Apple is introducing its new Union Square flagship store in San Francisco, and it will be unlike any store they’ve built so far. Marking the 15th anniversary of Apple’s stores, the new location and theme is intended to be a “community gathering space,” evocative of a town square. Presented by Angela Ahrendts, previous CEO of Burberry and now Apple’s senior vice president of retail, the new stores will still maintain important elements such as the wooden tables — which are designed to look like the tables that Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive designed the Apple products on.
While the design of the store is not that different, the biggest changes include huge 42-foot floor to ceiling sliding doors that open up to the sidewalk outside. Additionally, live trees will be planted inside the store. According to Jony Ive, “We have a deep commitment to the cities we work in and are aware of the importance that architecture plays in the community. It all starts with the storefront — taking transparency to a whole new level — where the building blends the inside and the outside, breaking down barriers and making it more egalitarian and accessible.” Ahrendts said this is “our largest product” and that she was inspired by London’s Covent Garden. It’s not mean to just be a store, “We want people to say, ‘meet me at Apple.’”
Apple is also introducing new store elements, the first of which is called “The Avenue.” This is inspired by shop window displays, and are interactive “windows” that feature products and services, along with third-party products available exclusively at Apple. The stores will also house a new role called “Creative Pros,” which are staff who are hired from backgrounds in arts and are in charge of demonstrating to guests how to use things like the camera or applications. The Genius Bar is also getting an update, and will now be known as “The Genius Grove.” Live trees will be present to inspired peace, in an effort to combat the frustration of broken products and gadgets looking to be fixed. Other additions will be “The Boardroom,” intended for small businesses and entrepreneurs and “The Forum” is a place centered around a floor-to-ceiling video wall, where Apple will host “Today at Apple” programs. Lastly, “The Plaza” is an outside seating space that will be open to the public at all times. It will include free Wi-Fi, a fountain, a green wall, artwork and the occasional performance.
After this new Union Square location, changes will be made in various other Apple Stores across the world.