Opened August 2010, this Apple Store,on the site of the Rock Garden in the Covent Garden Piazza is also the world’s largest and the carefully restored 1876 building is a dazzler. Exposed brickwork, English oak tables and stone floors over three spacious floors make for a spare, elegant and hugely appealing environment. There’s even an original fireplace in the business briefings room on the second floor.
This is the first Apple Store to feature a Start Up Room: a brilliant example of after-sales service. Once you’ve bought your iPad, Mac, iPod or whatever, you can take it straight to a dedicated area where staff will help set it up, even transferring files from your old computer to your new one. There’s no charge for this.
Next door is a Community Room – also a first – with advanced workshops for learning more about applications and the Genius Bar with a row of 18 stools and experts to answer your Apple-related problems.
Downstairs is a huge courtyard with glass atrium. Here, there are daily workshops and events from authors to film directors.
If you’re wondering if there’s anywhere to, you know, buy stuff, there are rooms devoted to each product line and the 300 staff have modified iPod touch systems which can swipe your credit card throughout the store.
With the Regent Street store Apple’s highest-traffic shop worldwide – this location with its inviting atmosphere and expansive dimensions will be hoping to take its crown.