Thursday, April 26, 2018
Business

Apple Store in Tampa closed for remodeling until May 23

TAMPA — In the market for a new iPad? Don't try getting it at the Apple Store at International Plaza.

The store is closed for remodeling through May 23. A sign on a temporary black wall covering the storefront tells customers to visit the area's other Apple Store at the Westfield Brandon mall.

"We're making this store better than ever for our favorite guests — you."

Apple officials have been mum about the project and didn't return messages seeking comment. A peek inside revealed the entire store has been gutted — floor, walls and ceiling included. The store closed March 31.

The Tampa store opened in 2001 as part of the first wave of Apple Stores, a radical new concept that changed the way people shop for electronics. The sleek, bright, modern stores became destinations for Apple loyalists and, with additions such as virtual registers, grew to define the latest and greatest in retail.

Gary Allen, a webmaster for ifoapplestore.com, a site about Apple's retail stores, said Apple is remodeling 20 to 30 stores a year, mostly older ones with wooden floors, glass partitions and the Genius Bar against the back wall. The newly renovated stores have more durable terrazzo flooring, stainless steel partitions and the Genius Bar pulled out so customers can access it from all sides.

"It cleans up the visual appearance of the store and, in terms of maintenance, is much better," he said. "These stores get a lot of traffic. The floors take a beating."

Apple has more than 250 stores nationwide and in recent years has focused on expanding existing locations rather than opening new ones. Last year, Apple tripled the size of the Florida Mall store in Orlando, not long after rival Microsoft opened a store in the mall.

The Tampa store has undergone two other renovations and doesn't appear to be expanding during this round. The store is bookended by Ann Taylor and the Walking Company.

Apple Stores have long been the envy of retailers, ringing in more sales per square foot than any other store. The latest research by RetailSails shows Apple had sales of $4,650 per square foot in fiscal year 2013. That was about $500 less than the previous year but significantly more than other top-earning mall retailers, including Tiffany & Co., which posted sales of $2,990 per square foot.

In 2012, about 370 million people visited an Apple Store worldwide. In all, Apple operates about 420 stores in 16 countries.

Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110.

Comments
Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecast in first quarter

Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecast in first quarter

TAMPA — Outback Steakhouse parent company Bloomin’ Brands reported first-quarter earnings of $65.4 million and a 68 cents net income per share.The locally based company, which also owns Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill, posted $1.12 billion in revenue. ...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan makes offer for Wembley Stadium

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan makes offer for Wembley Stadium

LONDON — Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan has made an offer to buy Wembley Stadium from the English Football Association, increasing the prospect of an NFL franchise in London.Wembley has staged regular-season NFL games since 2007 and the Jagua...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

ST. PETERSBURG — The head of Duke Energy Florida is leaving his post to take a new role with the utility’s parent company June 1, the company announced on Wednesday. Harry Sideris, 47, was appointed this week to serve as vice president a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

WASHINGTON — With hundreds of thousands of emotional support animals taking to the skies on U.S. airlines, Congress may start pulling a tighter leash.Two new legislative options emerged this week to address a hairy issue for American Airlines, Southw...
Published: 04/25/18

Comcast challenges Murdoch with rival bid for U.K.-based Sky

LONDON — U.S. media giant Comcast on Wednesday offered $30.7 billion for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite TV company.Comcast said it would pay approximately $17...
Published: 04/25/18
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

TRINITY — Pasco County will be getting its first Sprouts Farmers Market, the organic grocery chain announced Wednesday. The new store will open at the Village at Mitchell Ranch on State Road 54 and Little Road. Officials with the speciality st...
Published: 04/25/18
Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

TAMPA — Circle K is converting the gas station portion of eight of its Hillsborough locations to Circle K fuel. Previously, the fuel was provided by other brands, such as Shell. The new Circle K branding also brings with it the Canadian-owned conveni...
Published: 04/25/18
Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida has the strongest residential building codes among 18 coastal states, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Florida’s rating is 95, almost three times higher than lowest-ranked Texas. Other states wit...
Published: 04/25/18
Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Times staffRedlining’ — banks’ refusal to make mortgage loans in certain areas — still has a huge effect on housing values even though the practice was banned 50 years ago. According to Zillow, a Tampa Bay house in a once-redlined area is worth less ...
Published: 04/25/18