Apple Store“Below the General Motors plaza on Fifth Avenue, a short ride down Steve Jobs’ great glass elevator, the Apple Store is in full swing. Shoppers emerge from the 32-foot cube that marks the store’s entrance while U2’s ‘Vertigo’ plays over the crowd’s hum and dressed-down employees mingle with customers,” Heather Corcoran reports for New York Resident.

“Back above ground, people soak up the sun and the free Wi-Fi connection supplied by the store. It couldn’t be more different from the brand’s SoHo location, which opened in 2002, known for its airy layout and the auditorium that plays home to presentations and concerts,” Corcoran reports.

There are no other stores quite like Apple’s outlets and Steve Job’s grand experiment in retailing is paying off big time. A third Manhattan store is currently in the works, slated for the trendy Meatpacking District. The first Apple store opened in 2001, five years to the day before opening the 20,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue flagship. Now, after six years in the retail biz, the stores account for 16 percent of the company’s $5.26 billion profit in the first three months of 2007. It’s an incredible success, especially considering other technology companies, like Gateway, quickly failed in their attempts to establish a retail presence,” Corcoran reports.

Corcoran reports, “‘Apple went to a billion faster than any other retailer in history, starting from a standing start,’ said retail consultant Howard Davidowitz. Since breaking the record – previously held by the Gap – Apple now averages profits of $4,000 per square foot. ‘Apple is the highest volume-per-square-foot retailer in the United States of America. It’s like a homerun.'”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s a grand slam actually, but who are we to argue? wink

Corcoran continues, “Mac fans can’t seem to get enough. When the second Manhattan location opened, one year ago this month, the response was epic. Crowds waited outside for days and by the time the doors opened at 6 p.m. on May 19, the line to get in stretched for nearly a half mile. Since then, the store has never closed – it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

“‘Wherever Apple opens, the level of excitement and traffic is tremendous,’ said Davidowitz. And for some, the elegant and clean Apple look is as appealing in the stores, which were designed by architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, as it is in the products,” Corcoran reports.

“Apple draws traffic to its two enormous New York locations not through size but with free workshops, seminars, concerts and even the unique architecture of the stores. And in the world of retail, traffic turns to cash,” Corcoran reports. “‘It’s really built on traffic,’ said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the Retail Leasing and Sales Division at Prudential Douglas Elliman. ‘Apple is a happening; it’s an entertainment retailer that creates a shopping experience for the customer.”

Full article here.

The magazine’s actual pages, including photos, start here.