At a Thursday media event ahead of the grand opening, Jason Barlia, Apple's market director for Greater New York, said his company spent a long time looking for just the right building in the Upper East Side and found it at 940 Madison Ave., just across the street from the former home of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
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 luxury brand.
Here's Barlia, center, greeting reporters and photographers inside the location. "They're all uniquely different," he said of Apple's six Manhattan locations, which include the iconic Fifth Avenue store with its large glass cube and the Grand Central Terminal location situated atop a marble staircase.
Apple brought back other architectural pieces including the original paint color, which was uncovered after removing layers of old paint. The floors, wainscoting and pilaster were remade using Botticino marble -- the Italian marble used at Grand Central Terminal -- to match the portico and staircase.
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.