This weekend, Apple took the wraps off of its first “Town Square” retail store in Chicago.
The location marks Apple’s 497th retail store. The new space replaces the company’s flagship North Michigan Ave store which opened in 2003. TechCrunch took a tour with Apple’s senior VP of retail, Angela Ahrendts, and saw the ins and outs of the company’s latest redesigned vision for retail.
The new store is a beautiful one, crafted with massive slabs of glass beneath a roof that seems to float solemnly above. The space meets the Chicago river on one side and a plaza outside the Chicago Tribune offices on the other with a massive amount of underground square footage devoted to showing off Apple’s latest products.
In September, Ahrendts announced a series of moves that are aiming to build a more tight-knit relationship between the company’s retail spaces and the communities they sit inside. The “town squares,” as Ahrendts referred to them, include redesigned Genius Bars, rotating product displays and “boardrooms” built for local businesses to meet and learn more about the company’s services.
Click through to take a look at our tour.