Apple is set to open a flagship store Grand Central Terminal on Friday, reaching millions of rail passengers each week.
The New York City store, reputed to be Apple’s largest so far, joins other prime locations in Paris, Milan, and Tokyo, as well as fellow metropolitan-area stores in upscale neighborhoods like 5th Avenue and the Upper West Side.
The new store will cost Apple $800,000 a month in rent, a testament to profits the company likely expects to generate from the new location, and occupies the balcony overlooking the entrance to tracks 100-117, where many west-bound trains depart the city for upscale suburban destinations in Westchester County, New York and in Connecticut.
Apple’s four other NYC locations serve greater Manhattan, so the new store is likely meant to appeal to the 750,000 travelers and tourists that pass through the transportation hub each day. The Wall Street Journal reports more than half of those travelers have a yearly household income exceeding $100,000, a good target demographic for Apple products.
Apple and Android are locked in a fierce competition for dominance of the smartphone and tablet markets, but Apple is the fastest-growing retailer in the U.S., representing 20 percent of total U.S. retail sales growth. The company has made its retail presence one of the cornerstones of its business model, and smart placement continues to be part of its strategy.
For example, many travelers in Grand Central Station at least occasionally experience long wait times when trains are delayed, so browsing the nearby Apple store may be a fun option for bored commuters. The store also aims to accommodate business travelers, with on-peak operating hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.
Commuters especially know the true value of portable entertainment that can drown out fellow passengers and make a lengthy train ride somewhat enjoyable, so spur-of-the-moment purchases may also boost the store’s revenue.
Apple’s latest store places its iconic brand in an iconic location, and the combination may prove to be an irresistible draw for weary travelers and tourists from around the world.