Apple Rushing Retail Store Renovations Ahead of iPhone 5 Launch
While Apple has received considerable publicity for its push to open dozens of new retail stores over the last three months, the company has also been renovating a number of its stores to bring them up to the latest designs. Most of these straightforward renovations result in the stores being closed for about a week, during which time they are boarded up with Apple's standard black construction barriers and posted with notices directing customers to either the closest alternative store location or to Apple's website for information on locations.
Among the locations currently under renovation in the lead-up to the iPhone launch:
Chestnut Street retail store in San Francisco
- Chestnut Street (San Francisco, California): Closed September 26th through October 4th. 9to5Mac posted a photo yesterday showing the closed location with an AT&T worker and his van directly in front of the store.
New layout of University Village retail store in Seattle
- University Village (Seattle, Washington): Closed September 26th through October 6th. GeekWire posted the details on the renovation, which include new display counters, Genius Bar, and other fixtures. Planning documents show Apple moving from a layout three product display tables wide to one using four narrower tables across the width of the store. The report also notes that Microsoft will be opening its own retail store directly across a small parking lot from Apple's store on October 20th, giving Apple additional incentive to spruce up the location.
Walnut Creek retail store (Thanks, John)
- Walnut Creek (Walnut Creek, California): Closed September 26th through October 3rd. The location opened in 2003, but was remodeled back in August 2009.
Update: Apple's Legacy Place store in Dedham, Massachusetts is also closed September 26th through 30th.
Some readers have noted that all of the closures are for stores open to the street and not in enclosed malls and shopping centers. Consequently, the closures may be related to the installation of new security grating to help deter smash-and-grab robberies that have become increasingly common at Apple's street-facing stores. With the exception of the University Village store in Seattle, it is unclear if there are additional renovations being performed at the stores.