While at WWDC this week I took a tour of Apple’s new flagship retail location in San Francisco’s Union Square.
The location features a number of lavish retail innovations, some that will likely make their way to other flagship Apple Store locations around the world, as well as an open concept (literally, the store’s enormous glass front doors are wide open) that could never work in Canada’s frigid climate.
The new store consists of notable features like 42 foot glass doors that can be open and closed with the touch of a button and weigh an astounding 20 tons each, reportedly the largest glass doors in the world, an enormous video wall that’s 35 feet wide with a 6K resolution, and a glass staircase constructed of four layers of laminated glass, as well as the traditional open concept the tech giant’s retail locations have become known for.
The store also features a backyard “forum” that’s open 24 hours a day and features a gigantic 50-foot green-wall, complete with a waterfall. The traditional Genius Bar featured in most Apple Stores has also been renamed and is now called the Genius Grove, accented by trees and more open spaces.
While Apple Stores don’t generate anywhere near the revenue of the company’s online stores, they are Apple’s real-world retail footprint and have evolved into iconic destinations – New York’s 5th Avenue glass cube or the iconic Norman Foster-designed Istanbul Apple Store for example – acting as physical conduit that shows off the company’s dedication to forward-thinking design.
This freshly renovated Apple Store location originally opened in 2004 but was recently reconstructed by architect Foster and Partners and reopened on May 21st. The store has expanded from its original staff of 100 employees to a staff of over 350.
The Apple store’s massive 42-foot glass doors can be opened and closed with the touch of a button.
Despite the lavish nature of certain sections of the location, product displays look just as they would in any Apple Store.
The iPad Pro on display in Apple’s flagship Union Square, San Francisco location.
The outdoor “Forum,” which is just a fancy word for patio, features a massive green wall and a waterfall.
Another look at the Union Square Apple Store’s Forum.
The second floor of the store gives customers a look at the street below.
The store’s 34-foot 6K display.
One of the flagship store’s many open meeting locations.
Welcome to the Genius Grove.
A quick look at Apple’s iPhone case display.
Almost every Apple Watch band available is on display.
Even the stairs in the store are made of laminated glass.
A look at the iPad Pro’s display.
A look at the Apple store’s lower floor from the stairs. The store’s doors have apparently been open everyday since it relaunched.
At this location the crowded Genius Bar has been replaced with the more wide-open Genius Grove.