Apple is beginning to prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season by putting the final touches on several retail locations and reinventing the way their visitors buy Apple gear.  Most notable is opening up a flagship store in New York’s iconic Grand Central Station.  Why is Grand Central such a big deal, especially when there are already Apple Stores in New York in affluent neighborhoods?  Here are some quick facts on Grand Central:

  1. 750,000 people pass through Grand Central daily and over 1,000,000 people during the holidays
  2. Mean household income for Grand Central Terminal commuters is $95,800; 50% of household incomes are over $100,000, and 20% are over $200,000.
  3. The captive shopping population of more than 326,000 neighborhood office workers earn a combined $11.3 billion a year.
  4. An average 7,500 people an hour pass the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, making it one of the busiest intersections in the city.
  5. 21.6 million out-of-town tourists, with a mean income of $62,000, visit Grand Central each year.
  6. Grand Central is served by Metro-North commuter trains, 31 commuter and 15 city bus routes, 7 subway lines, buses to and from the area’s three airports, and two million taxis a year.
  7. Grand Central Terminal subway station is the busiest stop in the New York City subway system.

The future Grand Central Station Apple Store is progressing towards an end of November opening.  Future employees for the store have been going through their “Core” training for the past several weeks at a hotel in Times Square, Midtown Manhattan…

Core is a training program that every new Apple employee goes through which covers customer service theories, product knowledge, and retail operation policies. The training consists of presentations, role-playing, and even a workbook.  Upon completion, the employees will disperse to existing local Apple stores to shadow current employees and even help their first customers.  The last step before opening the store will be when the employees help bring in product inventory, and put up Apple visual merchandising including the beautiful window displays, large banners, and miscellaneous marketing collateral.

While we believe the most likely opening date is the Saturday before Black Friday, it’s important to note that this is a flagship store and will not open until it is absolutely perfect.

Putting together Apple’s new commuter-friendly Apple Store app features with one of the biggest (if not the biggest) Apple Stores in the world and placing that where more than a million affluent holiday shoppers pass by every day is a recipe for success.

Below is a video walkthough of the space as the construction began and here are the most recent spyshots of the space.

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