Apple peeled the wrapping paper back on its gift to New York City — the Grand Central Terminal Apple Store — on Wednesday. The store doesn’t officially open until Friday, Dec. 9, but the company detailed what shoppers would find there in an early press release, and gave some New York-based media an early look inside.
In official announcement, Apple called the location “one-of-a-kind” due in part to its historic location, but also to unique features that set it apart from other Apple retail locations we’ve seen so far. One such feature is the presence of two Genius Bars, where customers can get tech support and tips on using Apple products.
Also new for the Grand Central Terminal location will be Express Workshops, where customers will be able to get 15-minute sessions with Apple staff that provide bite-sized learning opportunities for commuters and busy Apple device owners who don’t have time to devote more time to getting a better handle on their Apple kit. Apple doesn’t make clear whether these will be exclusive to the Grand Central location, but I imagine even if they are initially, if they prove successful and in demand, we’ll see Express Workshops trickle out to other stores, too.
The store employs 315 employees, which should help ensure the dedicated rooms for Personal Setup (a service available with any new iPhone, iPod, iPad or Mac purchase to make sure everything’s working how you want it before you leave the store) and Personal Training (basic or advanced instruction on using Macs) are well-staffed.
Apple invited some NYC-based media to get an early inside look at the store prior to opening. NPD Group’s Ross Rubin was in attendance, and live-tweeted his experience. In addition to the features listed above, he describes a dedicated accessory area “up a stairway off the main sales floor.” Check out Rubin’s Twitter stream for more pics.