updated 03:00 am EDT, Wed May 17, 2006
Fifth Avenue NYC store
Apple on Friday will open its massive 20,000 square foot retail store in New York City on the fifth anniversary of the opening of its first retail store. The New York Sun talks about the still-hidden 32-foot glass cube at the store entrance, tight security, and the company's continued secrecy--in typical Steve Jobs style: "Standing guard at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street is a massive cube covered in matte black construction material. Underneath is reportedly a 32-foot glass cube that will soon become the entrance to Apple's new mega-store." Located about three miles north of Apple's current flagship store in Soho and on one of the most highly trafficked tourist and retail corridors in the world, The Wall Street Journal discusses Apple's unlikely success with its retail initiative, "as Apple prepares to take the wraps off its latest, most ambitious store yet... [...] there are few doubters left about Chief Executive Steve Jobs's retail strategy."
In stark contrast to Gateway's failed foray into retailing, Apple's own stores delivered sales of $2.35 billion in fiscal 2005 or 17% of Apple's total sales, according to the report; however, a recent slow down in sales and lawsuits by current and former Mac resellers--many of whom championed Apple and its products while the company was struggling in the mid-1990s, have marred the otherwise successful initiative.
The Wall Street Journal has more details on the glass cube that adorns the Fifth Avenue store entrance.
"Mr. Jobs, a major stickler for design details, has been intimately involved in helping to turn the stores into hip, visually memorable shopping destinations," according to the report. "Mr. Jobs is one of the named inventors on a patent Apple secured several years ago for the design of a signature glass staircase featured in many Apple stores. A person familiar with the matter says Mr. Jobs himself was involved in the design of the glass cube atop the new Fifth Avenue store."
According to the report, Jobs has admitted that at one point he ordered workers to replace the metal bolts holding together the glass panels that make up the cube over the company's Fifth Avenue store. "We spent a lot of time designing the store, and it deserves to be built perfectly," Mr. Jobs said.