Apple May Open Retail Stores in India?

Well, just last week it was reported that Apple is working on two new retail stores in France and Switzerland. Today, Indian business newspaper Mint reports that Apple may be preparing to open retail stores in India. If true, this would significantly increase the company’s presence in the country.

According to the report, Apple’s interest forms due to Indian regulators eliminating ownership requirements that had previously required single-brand retail outlets such as Apple Stores to have at least 49% domestic investment. However, one potential obstacle still might remai as ventures with high levels of foreign investment such as what Apple would offer will be required to source 30% of their product value from small businesses in India. Luckily for Apple, regulators may be willing to address that requirement as well, depending the official analysis of the viability of a retail effort in India.

When asked whether the 30% local sourcing clause will be a hindrance, the DIPP official said, “Let Apple finalize its business plan and the investment it wants to make. If they tell us that the 30% sourcing is a problem, at that stage we will look into it,” he said.

In 2006, Apple attempted to create an Indian presence with a tech support center, but the company quickly abandoned those plans.

Apple Working on New Retail Stores in France and Switzerland

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.

Apple Store Basel Plans

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.

Apple is Working on a “Prototype” Apple Store in Downtown Palo Alto

While Microsoft is still trying to figure out how to make their Microsoft Stores profitable and work, Apple is rapidly expanding its retail chain. In 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! Oh, and did I mention that Apple redesigned its iconic Fifth Avenue’s store glass cube this year too? Clearly, the company is filthy rich in cash right now. And to think the company was doomed just a few years ago…

Prototype Apple Store
Site of 'new prototype' Apple Store in Palo Alto | Source: Kirstina Sangsahachart via Mercury News

Today, Mercury News reports construction of what is being called a “prototype” Apple Store is just days away from breaking ground in Palo Alto, CA. The store is planned to feature an open-space architecture that draws on the company’s 10 years of iconic retail space design. Palo Alto city officials said that the work is set to begin  “any day now” on the $3.15 million project.’

The architectural firm  Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is the project applicant for the two-story structure that will be located approximately one block away from Apple’s existing downtown Palo Alto store, which is expected to close once the new space is completed. According to AppleInsider,  Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has designed numerous Apple Stores around the world.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has designed numerous Apple Stores around the world, winning multiple awards for its work on  London’s Covent Garden,  New York’s Upper West Side  and  China’s Pudong  stores, among others.

Apple’s “prototype” store is supposed to be  5,030 sq. ft. that will feature a glass roof and facade that will allow natural light to fill the open retail space, and will offer passers-by an unobstructed view of the store’s interior. A basement and rear mezzanine will serve as office and storage space.

“Our Palo Alto store was one of our first retail stores when we opened it nearly a decade ago and it’s been incredibly popular,” Apple spokesperson Amy Bessette said. “We are planning a beautiful new store just a few steps away, building on everything we’ve learned from our customers in Palo Alto and around the world.”

 

Apple Posts Panorama of Grand Central Retail Store Opening

Last Friday, Apple had its grand opening for the gorgeous new store in Manhattan’s Grand Central. A massive crowd showed up and Apple handed out 4,000 T-shirts for the opening.  Fortune  noted  that  main concourse of the terminal was filled with hundreds of people waiting for the store to open as hundreds more red-shirted Apple employees prepared to welcome them.

Apple Grand Central Pano

Today, The Next Web notes that  Apple has posted a 360-degree panorama of its new Grand Central Terminal retail store on  opening day, and oh boy, it sure is amazing! The panorama puts the large crowds and new store in perspective. In fact, it makes us feel like we were there.  The panorama can be viewed by  visiting Apple’s  Grand Central retail store page  and tapping on the “View More Photos” link on the featured store photo. The final image in the gallery is a panorama from the opening day of the store.

Now you must think Apple must have only posted a panorama, but they took one step further with the panorama. The panorama can be  navigated by gyroscope on newer iPhone and iPad devices and by clicking/tapping and dragging on other devices. It is pretty cool and worth checking out.

 

Massive Crowd Shows Up for Apple Store Grand Central Opening

Earlier this year, it was  confirmed  that Apple is opening a new store in New York’s Grand Central soon, which looks absolutely  stunning. A couple of days before the grand opening, Apple took down the tarps covering the front of its soon-to-open Grand Central Terminal Store, which revealed the entrance to one of the company’s largest retail location in the world. Yesterday, the grand opening for the store happened and the number of people that showed up was mind blowing. “A lot of people” or “massive” would be an understatement.  Apple’s massive new  retail store  in Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal opened to the public yesterday at 10:00 AM.

