Rumours abound today after a Wall St. Journal article highlights a possible deal to bring yet another Apple store to New York. This new supposed location, in Grand Central Terminal, will be a short walk to the flagship 5th Avenue store, and become Manhattan’s fifth location.
The location makes sense. Grand Central sees thousands of commuters each day. The store would bring tremendous footfall just from those awaiting trains, let alone anyone actually intent on buying stuff. Lost your iPod on the train? Grab a new one. Plus, most of the people who go there have the money to spend! As the article says,
“[T]he payoff could be high for the gadget maker. In addition to the tens of thousands of well-heeled commuters who pass through every day on their way to and from Connecticut’s Gold Coast and Westchester County, Grand Central is a magnet for tourists who come to gawk at its Beaux-Arts architecture and constellation-dotted ceiling.”
In general, I’m ok with this. New York is a crowded city, and we can always use another Apple store to service our dodgy iPhones and broken Macs. Being out of site might help give it a more intimate tone, especially outside of peak commuting hours, which will be nice for getting an appointment at the Genius Bar. But I can’t help buy wonder if adding 5 stores in Manhattan, but none in Brooklyn, Jersey City or Queens is a smart idea. It shows a certain elitism, a snobbiness that generally goes against Apple’s ‘power to the people’ mantra. I dunno if a brand can claim to be the scrappy underdog when they’ve selling to metro New York’s wealthiest commuters and residents, in a location that makes the average graphic designer somewhat uncomfortable in its posh surroundings. We’ll see.