New Seattle Apple Store focuses on education rather than products

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Seattle Apple Store has a giant screen
A giant screen for Today at Apple classes is the focus of the Seattle Apple Store.
Photo: Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times

You can still buy MacBooks and iPads at new Apple Store in Seattle, but that’s not the main emphasis. Instead, this retail location is built around a giant screen that’s used for educational events.

Of course, these educational events are all product related, like how to take better pictures with an iPhone. Or run a small business with an iPad.

These classes are part of the “Today at Apple” program, which launched last year. Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s Retail SVP, described this program by saying “We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.”

The iPhone maker recently won a Cannes Lion for Today at Apple. It was called “a great example of how brands really play a meaningful role in people’s lives,” by the head of the jury that gave the award.

Just hang out in Seattle Apple Store

In front of the high-definition screen in the Seattle store are wood and leather chairs so people can be comfortable while learning more about Apple products. Or if people just want a break, they can sit on Adirondack chairs on the porch. 

“We really want that town-hall feeling to be the anchor of the store,” said B.J. Siegel, Apple’s senior director of store design told The Seattle Times.

This is still a store though, so tabets with iPhones, Macs, and iPads are available around the edges of the retail space.

The Seattle Apple store is scheduled to open Saturday. It’s very near the old University Village location, which closes Friday.