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Seattle's Apple University Village. Photo: Apple.
Seattle’s Apple University Village. Photo: Apple.

Tech’s hippest store is rebranding — as, well, not a store. The Verge reports that the Silicon Valley tech giant has dropped the word ‘Store’ from its retail locations, part of an effort to redesign the stores as more community-oriented spaces.

The Apple retail store in Portland
The Apple retail store in Portland

The Apple Store in Seattle’s University Village is now simply “Apple University Village,” and the chain’s newest addition, which opened this week in New York City’s Westerfield Mall on the site of the World Trade Center, is simply “Apple World Trade Center.”

Although Apple has not publicized the switch, they did announce a new design and approach for its retail locations with the opening of Apple Union Square in San Francisco in May.

That store has a leafy “Genius Grove” instead of a Genius Bar, a 24-hour public space with free WiFi access, and a hang-out room with a 6K Video Wall. It was called the “next generation of Apple retail.”

No word yet on whether Microsoft —which has followed in Apple’s footsteps with its own retail strategy — will now decide to drop the word “store” from its name.

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