Tabletops

By Michael Steeber

Tabletops: Apple Brompton Road

#28・
37

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Michael Steeber
Michael Steeber
Your support of The Apple Store Time Machine has been incredible. So many people in the Apple community have messaged me to say that the project brought back great memories. That’s all I can ask for.
Without the guidance of a few friends who helped me test and iron out bugs, the app would still be a broken Xcode project. Thank you. I also need to thank my brother Robert, who built the Time Machine’s soundscape. His feedback and attention to detail is outstanding.
Many people have asked me about the tools and research that went into building the Time Machine. I joined John Gruber on The Talk Show this week to chat about the project’s roots and to dive deep on everything Apple Retail. I’ll also be devoting next week’s newsletter to a behind-the-scenes look. But today there’s something more pressing to attend to: a new store just opened.
Apple Brompton Road
Courtesy of @RadekSzczygiel
Courtesy of @RadekSzczygiel
Apple Brompton Road is located in the Knightsbridge district of London. The store is a short walk from Harrods department store and Hyde Park. Together with Regent Street and Covent Garden, London now has a collection of ornate Apple Stores rivaled only by Paris and New York City.
via @build_dream_house
via @build_dream_house
via @james_brookes
via @james_brookes
Beyond the historic facade, the store feels entirely new inside. Only the barrel-vaulted ceiling carries a trace of original form beyond the windows. At first glance, this is a marked departure from other recent Apple Stores in historic buildings, where Apple carefully restores every last architectural detail. The reason is simple: there was nothing to save! Let’s take a look at Street View:
September 2017, October 2018, April 2022 (Tap for larger)
September 2017, October 2018, April 2022 (Tap for larger)
Between 2017 and 2022, the Knightsbridge Estate was completely redeveloped for new retail tenants, offices, and apartments. The historic facade was reconstructed to match the neighborhood character, but everything inside the walls is new. The result is remarkably convincing.
via iMore
via iMore
Apple Brompton Road offers a few important hints at the future of Apple Retail merchandising that deserve a mention. For the first time since stores began adding Avenues in 2015, the design of the iPhone case bay has been significantly updated. We saw a nudge in this direction last year in the Bronx, but Apple Brompton Road goes a step further. There’s a new row of MagSafe accessories at the top, and iPhone model labels have been added below each case.
This makes the MagSafe bay, added in 2020, mostly redundant. I wouldn’t be surprised if it disappears this fall, making room for an entirely new display.
via Pocket-lint
via Pocket-lint
Next to the iPhone cases is the once-exclusive Apple Watch band bay. For those keep tracking at home, you can now find this display at Apple Fifth Avenue, Marina Bay Sands, The Grove, and Brompton Road. The rollout of this fixture has been slow, but I think it’s time for it to show up at every store with Avenues. The design is perfect for highlighting campaigns like Black Unity. That’s especially important when you consider that…
via iMore
via iMore
…the glass Apple Watch Display Table is on the way out. Apple Brompton Road doesn’t have one at all. For more on this, see Tabletops #23.
via M.G. Siegler
via M.G. Siegler
Oh, and then there are the seeds. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first time Apple has ever given out wildflower seeds at a store opening. It’s a little funny, sure, but I think I really like it? There’s no catch to planting a seed. A daisy doesn’t come with a free trial of Apple TV+. It’s just a flower.
Featured image
Apple Stanford Shopping Center
Photo via IVA Architectural Photography on Instagram.
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Michael Steeber
Michael Steeber @michaelsteeber

Little stories about Apple's largest product.

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