You can’t have failed to notice the buzz around the new Covent Garden Apple Store. Since revealing the world’s first photos of its exterior, and the first video tour inside its sprawling retail space, we’ve been inundated with questions and comments from Apple fans. If you followed our liveblog of Apple’s launch event, you’ll know the store opens its doors to the public tomorrow morning at 10am, but before Apple cuts the red ribbon officially, here’s everything you need to know about the Apple Store Covent Garden.
See our exclusive video tour of the Covent Garden Apple Store
Take a look at our video tour and you’ll get a sense of scale. This is the world’s largest Apple Store, and it’s so large the entire New York Fifth Avenue Apple Store could sit within its central courtyard.
Everything inside the Apple Store Covent Garden is on a grand scale. There’s a three-storey square glass staircase, as well as a smaller spiral staircase at the opposite end of the store for good measure. There’s the world’s longest Genius Bar too, with its own waiting area, so you won’t have to jostle with shoppers while waiting to get your iPhone 4 looked at.
Inside, 300 staff will attend to your every need. That’s more than any other Apple Store in the world, and includes sales assistants as well as professional-grade software trainers.
New training programmes
The Apple Store Covent Garden sees Apple debut its new Pro Labs training programme. Sign up, and you’ll get eight hours of professional tutelage for free. You don’t have to take it all at once either, just book yourself in for classes when it suits you, follow the curriculum and Apple promisses you’ll reach a “professional standard” in applications such as Final Cut Pro, Aperture and Logic.
This is, we think, the smartest new Apple Store feature. Take a couple of courses, and you’ll stand to save yourself literally hundreds of pounds in professional courses.
Check out our Apple Store Covent Garden sneak peek liveblog
New rooms for new ideas
The Apple Store Covent Garden has new Community rooms for leaning in groups, as well as a new Briefing Room to help small businesses get to grips with Apple kit. There’s even a set up room where you’ll have the option of being taken after buying a new Mac, iPhone or iPad to have it set up for you. The service is free, and even includes copying files and settings from an old computer.
Take a look at our exclusive photos and video tour, and you’ll see Apple’s workmen have done an amazing job of restoring the building at One Covent Garden Piazza. The interior is made from stone, brick and English Oak. It’s an incredibly relaxing environment too, flooded with natural light and with a central courtyard big enough to hold a few hundred people. Perfect for the next iTunes festival, and in-store appearances by celebs.
Freebies for the first to arrive
Apple usually gives away free T-shirts at its store openings, but while other stores have set aside a thousand gifts for the first through the door, the Apple Store Covent Garden has four thousand to give away. That should give you an idea of scale. There’s also a limited time offer for current Mac owners to sign up for One to One training, usually reserved for new Mac owners.
Exclusive goods on sale
Want something a little bit special to go with your Apple gizmo? The Covent Garden Apple Store will be the first to stock store-specific goods, starting with unique MacBook and iPhone cases, branded with the Covent Garden name and featuring a design echoing the store’s exterior arches.
It’s open tomorrow
By now, you’re probably keen to have a nose around the Apple Store Covent Garden yourself. It opens at 10am tomorrow, Saturday August 7.