First Look: The Big Apple is Back — on Fifth Ave

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

After more than two years of renovations, Apple has reopened its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

The distinctive, luminous glass cube remains, however the store is now nearly double the size of its original version.

A new Forum will be home to free, daily Today at Apple programming, which kicks off with a special series that captures the creative spirit of New York. The area dedicated to Geniuses has also doubled, allowing the team to dramatically increase service capacity. Apple Fifth Avenue will be staffed with 900 employees who speak over 30 languages and the store remains the only Apple retail location open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The redesigned plaza is lined by 28 honey locust trees bordered with linear fountains providing a welcome and quiet setting to gather and sit. At the center stands the dramatic glass cube flanked by 18 mirror-glass Skylenses and 62 skylights that flood natural light into the expanded store below. Visitors enter by descending the new stainless steel spiral staircase, or by riding the dynamic circular elevator into the grand hall. The staircase features 43 cantilevered stair treads that support a floating cylinder of glass. Above is a back-lit, cloud-like ceiling made from curved fabric that combines artificial and natural light to match the real-time tones of sunlight throughout the day.

“Our customers are at the center of everything we do, and Apple Fifth Avenue is for them, to inspire them, and to provide the very best place to discover our newest products,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “It’s unique among Apple stores, and today it returns even more welcoming, and even more beautiful than ever. We’re so proud to be a part of this great city where so much happens every day.”

Steve Jobs opened the flagship store in 2006 and personally welcomed the first customers to enter the cube. Since then, Apple Fifth Avenue has had over 57 million visitors, more annually than the Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building.

The re-opening comes just in time for the release of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max and Apple Watch Series 5.

“We couldn’t be more excited and more ready to welcome customers back to Apple Fifth Avenue,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “Not only is the new space and experience absolutely inspiring, our amazing retail Geniuses, Creative Pros and Specialists have worked so hard preparing for this day. Who they are, and the talents they bring, are so essential to the excellence we strive for at Apple.”

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