updated 04:05 pm EDT, Wed August 10, 2011
Company taking steps to fight smash-and-grabs
Apple is encountering local opposition to a plan to install a security gate at its Greenwich store in Connecticut, a local publication reports. Once complete, the gate should extend from the floor to the ceiling, protecting against burglars smashing the windows. The addition is said to be out of character for Greenwich Avenue however, which is lined with boutiques and even lacks traffic lights. Only one other business on the street has a security gate.
One merchant on the street complains that Apple's plan might make Greenwich Avenue look more like "Beirut." The contractor assigned to handle the gate, Shawmut Design and Construction, is said to be in contact with town officials, at least some of which are unhappy. "Legally, we don't have any ground to stand on to say that they couldn't do it," says town planner Diane Fox. "Most people, I think, when it goes up, are going to have a problem with it. We were hoping that they would explore other alternatives.
"This is a National Historic District, too," she adds. "What it's sending is a message. If we want to bring in more shoppers and make it more 24/7, this kind of routine is not going to make it more pleasurable."
Apple has already submitted early schematics to the local Planning and Zoning office, along with photos of other Apple Stores with similar gates. Other town officials have used terms such as "ugly" to describe the gate, and argued that Apple should abide by local guidelines. A major concern may be preserving the prestige and affluence of the street, since the gate could cause rents to drop.
Apple though has been installing gates at some of its US retail stores in an attempt to cope with smash-and-grab robberies. The price of Apple products combined the ease of smashing through the company's standard glass facades has resulted in several thefts, including one which hit the Greenwich outlet last December. The goods stolen were valued in the tens of thousands of dollars, and no one has been arrested.