Sources: Apple to Expand Crowded Eaton Centre Store in Toronto, More Evidence of Yonge-Bloor Flagship Emerges

Apple’s efforts to modernize
its chain of over 500 retail stores
around the world may
extend to Canada soon.

Apple plans to relocate its oft-crowded
store at the Eaton Centre
shopping mall in Downtown Toronto
to a much larger space in the mall that is currently occupied
by apparel chain Abercrombie & Fitch, which will also be
relocating within the mall as part of the shuffle, according to
people familiar with the matter.


A view of the existing Apple and Abercrombie & Fitch stores
at the Eaton Centre


It is certainly possible that Apple could also take over a few
additional units surrounding Abercrombie & Fitch for an even
larger store.

Just this week, Abercrombie & Fitch erected a temporary
barricade for its new store, slated to open in spring 2019.
This suggests Apple could take over Abercrombie & Fitch’s
current space within three to five months from now and begin
constructing its new store for a potential grand opening by
2020.


Apple is currently located on the third floor of the Eaton
Centre, while the existing Abercrombie & Fitch is situated
almost directly beneath Apple on the second floor near the
Queen Street entrance to the mall. Apple’s mall-based stores
are frequently in prime locations near entrances and
escalators.

The biggest reason for Apple’s planned move would be additional
space. Abercrombie & Fitch has a 10,680-square-foot unit, more
than twice the size of Apple’s current 4,977-square-foot unit,
according to an Eaton Centre floor plan.

Eaton Centre is
North America’s busiest shopping mall
, with more than 50
million people passing through its atrium in 2017 according to
one study. It is also home to Apple’s only store in Downtown
Toronto. An expansion would surely be a sigh of relief for not
only customers but the team staffing the busy store.


Apple’s current store at the Eaton Centre

Apple has greatly expanded both its product lineup and retail
initiatives since the store first opened in 2006, one year prior
to the iPhone. The additional space would better accomodate
customers in many ways, ranging from Apple Watch try-ons to Today
at Apple sessions to Genius Bar appointments.

The new store would also have an updated aesthetic. Apple’s
latest retail design typically includes large glass doors,
large video screens for Today at Apple sessions and product
marketing, and wall-mounted sequoia wood shelves called Avenues
that display Beats headphones, iPhone cases, and other
accessories.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Eaton Centre
owner and management company Cadillac Fairview declined to
comment.

Taller Ambitions

Another move that could help with the traffic at Apple Eaton
Centre is Apple’s rumored flagship store at the ground level of
The One, a super-tall
85-floor condominium under construction at the corner of Yonge
Street and Bloor Street, one of the busiest intersections in
Toronto and bordering the downtown core.


A render of The One upon completion

Early last year, Toronto-based photographer, writer, and urban
planning aficionado Pedro Marques uncovered a

reference to Apple in a planning document for the
condominium
. The architecture firm behind the project is
Foster + Partners, which has partnered with Apple on many retail
stores and its Apple Park headquarters.

Marques has now tipped MacRumors to another reference to Apple
in a
brochure for an adjacent condominium project
at 19 Bloor
Street West.


The brochure claims that The One will be “the future home of
Apple,” with the longest side of the store opening to Bloor
Street’s upscale shopping area Mink Mile. Excavation is
underway for construction of the condominium, expected to be
completed by late
2022
, but its retail space may open as early as 2020.

The southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor is the former site of
men’s clothing store Stollery’s, which closed in early 2015
after 114 years in business.

Apple has four existing stores in Toronto at Yorkdale, Sherway
Gardens, Fairview, and the aforementioned Eaton Centre, but all
of them are within shopping malls. The One would finally
provide Toronto with a long-desired street-facing Apple Store.

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