Apple unveiled its flagship Apple Store in London's Covent Garden this morning. The Store opens to customers on Saturday August 7 at 10am, but Macworld has had a look inside.
Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice-president of retail, was there to introduce the Store and present its unique features - including a glass covered courtyard and restored period features.
Covent Garden's Apple Store is the largest in the world, and also has a different layout to any other. Distinct rooms for each of the Apple product lines - Mac, iPhone, iPod, and iPad - are set out across the three floors of the Store. There is also a Community Room for schools and large Pro Labs workshops. These will be free training days for customers to learn Apple's pro software suites such as Final Cut Pro and Aperture.
There is also a Start Up room in which staff will help customers setup their Apple purchases before they've left the Store.
The Store will also host events such as music concerts and Q&A sessions, and Johnson said these will take place in the ground floor courtyard area.
The courtyard is designed to host presentations and concerts
Apple's senior vice-president of retail presents the new Store
The first floor hosts a kids area and the Genius Bar
The iPod touch-based payment system should speed up transactions, as any staff member can take your credit card details. Hidden cash registers are also built into some tables
The Store has two glass staircases - a first for Apple
The Apple Store, Covent Garden is at No. 1-7 The Piazza London, WC2E 8HA . Opening hours, apart from Saturday 7 August, when the store opens at 10am, are Monday - Friday 9am - 9pm and Sunday noon - 6pm.
More details including driving directions in central London and a map can be found at www.apple.com/uk/retail/coventgarden.