When it comes to retail and the look and feel of a brand that gets it right, Apple Stores have been a benchmark for 15 years. On Thursday, even Apple proved that it’s necessary to evolve, and in typical fashion, the tech giant raised the bar again on brick and mortar.
A new flagship Apple Store was opened to the media in San Francisco’s Union Square and unveiled as the “next generation of Apple retail.”
“Fifteen years ago today Apple opened its first two stores and we’re thrilled to mark the occasion with the opening of Apple Union Square in San Francisco,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online operations. “We are not just evolving our store design, but its purpose and greater role in the community as we educate and entertain visitors and serve our network of local entrepreneurs.”
In an Associated Press video, Ahrendts said “this is the future of what you will see going forward” for Apple Stores.
The two-story store features 42-by-40-foot sliding glass doors which allow the store to become part of the outdoor space. And speaking of outdoors, the Genius Bar will now be referred to as the Genius Grove, playing into the whole idea of the store being a community hangout space.
USA Today also reports that a new staff position, Apple Creative Pro, will be tasked with helping consumers with specific questions on music, photography, videos and the like.
New San Francisco Apple Store. It opens on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/YqMM1m3mPM
— Elizabeth Weise (@eweise) May 19, 2016
Sneak peek of the new San Francisco Apple Store on Union Square, opening Saturday pic.twitter.com/K8au3evA4K
— Pei Ketron (@pketron) May 19, 2016
When asked how many Apple Stores there are in the world, Siri just did a web search. The numbers appear to be 479 in 18 countries, with 268 in the U.S. The Union Square store opens to the public on Saturday.