updated 02:35 am EDT, Thu October 11, 2007
Apple Australia retail
Apple is looking to significantly expand its presence Down Under with a new retail store partnership and new branded-store locations in both Sydney and Melbourne. New reports provide more details on Apple Australia's newly revealed retail "store-within-a-store" strategy and about its previously announced flagship location in Sydney. With new Apple store locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan noted earlier this week, Apple will likely open its flagship Australian store in Sydney store by mid-2008, according to city council documents. The store will feature a glass facade and a large white Apple logo suspended in a glass cube -- much like its flagship Fifth Avenue location in Manhattan -- as well as a glass staircase. The store will be the first Apple-branded store location in Australia, but another is already planned for Melbourne.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the $15 million construction project is now underway on the corner of King Street and George Street; it will spread over three levels and, according to architectural drawings: each level will have a floor space of about 445 square meters.
"The proposed closure is required to stand a 90-ton mobile crane in the street to help install a glass facade to the premises at 77 King Street," the council documents stated.
The construction firm has reportedly been granted permission from the City of Sydney Council to perform a full road closure of George Street between King Street and Market Street on various evenings in January and February next year, suggesting that the store will likely open before the summer of 2008.
Store-within-a-stores Down Under
Echoing a recent "Boutique" move with Best Buy and an older CompUSA retail partner strategy, the high-profile Myer department store chain in Australia is planning to open several "store-within-a-stores" in locations around the country. CourierMail reports that the locations will include Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, which are modelled on the successful overseas versions.
Company representatives said the stores were its own initiative, but it had consulted Apple on the design. According to the report, the stores will be staffed by "Apple Solutions Consultants" – black-shirted assistants to help customers understand the product line.
"The Myer Apple Store is a unique and interactive way for customers to watch presentations and experience hands-on demonstrations on new ways to enjoy digital photography, create movies, make music and build websites," Myer officials said in a statement. "Presentations and hands-on demonstrations are part of the overall experience. The objective of the Myer Apple Store was to provide a space where customers can experience first-hand the Mac difference, as well as the iPod and how the two offerings interact together."
Photo courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald.