New Apple Store Opening Heralds iPhone Crowds

Source: Apple.comIn what could be a prelude to the upcoming iPhone premiere, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest retail store opening in Northern California drew a crowd of shoppers and onlookers this weekend, reports Apple Insider. As noted by ifoAppleStore, the Stanford 2 Apple Store typifies the new architectural design style found in Apple’s newest retail stores.

The store incorporates a new “floating” roof design that is also being used for Apple Stores currently being constructed in Portland, Oregon and Aix-en-Provence, France. The new Stanford 2 Apple Store was designed by architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson reports Apple Insider. This is the same firm that designed the iconic Apple Store located on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

This new Stanford 2 Apple Store will replace a mini-store located about 300 feet away that has been there since 2004. The previous mini-store location was also near a large Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) store, although it is unknown if this contributed to Apple’s decision to move the store to a new location. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted in Apple’s third quarter earnings call that the company planned to relocate at least 23 stores “that had outgrown their former space” in fiscal year 2013.

Apple Stores are known as the most successful retail stores in the U.S. based on sales per square foot. Apple’s retail locations make an estimated $4,542 per square foot according to Customer Growth Partners’ data cited by the Wall Street Journal.

According to a recent report from 9to5Mac, Apple has introduced new incentive programs to push even more sales through its retail locations. According to 9to5Mac, CEO Tim Cook told employees that he would like to increase retail store sales of the iPhone from a 20 percent share of total iPhone sales to a 50 percent share.

Although it is unknown if the Apple Stores will be able to meet this lofty sales goal, Apple’s retail locations typically see a significant boost in sales after a new product is released. Apple is hosting a media event at its Cupertino headquarters on September 10 where it is widely expected to unveil two new iPhone models.

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