Fifth Avenue Apple Store staircase shrouded in white

Fifth Avenue Apple Store staircase shrouded in white | Photo by Dan Nguyen

Apple’s massive growth over the last few years is beginning to be mirrored in changes being made to retail stores that are beginning to strain under the pressure of Apple’s new found popularity.

Over the last year Apple has built bigger and bigger stores around the world and every year Apple breaks its own record for larger and more spacious stores.

Now the company is taking a step back and looking at the size of existing stores. New York City with four Apple retail stores is the focus of two major refurbs, one which will include a major expansion of the original NYC store in SoHo. The details of the expansion have been detailed by ifoAppleStore and show that Apple will close the SoHo store temporarily and open a temporary store at an unknown location.

The store which opened in July 2002 will be expanded to take over the ground-floor space at the rear of the store which previously belonged to the US Postal Service. It is unclear how long the expansion will take at this stage.

One of Apple’s most famous retail stores is also undergoing major changes although they will most likely not be visible to the general public once complete. Visitors to Apple’s Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City will currently be greeted by a huge tarpaulin cube that shrouds the original 32-foot glass cube.

The project that will cost $6.7 million will see the 32-foot glass cube removed and then reinstalled. Work is expected to be complete by November 2011 and it is unclear why the cube is being removed. Some have suggested the removal of the cube is for refitting, either to improve the technology or for safety reasons.

Apple has also begun renovations on the existing Ala Moana store in Hawaii. According to ifoAppleStore the work will cost $1.45 million and will involve a temporary store operating nearby whilst the existing space is worked on.

Apple has also begun work on its first Hong Kong store. The located in the Central district in the IFC plaza will be a two-storey store with some 15,000 square foot. M.I.C Gadget suggests that Apple will spend $20 million on construction, and a further $100 million on the 10-year lease. The store which is set to open in September this year will employ over 300 employees. A second Hong Kong store is planned for 2012 in Hysan Place in Causeway Bay that will reportedly feature more than 20,000 square feet.