Today is new iPad day in the rest of the world. At 8AM local time in additional countries across Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and even Macau. As in the US and the other countries in the first wave of launches,. there appear to be plenty of iPads to go around.
When’s the last time you went shopping at JC Penney versus the Apple Store? The venerable retailer, overshadowed by the cheap-chic of Target, is looking to reshape itself by putting the iPhone maker’s former retail chief in charge. Ron Johnson, a 10-year veteran of Apple’s retail effort, explained the retailer and Cupertino, Calif. tech giant share much in common.
Apple has signed a 10-year lease with New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a whopping 23,000-square-feet store on the upper balcony, the New York Post reports.
The store will fill Grand Central’s north and north-eastern balconies, displacing Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur restaurant. It will be among Apple’s largest stores, about 3,000-5,000 square feet larger smaller than Apple’s biggest stores in London and West 14th Street.
The MTA is offering Apple a special move-in rent of $800,000 (a cool half-mill more than Charlie Palmer’s restaurant is currently paying), and then up the rent to $1 million annually. Apple will pay to refurbish the space, and the MTA estimates it will make $5 mill profit on the deal, and revitalize retail at the popular station.
As we reported yesterday, Apple’s planning something absolutely huge at its retail stores across the country this weekend, possibly to celebrate their 10th Apple Store anniversary. But what could it be? A new product or service? Discounts or goodie bags?
Possibly, but another rumor’s starting to form: Apple is prepping for the September launch of the next iPhone by getting their retail stores equipped to take NFC payments.
Apple is asking its retail employees to sign non-disclosure agreements ahead of a secret, all-hands meeting to be held this Sunday, Apple Insider is reporting. It could foreshadow a major launch, a media event or both.
Apple will be building its largest store to date in Grand Central Terminal. Photo from Trey Ratcliff at www.StuckInCustoms.com
Apple will be building a massive store in New York’s Grand Central Terminal, we have independently confirmed.
The store will open in the fall, likely early September — and it will be Apple’s largest retail space in the world.
The store already has a name: Apple Store, Grand Central, according to a source close the company. The source said Apple will be making an internal announcement within the next month or so.
“The company will certainly pull out all the stops on this one,” said the source, who asked not to be named.
This year is the 10th anniversary of Apple retail, and Apple wants to make a big splash, our source said. Apple’s retail operation has been a spectacular success, helping fuel the company’s explosive growth and creating shops that make twice as much money as Tiffany & Co.
Apple’s long allowed customers to return or exchange purchases for up to 14 days, no questions asked, but that’s not to say they’ve ever wanted to encourage it: every time you exchange an Apple product, you’re charged a 10% restocking fee for an opened product, which has always seemed a tad miserly and anti-consumer for a company that otherwise so strongly focuses on the customer experience at their retail outlets.
Great news, then. It seems that Apple intends on ditching the 10% restocking fee come Tuesday. They don’t source their assertion, but they seem pretty confident.
It’s not a big deal — unless you’re the sort of person second-guessing a top-of-the-line Mac Pro who has previously had to eat a few bills — but it’s a nice change that should make switching to a Mac for the first time even more painless than it already is.