Homo homini rodentius est

Apple moves into the neighborhood

Apple’s new store at 14th Street and 9th Avenue.

Following up on the [rant] about hyper-development in the nabe… Apple unveiled their third Manhattan store in the Meatpacking district over the weekend. Granted, the long-term residents of the area would probably prefer to still have the [discount grocery store] that used to be at that location, but in the relentless reinvention of the neighborhood an Apple store is at least more useful than another silly fashion boutique. Pix after the jump…

Clockwise from top left: Store entrance on 9th Avenue. Once inside, the glass spiral staircase to floors 2 and 3. The requisite Genius Bar on the top floor. View of neighborhood through windowed walls.

The store has been called the largest Apple store of the three in New York, but the floorspace looks smaller to me than the one in the former post office building in Soho. That may be because of a design decision they made to cut back the floors at the front of the store to allow a 3-story glass spiral staircase. Not as impressive as the amazing glass box entrance to the 5th Avenue store with its piston elevator, but pretty snazzy nonetheless. When I was there on Sunday morning the place was busy to be sure, but not as thronged as one might expect on just the second full day of operation. Ninth Avenue is still pretty far out there for folks who don’t live in the Village or Chelsea. Probably less of a tourist attraction than the other stores have turned out to be, this store — just down the street from Chelsea Market and Google’s New York headquarters — will more likely just be the local store for well-heeled fanboys (and girls).

Oh, and the next time you’re wandering around an Apple Store, breathing in the heady atmosphere, stop to think that you are enjoying nothing less than a marketing miracle. I ran across this [Business Week article] from back in 2001, right before the first Apple Store opened. In retrospect it’s pretty hilarious. In it, somebody named Cliff Edwards portends pure doom for the whole idea of dedicated retail outlets, going so far as to quote a (presumably former) analyst at Channel Marketing who looks into his crystal ball and opines, “I give them two years before they’re turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake.” Clearly this guy didn’t get the memo that Jobs [makes his own rules] of business.

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