The current store, which recently turned 10 years old, will close on Friday evening for the final time, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. On Saturday, a larger store will open down the hall, taking over two units previously occupied by British retailers Sports Direct and Monsoon, the people said.
Lending credence to our report is a WestQuay floor plan with two vacant units—SU41 and MSU2—just steps away from Apple's current location in the shopping center. In addition, when we searched for Today at Apple events in the Southampton area, the WestQuay store had no workshops scheduled until Saturday.
Apple and WestQuay shopping center management did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Apple retail stores have seen a significant increase in foot traffic since the WestQuay location opened in February 2007, prior to the original iPhone launch. The larger store will be a welcomed change for both Apple retail employees and customers, and it should benefit from an updated appearance as well.
Apple's financial chief Luca Maestri recently said Apple collectively welcomed over 300 million visitors to its retail stores last quarter.
"It was a very busy quarter for our online and retail stores, which collectively welcomed over 300 million visitors," he said. "In addition to our spectacular new store at the Dubai Mall, we opened our first stores in Singapore and in Taiwan during the quarter, expanding our total store footprint to 497 stores."
"In May, we kicked off Today at Apple, with new in-store programming from music to photography to art and coding, and our stores collectively hosted 87,000 sessions during the quarter," he added. "We have entered a new chapter in retail, with unique and rewarding experiences for our customers."