The store is expected to occupy 23,000 feet and it is also  to  generate  half-a-billion in sales a year, which is probably more than all Microsoft stores combined. With the type of crowd seen in the video below, there’s no doubt it won’t if not more. Fortune noted that  main concourse of the terminal was filled with hundreds of people waiting for the store to open as hundreds more red-shirted Apple employees prepared to welcome them. You know those wannabe Microsoft Stores? Yeah, those ones. When was the last time you saw these many lined up outside a Microsoft Store grand opening for a Microsoft product? Instead, majority of the time they are just waiting in line for free concert tickets

Apple also handed out store-specific t-shirts to early visitors.  Fortune  reported that Apple had prepared to hand out 4,000 T-shirts for yesterday’s opening.

Grand Central Apple Store Revealed for Press Ahead of Friday’s Opening

Earlier this year, it was  confirmed  that Apple is opening a new store in New York’s Grand Central soon, and it  looks absolutely  stunning.  The store is expected to occupy 23,000 feet (crazy!). It is also expected to  generate  half-a-billion in sales a year, which is probably more than all Microsoft stores combined.  That is assuming those stores generate any revenue. In fact, Microsoft has yet to reveal retail store numbers.  Last week, it was  reported    that store is to open soon, then, just a few days after it was confirmed that the store will open this Friday.

Apple Grand Central Store front
Main entrance (Source: Business Insider)
Apple Grand Central Inside
Genius Bar and display tables (Source: Business Insider)

Today, Business Insider reports that Apple has taken down the tarps covering the front of its soon-to-open Grand Central Terminal Store, which reveals the entrance to one of the company’s largest retail location in the world. The company also had its media preview of the store today and released a press release. Apple’s exterior signs for the store’s main entrance consists of lighted Apple logos mounted on glass panel  on each of the two landings for the main stairway, with a third lighted Apple logo mounted above the top of the stairs. Beautiful would be an understatement.

The Apple Store ® Grand Central, Apple’s fifth store in Manhattan, will open Friday, December 9, at 10 a.m., just in time for the holidays. This one-of-a-kind Apple retail store overlooks the historic Main Concourse from the East and North East balconies of the world-famous Grand Central Terminal, and has two Genius Bars for free tech support and advice.

Beyond the balcony overlooking the expansive Main Concourse, the Apple Store Grand Central offers rooms dedicated to some of our most popular services, including the largest area in the world dedicated to Personal Setup.

Fortune has also posted a video walkthrough of the new store. The interior photos of the store show that Apple has placed its stock on the sales floor, filling the many tables with Apple hardware for customers to try out. Free Wi-Fi courtesy of Apple is also provided. If a Microsoft Store is ever this beautiful and well planned out, color me surprised.

Apple’s Grand Central Terminal store will open to the public at 10:00 AM on Friday.

MTA on State Investigation of Apple Grand Central Terminal Deal: “Bring It On”

Normally when Apple announces a new store, no legal trouble is involved, but the Grand Central Terminal deal seems to be causing some trouble for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Apple. Why? Because Apple scored a unique deal with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). This deal goes to show how much retail power Apple actually has.  Just yesterday, Apple revealed that the company’s new store in Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal will be opening on December 9th. In addition, it was reported that  the State of New York was investigating the deal.

Apple Store Grand Central

Today,  The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is in charge of leasing Grand Central Terminal’s retail space has  issued a courageous statement. The press release issued welcomes the investigation and expresses confidence  that it received the best possible deal for a difficult space that had previously been doing poorly.

With regard to any calls for an investigation into the lease, our comment is this: Bring it on. This is the best possible deal for the MTA, quadrupling the rent we receive and bringing foot traffic to Grand Central Terminal that will increase revenue from all of our retailers. We look forward to explaining the details of this competitively bid transaction to anyone who is interested.

The MTA also reveals that the space is difficult for retailers to deal with given the limitations due to the  historic preservation regulations for the open balcony space. In fact, Apple’s tenancy also required a $5 million buyout of Metrazur’s lease, which ran through 2019, and more than $2.5 million in improvements to the building infrastructure, including a new elevator, HVAC systems and other changes. Holy moly! Apple has a lot of money in the bank. While “competitors” are trying to play catchup with Apple, they are working on expanding their retail presence.

