2017 was an incredibly active year for Apple retail, as the company’s refreshed store design continued its rollout across the world. As the calendar comes to a close, let’s take a look at every store location opened under the guidance of Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts.
Apple stores in 2017 could be described as taller, brighter, and more open. First previewed and later rolled out in 2015, the company’s new retail architecture style was directly influenced by design chief Jony Ive. Since then, Apple has swiftly and methodically begun to remodel or replace each and every one of their retail locations with a consistent design language.
Heavily borrowing from the architecture of Apple Park, new Apple stores feature brighter, taller ceilings, terrazzo flooring, ambient “True Tone” ceiling lights, and stone walls and facades in favor of the former stainless steel sheeting.
Gone is the traditional Genius Bar and gigantic glowing Apple logos, replaced with more subtle branding and massive displays bordering “Genius Groves” used during Today At Apple events. These new stores have been described by Angela Ahrendts as “Town Squares,” and they do indeed feel more open – and more luxurious too.
January 20th: 2017 began with the temporary closure of Apple’s iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York City for significant renovations. In the interim, Apple moved operations to a storefront directly behind the glass cube, a former FAO Schwarz retail space. While impressive in its own right, the temporary store will be dismantled when the cube reopens.
January 28th: Apple’s new MarketStreet location opened in Lynnfield MA, replacing a previous aging store located in the Northshore Mall.
January also saw the closure of two of three Apple Watch shops at Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Selfridges in London. These pop up stores were unique locations that dealt with Apple Watch exclusively and boasted impressive window displays at launch. Recently, Apple removed the webpage for the final Apple Watch shop at Isetan Shinjuku in Japan.
March 4th: Replacing a smaller storefront in the same mall, Apple Pentagon City reopened in Arlington, VA.
March 11th: Apple St. Johns Town Center relocated to a larger, but shorter space in the open-air mall in Jacksonville, FL.
March 25th: A trio of stores opened on the same day in the United States, Germany, and China.
While many entirely new Apple stores opt for outdoor settings, Apple Brickell City Center chose Miami’s luxury indoor shopping destination.
Apple Nanjing Jinmao Place became China’s first retail location in the Gulou District.
Apple Schildergasse repurposed a historic German storefront while preserving many of the building’s exterior details.
April 8th: Significantly larger than its predecessor in the same mall, Apple Woodland in Kentwood, MI reopened after renovation.
April 13th: Apple Avalon in Georgia opened as another entirely new structure, replacing a nearby indoor store in the North Point Mall. The building’s profile is consistent with Apple Stanford, but the interior features a more modern layout.
April 27th: Marking a major milestone in retail architecture, Apple opened their flagship store in the Dubai Mall. The location was designed by Foster + Partners, the same firm responsible for Apple Park.
May 20th: Apple Providence Place in Rhode Island celebrated a grand reopening after expanding significantly. The new store features large, rotating glass panes that are functionally different, but visually similar to the solar wings used at the Dubai Mall location.
May 26th: The multi-story Apple Orchard Road is the company’s first store in Singapore, and previews many design elements later found at Apple Park, including a custom staircase with a carved hand rail.
July 8th: Apple Danbury Fair Mall reopened in the same shopping center in Danbury, CT, but with significantly more floor space.
On the same day, Apple CambridgeSide in Massachusetts celebrated its grand reopening, replacing one of the few remaining black storefronts Apple used on early stores.
July 30th: Apple Bluewater in Greenhithe, UK closed for renovations. The store will likely reopen in 2018.
August 12th: A duo of stores celebrated grand openings. The first was Apple Southhampton, previously known as Apple WestQuay. The new indoor space replaced one of Apple’s tiniest storefronts in England.
September 2nd: The month kicked off with the reopening of Apple South Hills Village, located in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA.
On the same day, Apple Village Pointe in Omaha, NE reopened in a new storefront at the same mall. Its design is almost identical to the aforementioned Apple Hilldale.
September 9th: Apple Northbrook, another indoor mall location in Illinois, doubled in size.
September 15th: While September saw a unusually high number of store openings, it also saw a permanent store closure. Apple Simi Valley closed its doors on September 15th, and unlike other store closures, no new replacement location or remodeling project followed.
September 16th: Apple Tianyi Square marked China’s third entirely new location for 2017.
On the same day, Apple Topanga in Canoga Park, CA reopened after remodeling its existing space.
The third store to celebrate its opening on the same day was Apple Summit Sierra in Reno, NV.
September 22nd: Just in time for the launch of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, two updated locations welcomed customers, the first being Apple Meadowhall in Sheffield, England.
The second, Apple Smith Haven is also a relocation within the same building in Lake Grove, NY.
September 30th: Closing out the month of September was the grand reopening of Apple Woodfield in Schaumburg, IL. This location is one of Apple’s oldest, originally opening in August 2001 as store number 5.
October 20th: Perhaps the most dramatic new store open of 2017 was that of Apple Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s newest flagship location. 9to5Mac attended the opening, which drew large crowds and a visit from Apple executives. The new store on Chicago’s riverfront replaced a unique stone storefront just a few blocks away.
November 3rd: Apple Century City in Los Angeles, CA reopened on iPhone X launch day, giving customers two reasons to check out the new store.
November 11th: An entirely new structure, Apple Domain NORTHSIDE replaced a significantly smaller and more enclosed location in The Domain shopping center in Austin, TX.
November 16th: Apple UTC’s reopening in San Diego, CA kicked off a three-day store opening spree across the United States.
November 17th: Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino, CA welcomed the general public for the first time. Adjacent to the new Apple Park office complex, the visitor center offers rooftop views of the campus, as well as exclusive merchandise. It is also the only Apple store to feature a Caffè Macs. Another first for the company’s hometown location is a massive 8K display, located centrally in the store’s Forum area. Previous Apple Stores featured lower resolution 6K displays.
On the same day, Apple Burlington reopened in Massachusetts. Alongside Apple Park Visitor Center and Apple Burlingame, this location was among the first to implement tables with more subtle charging systems.
November 25th: Apple Shibuya, a location in Tokyo, Japan closed for renovations. The store will likely reopen in 2018.
December 2nd: Embracing a dramatic, googie-esque streamlined design not found in any of the company’s other stores, Apple Downtown Brooklyn opened in New York. Considering how significant the store’s architecture is, opening day was celebrated with little fanfare.
December 9th: Apple Crabtree Valley Mall remained a second-floor location upon reopening in Raleigh, NC.
December 16th: Apple The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, FL reopened in what is now the company’s “standard” layout for mall stores.
Apple retail leaves 2017 with 499 store locations, and the company shows no sign of slowing momentum as we enter 2018. Already, residents of Vienna, Austria are getting ready for a flagship store of their own. Across the globe, Apple has indicated plans for new locations in South Korea, Thailand, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. In India, the company continues to seek approval to open stores, and has finally received approval in the U.S. for a landmark location in Washington D.C.’s Carnegie Library.
In terms of architecture, attention to detail, and scale, each new store seems to surpass the last. It’ll be fun to see the locations arriving in the new year.
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