Apple Store: A Potential Grand Central Station Traffic Jam?

Dave Courbanou

July 25, 2011

2 Min Read
Apple Store: A Potential Grand Central Station Traffic Jam?

Back in February 2011, we explored rumors suggesting an Apple Store would soon arrive in one New York City’s busiest transportation hubs: Grand Central Station. It was later reported that the plan was scrapped, and then miraculously, back on track. Now the New York Post says the new Apple Store will replace the balcony space currently occupied by Metrazur restaurant, and then some. Details and perspective follow…

The NY Post article says Apple is in it for the long-haul, paying to completely renovate the space and paying $1 million in annual rent over the long haul. During the first year of rent, however, Apple will apparently pay $800,000 — a big leap from Metrazur’s apparent $300,000 or so a year rent. The Post reports that the MTA is hoping for a base of $5 million in profits from the architecture adventure, but I think the deal may generate even more money than that estimate.

Still, the massive Apple Store could present a foot traffic problem. AppleInsider apparently has mapped the entire eastern balcony area of Grand Central Station as new Apple retail space. That would make it the largest store in the terminal. As any New Yorker can tell you, Grand Central Station is frequently crowded, since it serves as a main point of connection for those wishing to travel between New York City, upstate New York and beyond into Connecticut. Add in two connecting subway lines, the Grand Central Market, existing retail shops, tourism and rush hour, and it’s easy to see how congested Grand Central Station could become. Plop in an Apple Store and suddenly human gridlock seems possible, say, during a product launch like the iPhone 5.

And that’s brilliant for Apple. All that foot traffic means more shoppers, even if a tourist or commuter is just browsing. Let’s not forget the iconic brand recognition. I’m predicting an Apple will dominate the new space with a glowing white Apple logo similar in size to the massive American flag which hangs across the vaulted ceiling of the building. With Apple raking in nearly $30 billion in revenue for Q3 2011, it’s likely that once completed, I wonder just how much revenues the Grand Central Store will add to Apple’s bottom line. Currently, the Regent Street Store in London is Apple’s most profitable store per square foot, but I think Grand Central could shift the tide to other side of the pond.

Bigger picture? Keep gearing up for the consumierzation of IT. Apple is expanding aggressively with their technology, their retail outlets and their corporate infrastructure. I believe that something very big is going to come out of Cupertino soon, and it’s not a new iPhone or iPad…

Read more about:

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like