This is the best possible deal for the MTA. When all of the costs are included, Apple is paying more than $180 per square foot over the ten-year lease. As the competitive bidding process revealed, there are no other uses for this space that would generate the same revenue for the MTA given the up-front costs and limitations.

Apple’s store in Grand Central Terminal is supposed to occupy 23,000 feet and is expected to  generate  half-a-billion in sales a year.

Confirmed: Apple Store Grand Central Opens December 9th

Earlier this year, it was  confirmed  that Apple is opening a new store in New York’s Grand Central soon, and it  looks absolutely  stunning.  The store is expected to occupy 23,000 feet (crazy!). It is also expected to  generate  half-a-billion in sales a year, which is probably more than all Microsoft stores combined.  That is assuming those stores generate any revenue. In fact, Microsoft has yet to reveal retail store numbers.  Last week, it was  reported    that store is to open soon. Rumor had it that the store will opens on December 9th.

Apple Store Grand Central

Yesterday, some interesting tidbits regarding Apple’s contract  with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for its Grand Central Terminal retail store were revealed. These agreements just go to show how much retail power Apple actually has. Now, The New York Post reports that the State of New York is investigating the deal.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has launched an investigation into whether the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) gave Apple overly generous terms on its lease for the shop, which is slated for a splashy opening next week.

The article in the New York Post about the MTA’s contract with Apple in Grand Central Terminal is a cause for concern,DiNapoli said in a statement yesterday. This is a prime property, and I intend to make sure that the MTA hasn’t given away the store.

Today, in line with previous rumors, Apple has officially announced an opening day date for its massive store inside Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal. The store will be opening on Friday, December 9th.

[Image credit: MacRumors]

Apple Scored “Unique” Bargain for Grand Central Store

Earlier this year, it was  confirmed  that Apple is opening a new store in New York’s Grand Central soon, and it  looks absolutely  stunning.  The store is expected to occupy 23,000 feet (crazy!). It is also expected to  generate  half-a-billion in sales a year, which is probably more than all Microsoft stores combined. That is assuming those stores generate any revenue.

Apple Store Grand Central Display

Today, The New York Post reveals some interesting tidbits  on some of the details of Apple’s contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for its Grand Central Terminal retail store, and it just goes to show Apple’s power in retail. Normally, Apple would have to pay $200 per square, but they are only paying $60 per square foot for the property. Would this be the case if these stores weren’t bringing in a boat load of revenue and foot traffic? Nope. Other tenants, such as Shake Shack restaurant are paying more than $200 per square foot!

But while real estate insiders estimate the shop will rake in $100 million a year in sales, Apple won’t be sharing a nickel with Grand Central’s operator, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The tech giant is the only retailer in the fast-growing retail transit hub to have such a sweet lease.

Critics likewise note that Apple’s $60-a-square-foot lease is well below what many other tenants are paying — including a future Shake Shack burger joint that will be shelling out more than $200 a square foot, according to the leases, copies of which have been obtained by The Post.

The terms get even better for Apple. Unlike other merchants who rent space in Grand Central, Apple won’t have to pay a percentage  share of what it sells at the new storefront to New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The authority said that it agreed to allow Apple to keep all of its sales because the new store will “generate significant new traffic” for the 100 other retail tenants of Grand Central. Remember the time when Apple Stores were considered doomed? Well, now, this report goes to show that these once upon a time “doomed” stores give Apple a lot of retail power. Amazing isn’t it?

Last week, it was  reported    that store is to open soon. Rumor has it that the store will open on December 9th.

 

Apple Grand Central Store to Open Soon

Earlier this year, it was  confirmed  that Apple is opening a new store in New York’s Grand Central soon, and it  looks absolutely  stunning.  The store is expected to occupy 23,000 feet (crazy!). It is also expected to generate half-a-billion in sales a year!

Apple Store Grand Central Display

Today, Apple has sent a photo of a new display outside the still-under construction store to Gothamist, which says:  “Apple Store. Grand Central. Arriving Soon.” An anonymous source told the  New York Post  that the store is  on track  to open on Friday, Dec. 9. The report also suggested that a media event is being planned by Apple and railroad officials for that date,  though the initial opening could be a VIP-only event with a public grand opening on Saturday, Dec. 10. However, no official grand opening date has been given from Apple.

Apple reached a 10 year deal with the New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority in July for the space, and paid $5 million to buy  out the remaining eight years on Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur restaurant’s lease. The company is said to be paying anywhere from $800,000 to $1.1 million per year in rent for the location.