updated 12:25 pm EST, Tue February 8, 2011
Apple looking at Grand Central location
Apple is working towards building yet more retail stores in New York City and around the French town of Versailles, reports say. In New York City Apple is said to be scouting a space in Manhattan, particularly within Grand Central Terminal at Park and East 42nd. An outlet there would be less than a mile from Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store, allegedly by design, in order to reduce the intense amount of foot traffic the latter generates.
The Fifth Avenue shop is open 24 hours a day during almost the entire year, closing only briefly in preparation for product launches. It is also said to sell more goods than all of the other three Manhattan Apple Stores combined, despite having the least amount of floor space. Reducing the shop's burden may therefore be taking a priority over spreading Apple presence in other NYC boroughs such as Brooklyn.
Obtaining retail space at Grand Central is a complicated process, as the Metropolitan Transit Authority first issues requests for proposals, and then maintains control over some aspects of architecture, lighting and store hours. Rent is at least $300 per square foot annually and increases each year. It may be worth it for Apple however, as the GCT sees some 700,000 visitors a day.
The second Versailles Apple Store is is said to be going up in the Parly 2 shopping center, roughly 10 miles northwest of the Vélizy 2 outlet. While Versailles is situated outside of Paris -- which has a bigger market for Apple products, and two Apple Stores of its own -- the town is home to the famous palace of the former French monarchy, capable of drawing as many as 3.5 million tourists per year. The Parly 2 location could be finished by the end of 2011.