In 2011, Apple rapidly expanded its stores. Last August, it was reported that the company is working on a store that will consist of a gorgeous glass roof in Santa Monica, CA. Just a month or two after, rumors of a store in Manhattan’s Grand Central started to appear, which finally became a reality earlier this month. It is gorgeous! Apple also redesigned its iconic Fifth Avenue store’s glass cube last year too. Last month, it was reported that Apple is working on a “prototype” store in Palo Alto, CA. Now, we are just 16 days into the new year and it seems that Apple has already started making plans to expand its retail stores to France and Switzerland. I remember when 4 to 5 years ago, Apple was barely expanding its stores but now it seems to be happening rapidly due to the demand for Apple products.
ifoAppleStore has discovered an article from French magazine Aix en Dialogue noting that Apple is preparing to build an interesting new store in Aix-en-Provence, France. Though the store appears to be a relatively small one by Apple’s standards, the design of this store is just mind blowing. This new store has an eye-catching design that sees the store set back on a plaza and constructed almost entirely of transparent glass with the exception of the rear wall hiding the back-of-house operations. Reports indicate that the new store could open by late 2012 or early 2013.
In addition, Macprime.ch reports [Google translation] that they have gotten ahold of Apple’s plans for its first retail store in Basel, Switzerland. Apparently, Apple recently revised its plans for the store to meet the requirements of planning officials. Also, the current tenant vacated the location late last year, so Apple is ready to begin constructing the new store. This would be the company’s fourth store in Switzerland.
The floor plan above shows a two-level sales floor in the upcoming store and measures in at about 460 square meters (about 5,000 square feet), with nearly an equal amount of space dedicated to back-of-house operations such as storage, as well as building systems. Diagrams for the store also show a staircase in the rear of the store for getting around the two sales floors, with the ground floor having twelve display tables and the next level consisting of several other display tables and what seems to be a pair of 12-seat Genius Bars. In the meantime, Microsoft is still trying to figure out how to make their Microsoft Stores profitable.