Apple turned New York City's Grand Central Terminal into Geek Central on Friday, opening a new, multi-level superstore inside midtown Manhattan's iconic train station.
The store sits on a terrace high up on the station's east and northeast corners, overlooking the famous main concourse, which has starred in movies such as North By Northwest, The Cotton Club, and Superman.
The store features all of the services that are found in more conventional Apple Stores, such as a Genius Bar, a Personal Setup station where consumers can have their Apple products fully configured before leaving the shop, and workshops on topics such as digital photography and movie making, Mac basics, and tips and tricks for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.
For businesses, the Apple Store at Grand Central houses a team of enterprise experts who can offer help with hardware, software, and networking, as well as financing. Small business owners who visit the store can also sign up for a service called Joint Venture, through which they can receive ongoing tech support and planning for $499 per year.
One of the hundreds of shoppers to pack the store at the opening was Ed Garcia of White Plains, NY, who commutes regularly through Grand Central. He said he liked the store's convenient location, but worried it might lead him to make more impulse purchases. "I already spend enough on Apple products," said Garcia, clutching an iPhone.
For Apple, that's the whole point. The company already maintains a number of marquis stores in high-traffic locations, such as San Francisco's Union Square, Beverley Hills, Calif., and New York City's Fifth Avenue. The company will count on the Grand Central store to further boost its retail presence and help push new products like the upcoming iPad 3, which is slated to ship in February.
The Apple Store at Grand Central is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.