The Apple Store is an incredible retail success.
In just one quarter last year, nearly 100 million people shopped at the company’s 424 global stores. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Apple stores generate more revenue per square foot than any other U.S. retailer.
Part of what has made Apple stores so successful over the years is the stunning design details put into each one.
Inside, all of the stores look pretty much the same — Apple trademarked its store layout in 2013 — but each one offers its own unique look from the outside.
Apple recently hired famed British architect Norman Foster to take over the design for its upcoming campus in Silicon Valley. Foster will also design Apple’s future retail stores, including the much-anticipated location coming to San Francisco. That development, along with the hiring of former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as retail chief, is a sign that Apple’s retail dominance shouldn’t be ending anytime soon.
We picked some of our favourite store designs from around the world. While some were built into historic buildings and retain their original architectural details, others incorporate futuristic steel-and-glass designs that will make your jaw drop.
The recently opened store in Istanbul is the first location designed by Norman Foster. It's recessed into the ground and looks a lot like a MacBook from above.
Apple opened its first store in the southern hemisphere in 2008, a three-story shop located in the middle of Sydney's shopping district. The story has Apple's trademark glass front, and light spills out onto the street.
In 2010, the company opened a store in what used to be a bank, just across the street from Paris' famous opera house. Apple kept all of the original architectural details, from the marble columns to the mosaic tile floors.
The store on New York's Fifth Avenue consists of a 32-foot glass cube that's entirely self-supporting. A glass staircase leads into the store below.
In Berlin, Apple installed a store in an opera house that dates back to 1913. The walls are made of limestone from a local quarry, and thick German oak tables display the latest products.
Apple opened a location in London's popular Covent Garden district in 2010. At three stories tall, it's one of the biggest Apple stores in the world, and it employs 300 people.
The Apple store in Shanghai's Pudong district is one of its most stunning. A glass cylinder leads to the main part of the store, situated underneath the courtyard. Apple was granted a patent for the glass design, which had to be curved very carefully in order to achieve its shape.
Apple opened a location in Hong Kong's IFC Shopping Center in 2011. The store is suspended over the street, situated between two giant skyscrapers.
In 2012, Apple opened a store in another historic European location: the Hirsch Building in Amsterdam's Leidseplein Square.
Apple reportedly paid $US2.5 million to renovate space in New York's iconic Grand Central Terminal, in addition to the $US5 million it reportedly paid to buy out the previous tenant.
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