Retail Refugees

5 Coolest Apple stores around the world
July 22, 2009, 11:34 am
Filed under: Art/Design, Stores | Tags: , , ,

Jaunted, the pop culture travel guide, listed the top five must-see Apple stores this morning.  How many of them have you been to?

Apple Regents Street in London
An Apple store owned by the monarchy.

Although Boston’s Apple store, which opened in 2008, claims the title of largest Apple store in the United States, London’s 28,000-square feet of selling space easily awards it the badge of largest Apple store in the chain. And the shop literally holds court over Europe; according to the ultimate resource on worldwide Apple stores, ifo Apple Store, the historical building which houses London’s Apple is owned by the monarchy. For many years it was also the site of the famed Thomas Cook Travel Agency. With 46 feet of Genius Bar, an iMovie Studio and all of the usual clean design additions of Apple—like a glass staircase and elevator—it’s definitely good enough for the Queen. It’s the 99th Apple store.

Apple George Street in Sydney
Largest Apple logo in the world.

It’s hard to believe that Apple’s first store Down Under only debuted last summer in Sydney, but thankfully the wait was worth it. Not only does the George Street shop boast the longest Genius bar and size second only to London’s Regent Street, it takes the signature glass staircase and turns it into an art piece, accomplished by stacking the levels. The storefront itself is also architecturally notable, boasting of the largest seamless glass panes as well as the largest Apple logo in the world. It’s the 215th Apple store.

Apple Ginza in Tokyo
Floor-by-floor info displays guide you around.

[Photo: kamoda]

What do you say to five full stories of Apple goodies? Awesome, right? Well, if you’re in Tokyo, you can see this fantasy at work in the heart of the Ginza district, where Apple’s first store outside of the United States dominates a corner and an entire building. Before the store opened way back in 2003, many of its associates trained at California Apple stores, and they speak over ten languages. Aside from an underground parking garage, the Ginza location shines for its buttonless elevator, with floor-by-floor info displays (watch the video here. It’s the 72nd Apple store.

Apple Scottsdale Quarter in Scottsdale, AZ
A glass box in the desert.

[Photo: Apple]

Not all unique Apple stores have to giant flagships; the newly-opened Scottsdale mall one in Arizona is a perfect example of innovation on a small scale. Resembling a clear box, with identical floor-to-ceiling glass storefronts on both ends, the Scottsdale store is the ultimate in showy minimalism. It’s 50-ft Genius Bar even beats out London’s by 4 feet. With such a clear design, You might ask yourself where are the bathrooms and stock room—they’re in the attached building next door, maintaining the aesthetic simplicity of the sales floor. It’s the 292nd Apple store.

Apple Fifth Avenue in New York City
Always open. Always.

[Photo: ultrahi]

Apple Fifth Avenue has some serious competition for being the top Apple store in New York; the Meatpacking store boasts a three-level spiral glass staircase and the the Soho one, a flagship and the first one in NYC, occupies a historic Post Office building on the National Register. Vaulting Fifth Avenue into first place however, are two major advantages: its iconic glass cube entrance is one of the most photographed places in the world on Flickr, and the store is open 24/7/365.

By comparison with other landmark stores, this one is quite small, but the fact that it’s completely underground at a point where Central Park touches Fifth Avenue means that it’s a tourist mecca. Don’t even think of coming here to quickly check your email; everyone else has the same idea. It’s the 147th Apple Store.


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