyo, Japan)

The Ginza store sits on a very visible corner location, and its stainless steel siding hides three windowless floors linked by a constantly-moving shuttle elevator. Visible in this view, the windows above the steel siding are the 4th floor, and above that is the 5th floor training and office facilities.

Country Club PlazaShinsaibashi
(Osaka, Japan)

Like the Ginza store, this store is located in a high-rise office building, but occupies just two floors. Unlike any other store, it's entrance is angled, to allow a fuller view into the long and narrow store, and for total visibility of the unique spiral glass staircase. The second floor is windowless, hidden behind the stainless steel siding. The 3rd floor training facility is covered with a horizontal metal trim.

Country Club PlazaLincoln Road
(Miami, FL)

The most unusual storefront in Apple's chain, it fits into a space occupied by the original 1934 tenant, along a pedestrian shopping street. Apple apparently renovated only the entrance doors and glass windows, and added the overhead Apple logo to the storefront.

Country Club PlazaDerby Street Shoppes
(Hingham, MA)

For this mall-based store, Apple used Indiana limestone, a material it had prevously reserved for street-level stores only in Chicago and Burlingame (N. Calif.). It's possible that mall management nixed the stainless steel that is usually used for mall-sited stores.

Country Club PlazaFifth Avenue
(New York City)

The grand-daddy of all Apple storefronts, this 30-foot glass cube cost $7 million to design, construct and erect--and it's only the entrance to the underground store! Despite not having a view of the store interior from a distance, visitors who come to the side of the cube are rewarded with a peek inside through the glass stairway opening.

Country Club PlazaWaterside Shops
(Naples, Fla.)

This mall has a very low vertical height, precluding the use of stainless steel framing above the display windows, or the usual backlit logo overhead. Instead, the architects used that same theme to create a sidewall.

Country Club PlazaSouthPoint
(Durham, NC)

The corner location of this store makes it very conspicuous. It uses the classic black metal storefront, but is framed by two shades of red brick.

Country Club PlazaNorth Michigan Avenue
(Chicago, IL)

Definitely one of the most impressive stores, although it doesn't get as much public attention as some others. The pierced stone façade allows light into the store, along with the skylight. Green vegetation on the roof rounds out the unusual aspects of this store.

Country Club PlazaChristiana
(Newark, DE)

In this version, the stainless steel area is constrained by the opening. It occupies just a small space over the top of the glass and down the sides.

Country Club PlazaDanbury Fair
(Danbury, CT)

This store occupies a strange box-like space that has branding all over.

Country Club PlazaThe Woodlands
(The Woodlands, TX)

The location of the store offered the architects the opportunity to place branding on a side panel—and they took advantage of it.

Country Club PlazaHiguera Street
(San Luis Obispo, CA)

Apple battled with the city zoning board over the design of this store, hoping to put in a stainless steel version. However, the city stood firm, so Apple put the stainless on the inside (the logo is visible here).

Country Club PlazaWest 14th Street
(New York City, NY)

Definitely a landmark store for Apple and the Meatpacking District of the city. Apple retained the original window design and hardware, but installed a 3-level spiral glass staircase to bring modernity to the building.

Country Club PlazaGeorge Street
(Sydney, Australia)

This is the widest façade in the chain, but may also be the most shallow—the front-to-back dimension doesn't allow for a staircase. So Apple's architects placed it behind the rear wall. The storefront makes it one of the most magnetic stores in the chain, too.

Country Club PlazaSainte Catherine
(Monteral, Canada)

Had this store been covered in stainless steel, it would have been routine. Instead, the architects used stone, fitting in better with the old stone buildings adjacent and in the district.

Country Club PlazaRoyal Hawaiian
(Honolulu, HI)

Overall photos of this 2-level store don't do it justice: the stone has a lavarock-like texture, and the interior has a bend in the space.

Country Club PlazaRosenstrasse
(Munich, Germany)

Apple demolished the original building and erected a new one that included a large lower space that could accomodate a set-back mezzanine and ground floor. The design allowed the storefront to consist of five large glass panels that provide total visibility and virtual access.

Country Club PlazaState Street
(Santa Barbara, CA)

Another store that was debated by the local zone and design boards. Apple abandoned plans for an off-street space and chose this building. They totally gutted the interior, retained the outer walls, and built this impressive design that includes many of the wood ornaments of the original.

Country Club PlazaScottsdale Quarter
(Scottsdale, AZ)

There is no more impressive store design than this, in terms of size, symmetry, visibility or setting. There are no bad views of this store at any time of day or season. Later, the Bondi (Sydney), Manhasset (NY) and Uptown (Minneapolis) stores shared this design.

Country Club PlazaLouvre
(Paris, France)

Completely unique, and for a reason—it's inside the Louvre Museum. The rather narrow front window hides the larger store. The photo doesn't show a small space off to the right that has its own front window fronting on a hallway to this underground space. (It also doesn't show the huge glass pyramid just behind the camera.)

Country Club PlazaChermside
(Chermside, Australia)

An unusual space forced the store into a strange configuration, looking like a pop-up store set in a warehouse.

Country Club PlazaUpper West Side
(New York City, NY)

Another stand-out using any measure of architecture—visibility, scope, scale, materials and engineering. It consists of three huge stone walls, a curved glass ceiling and a hanging glass curtain in honor of nearby Lincoln Center.

Country Club PlazaGeorgetown
(Washington, DC)

Apple purchased this building, but then went through four architectural designs before finding one that the Old Georgetown Board would approve. Their early "complete makeover" version gave way to this kindly renovation. There's a skylight at the back, similar to the later Bondi store (and future Palo Alto second store).

Country Club PlazaPerth City
(Perth, Australia)

How did a city this remote get a store this amazing? The architects left the vintage building intact but opened up the lower floor to provide total visiblity.

Country Club PlazaOpéra
(Paris, France)

Another renovation success—it took 18 months to gut the interior, preserve and renovate the original details (brass hardware, mosaic tile, marble walls, etc.). It exended the spirit and work of Regent Street, the previous renovation champion.

Country Club PlazaPudong
(Shanghai, China)

What can you say? Done a cube, so let's do a cylinder. It's set at the base of two impressive skyscrapers and surrounded by an impressive plaza. The store, like Fifth Avenue, is underground, reached by a spiral glass staircase.

Country Club PlazaCovent Garden
(London, UK)

This takes Apple's renovation success to another level. They gutted the inside and carefully preserved its elegant details, including brickwork, wrought iron and stone arches. Inside are many other surprises. Nooks and crannies make this store the chain's largest—and it was the most expensive to build.