Apple is opening up its seventh store in New York City this weekend in the Upper East Side, right as its most iconic store on Fifth Ave prepares to undergo major renovations.
According to Apple Senior VP Angela Ahrendts, the company plans to renovate about 20 existing stores in the U.S., including ones on Fifth Avenue and San Francisco’s Union Square, due to the stores outgrowing their space.
During the renovations, Apple’s Fifth Ave store will temporarily relocate to the nearby FAO Schwarz toy store in the General Motors building. There’s currently no timeline for the renovation, but Ahrendts told the A.P. that the move will give Apple the opportunity to rethink designs.
Nearly 60 percent of the U.S. stores predate the iPhone and have outgrown their space, says Ahrendts. Many of the new stores being renovated will double in size, or in some cases, move to a new location nearby. The Fifth Ave store was renovated as recently as 2011 when the company redesigned the giant glass cube entrance with simplified, seamless glass panes.
New York City has become a key market for Apple because it gets twice as much traffic as other stores in the U.S. Sales at the Fifth Ave store will likely remain high during construction as shoppers migrate to the old FAO Schwarz store that was popularized by Tom Hanks in the movie Big. FAO Swartz is the oldest toy store in the U.S., but due to rising rents, the company plans to vacate the General Motors building on July 1st.