Tim Cook says Apple ‘stores’ need a new name

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Apple is taking over Carnegie Library.
Apple is taking over Carnegie Library.
Photo: Mr. Tin DC/Flickr CC

Apple’s new store at the 116-year old Carnegie Library in Washington D.C. is the “most historic, ambitious restoration” project the company has undertaken, per CEO Tim Cook.

Doors of the Carnegie Library store will open to customers on May 11. Apple spent around $30 million on the restoration project, but Tim Cook insists the goal of the store isn’t to sell more iPhones, iPads and Macs to people. In fact, he doesn’t even really like calling it a store.

“Probably one of the least done things in an Apple Store is to buy something,” Cook said in an interview with the Washington Post. “We should probably come up with a name other than ‘store,’ because it’s more of a place for the community to use in a much broader way.”

It’s not a store anymore

Apple’s Carnegie Library ‘community center’ (?) is one of 13 flagship locations around the world that uses the new town square concept. The company signed a 10-year lease for the historic library that has been practically vacant for years. Located in central D.C.’s Mount Vernon Square, the store (or whatever you wanna call it) will hopefully be a place locals flock to for Today at Apple sessions. Six weeks of programs ran by local artists are slated to begin starting on May 18.

“We created Today at Apple to take our customers further, deepen their relationship with their product,” said new Apple retail boss Deirdre O’Brien. “We didn’t necessarily create it with the idea of driving more revenue. It’s part of the experience of visiting our store.”

iPhone sales have been declining year-over-year causing Apple to shift its focus to selling services like Apple Music, Apple News+ and the upcoming Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade services. Of course, if visitors happen to deepen their relationship with Apple so much that they buy a new iPhone or Mac, Apple wouldn’t be opposed.