After more than two years of construction, Apple has reopened its flagship underground store on Fifth Avenue which features a clear glass Apple cube on the street level. The store reopened just in time with the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 11 lineup of smartphones and new versions of the Apple Watch and iPad.
Apple CEO Tim Cook helped open the doors to the cube at the 8 a.m. store opening.
Now nearly double the size of its original store with a higher ceiling and more natural light, Apple Fifth Avenue is a brighter, more expansive space, and the perfect stage for customers to discover and try Apple’s newest products. A new Forum will be home to free, daily Today at Apple programming, which kicks off Saturday 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. It remains the only Apple retail location open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Apple did not disclose how much it spent on the remodeled store but is likely in the tens of millions of dollars.
“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.”
The late Apple founder Steve Jobs opened the 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 glass cube has been an important focal point for Apple product launches starting with the first iPhone in 2007.
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 is a remarkable design achievement with 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.
Apple said the Fifth Avenue store will be staffed with 900 employees who speak over 30 languages.