Apple’s almost on the eve of opening it’s newest store in London — less than a mile away from it’s already hugely popular store on Regent Street (the most profitable per square foot store in the capital). This time, they’re headed for the popular Covent Garden in their most expensive, but most impressive, bid yet.
The store opens after almost 2 years since the original plans were signed by the City of Westminster, and construction started in July last year. The building, which has until recently been covered in scaffolding and white covers, now just has tall wooden boards around the outside, with a red curtain on them saying Coming Soon and bearing Apples Logo — awaiting the grand opening at 10am on Saturday the 7th.
Hanging around long enough in the days leading up to the opening, you’ll be sure to catch a glimpse inside as workmen and security come and go. Someone managed to grab a cheeky picture a few weeks ago which show the wooden benches and restored brickwork, while I got a peek last night on my way home and all the computers, iPod’s, iPhones etc have all been installed, along with the signs and posters on the walls, everything up and running, and looking like a real store from what I could tell in the few short seconds before I was spotted and the doors were closed once again. The iPhone 4’s camera is fast, but not still not quite fast enough for chances like this.
The building covers an impressive 4 floors, but only 2 of these are rumored to be for retail, while the others will be office space, altogether featuring around 30,100 square feet of space, including the basement likely to be just for stock and back end going ons.
Apple’s come up against a few problems in the planning and construction of this new building, but dealt with all in a fashion you’d expect. Even going as far as to remove a set of brick archways piece by piece, labeling and numbering them, and rebuilding them onto a floor just 4 inches lower. All to keep the building looking as original as they can.
I’m excited for the opening on Saturday having never been to anything like this before, so I will definitely be there. It’s slightly easier to arrive for a store opening than it is trying to be first in line for the new iPhone or other branded gadget. I won’t be aiming for first in line or anything — just in time to soak up the atmosphere and grab some good pictures ready for another post. Maybe I’ll be able to do a live blog while I’m there.. I’ll talk to out Editors :)