Apple Store Fifth Avenue, the mother of all flagships, primed for massive makeover

“Over the next few months a striking piece of symbolism will take place around the mighty General Motors building on Fifth Avenue in New York,” Gillian Tett reports for The Financial Times. “Apple, the tech group, plans to move out of the basement where it has operated a flagship store-cum-tourist attraction for the past decade, underneath a now-iconic glass cube.”

“The tech group will not be disappearing altogether from this prime site, tucked on the southeast corner of Central Park. Instead, it is renovating the basement to cope with soaring numbers of visitors, and, later this year, it plans to move ‘temporarily’ into a space on the ground floor of the General Motors building next door,” Tett reports. “In a neat twist of timing, FAO Schwarz, the equally iconic American toy store, has decided to vacate its flagship location in the GM building on July 15 ‘to realise meaningful rent savings’ in the face of ‘the continuing rising costs of operating a retail location on Fifth Avenue.’ The store has not yet revealed where its new home will be.”

Apple Store Fifth Avenue
Apple Store Fifth Avenue
“Some well-placed insiders suspect that if anyone could get comparable public data on sales per square foot from retailers around the world (which is all but impossible), Apple’s glass cube would be the most profitable retail outlet in the world,” Tett reports. “Right now, I will be watching curiously to see what Angela Ahrendts, the ultra-stylish design queen at Apple, does with that cube.”

Read more in the full article here.

Apple to totally renovate iconic Fifth Avenue Store, temporarily relocate to FAO Schwarz building – June 11, 2015


  1. FAO Schwartz is leaving Fifth avenue after over 100 years. At the present location, it has been for almost 30 years. And it is leaving because of the soaring rent.

    It is entirely likely that Apple precipitated that rent hike; Apple is a high-value tenant with deep pockets. Owners of the “GM Building” clearly saw chance to get more money, now that they have such prime tenant on property, and FAO Schwarz simply couldn’t match that. After all, how many stuffed bears you need to sell in order to make the same revenue as a single MacBook Air…?

    1. The stuffed bears needed to be offered in $10,000 regalia.

      Had that happened, earnings per square foot—Americans don’t use metres, or meters, but you knew that, didn’t you?—could have shot up just as Apple’s did; and their profit margins would have been more impressive, since cotton and stitchery are far cheaper than CPU design and manufacture.

      Try not to use stuffed animals as an absurd just-so story of marketplace economics. Demand for them thrives through the generations, with little need for innovation, because they satisfy a primary emotional need, however vicariously: nurture through direct contact. In a postapocalyptic world, decimated by warfare or disease, and devoid of electrical comforts, the simple doll will continue to be the emotional glue that helps hold our social species together, while our non-functioning Dick Tracy gadgets become despised symbols of technological hubris.

    2. Make that the owners of the GM Building precipitated the rent hike. Apple is not responsible for the actions of greedy landlords, who have always had a nose for deep pockets.

  2. Maybe they can organise the staff a little better. 20 idiots stood about with iPads and nobody taking payments. I ditched the case and bought it elsewhere. 5th ave is a tourist trap and the shittest Apple Store I’ve been in for service.

    The other nyc stores are all better

    1. Couldn’t you have walked up to any one of them and asked them to check you out? They all have devices that can take your money (and if they don’t, they’ll get someone who does).

      1. “Couldn’t you have walked up to any one of them and asked them to check you out? ”

        No I couldn’t. Because then I wouldn’t have been able to pout and whine over nothing.

    2. Yeah, I heard about that incident Bob, and the Apple employees I talked to said you smelled so bad they couldn’t go near you. Try learning about personal hygiene and you just may fair better in life.

    3. Yeah that’s what I heard too. If Bob would stop shitting his pants, farting uncontrollably and picking giant boogers out of his nose so regularly maybe people might walk up to him but with the stench and disgust factor it’s no wonder he’s a hold-your-nose pariah everywhere he goes.

  3. I was in it 2 days ago. It’s fine and the staff are well-trained and attentive. (And it’s air conditioned which makes me want to browse in NYC these days.)
    I’ve had exceptionally good service there and don’t know what the complaints are about. I’ve been going there since it opened, and have 4 Apple devices.
    It is crowded but that should come as no surprise. It has been crowded since it opened.

  4. Something is up with all these Apple Store remodels. I have a gut feeling that Timmy boy is gearing up to offer Gay weddings at select locations. His LinkedIn profile now shows he’s also an ordained minister. Maybe now, instead of bidding on a lunch with Tim, you can bid on having him officiate at your gay wedding at a participating Apple Store of your choice.

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