Apple’s upcoming Madison Avenue store on Manhattan’s ritzy Upper East Side will bring back a service from Apple’s past. Apple’s Personal Shopping Service will be making a comeback, and the new store will also offer shorter than normal hours, to fit in with the upper-crust area.
“The Upper East Side store is designed to serve an important role in the neighborhood and respect the surrounding community,” Apple told the Wall Street Journal. “In this case, that means a smaller footprint, earlier closing time, and private shopping options for customers.”
Up until 2010, Apple allowed customers to pre-book appointments for a one-on-one shopping experience with a member of their local Apple Store’s staff. Apple discontinued the program as the stores’ popularity explored.
Apple’s return to the personal shopper option, along with shorter store hours, is in response to concern by local businesses and residences that the new Apple retail location wouldn’t fit in, bringing a “down-market” feel to the posh area. Of particular concern was the possibility of overnight camping by Apple fans during new product launches.
Madison Avenue’s “fine retail corridor” doesn’t generate the kind of crowds that Apple does, says Herbert Feinberg, the opposition leader, who owns a five-story townhouse in the neighborhood. “The Whitney [an art museum which relocated from Madison Avenue last year] didn’t do that at all except for Friday events, but it was a dignified line. No shouting, no screaming, no tents, no sleeping bags, no barbecues.” (Italics are mine. Sheesh! What a snob! Where the hell is John Belushi at when you need him to shake things up? – Ed.)
Apple is bringing in top architectural designers for the new stores, which will be located in the former United States Mortgage and Trust Company building at the corner of East 74th Street and Madison Avenue. The firm of Bohlin Cywinsky Jackson are handling the design of the new location, while Eckersley O’Callaghan will apply their expertise to the store’s structural glass engineering.
No word on who will cater the barbecues at the new location. We’ll keep you posted!