Apple is evolving its store design and trying to make its shops into community hubs that entertain and educate visitors, Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online stores, said in a statement last 19 May.
The Union Square location features 42-foot-tall sliding glass doors at the entrance and a 6K video wall inside. The Genius Bar has been replaced by a Genius Grove, where customers can get support from Apple tech experts under a canopy of local trees in the center of the store.
The Union Square store also boasts an art-filled outdoor plaza with seating, free Wi-Fi, a 50-foot "green wall" and regular acoustic music performances. Apple expects to add similar public spaces at other flagship stores.
The store is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, including electricity produced by photovoltaic panels integrated into the building's roof.
At a press preview last 19 May, Ahrendts said she wants to see Apple stores integrated with the community and become like town squares, the Verge reported.
"This is more than just a store," Ahrendts said. "We want people to say, 'Hey, meet me at Apple.'"