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Apple brings iVault to Upper East Side

The company on Saturday will open its sixth Manhattan store along Madison Avenue, with the site including an original bank vault reimagined as a VIP showroom.

Apple's newest Manhattan store, which first opened in 1922 as a bank. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

Apple wants to offer a touch of luxury at its newest Manhattan location.

The space at 940 Madison Ave., which will open to the public Saturday morning, was most recently a storefront for luxury handbag purveyor VBH and is still occupied by jewelry house David Webb on the second floor.

Apple may be hoping that high-class rubs off on its brand, as the company begins selling the Apple Watch -- which can cost up to $17,000 for the gold Apple Watch Edition. Apple's retail store sales growth has been slowing, as its clean and modern store designs have been mimicked in some ways by Samsung and Microsoft. Locations like the one at Madison Avenue should help Apple stay one step ahead of its competitors by offering a more unique shopping experience and assist it in presenting itself as a top-shelf brand.

The company last year hired Angela Ahrendts -- the former Burberry CEO -- as its head of Apple's online and in-store sales to turn things around in retail, as well as figure out how to sell the Apple Watch, the company's newest device.

Among the special features at the store, which was originally the site of a US Mortgage and Trust Co. bank in 1922, is a bank vault that was reimagined as a VIP showroom. The company also worked to renovate the space with 1920s-inspired chandeliers, the original paint color and Botticino marble floors and pilasters. The company declined to disclose its costs for the renovations.

CNET visited the store ahead of the opening to check out some of these features.