Apple’s San Francisco Flagship Store Moving to Union Square

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Apple is on the move, or at least its San Francisco flagship store is. The company is moving the retail store from its current Market Street location about two blocks away to Union Square.

Apple's proposed Union Square flagship storeApple's proposed Union Square flagship store

According to the company, it'll be able to add an extra 50 employees to its store after the move, bringing its staff up to 400 people. Apple will be working with the city to find ways to make its relocated store more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, too.

The new flagship store will sit at Stockton and Post Streets, and San Francisco officials are hoping it will "turbo-charge" the upscale retail area, according to SFGate. Apple will be building the store where Levi's was and will be about 45 percent larger than its current space.

Apple hasn't offered a time table yet for its move to the new location.

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Apple's San Francisco flagship store is already nine years old and is so popular it feels cramped. The move to Union Square means more square footage and most likely a boost for traffic in surrounding stores, too. This looks like a win for everyone.

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The current location has been a mess with the construction of the Central Subway, but it’s immediately adjacent to the Powell Street BART and Muni Metro station, making it very easy to get there and back with even something as heavy and bulky as an iMac.  It’s three blocks further to the new location, which is not well served by public transportation.  Instead, the expectation there is that you will drive and pay for parking in the Union Square Garage or the Sutter-Stockton Garage (or walk up the hill from BART/Muni).  The old location is much more attractive for people dropping in, while the new location has much less pedestrian traffic and thus fewer impulse dropins.  I’m sure that Apple has its reasons for the change, but I’m disappointed.


Tony, the bulk of the people going to an Apple Store aren’t there to buy large items like an iMac of a MacPro. Those people will require a car no matter what, and in that case, the Union Square garage is just as good for either location. Most people go there will buy a laptop, a tablet or a smaller device. None of those will incur any ambulatory impediment after the purchase.

As for pedestrian traffic, they’re both pretty much the same. There’s lots of tourists in the Union Square area and they’re more likely to be shoppers than SF citizens who probably already have bought whatever they need. (And as a SF citizen myself, if I need something else, going to either the Market St store or the Union Square store isn’t going to make a lick of difference.)


Tell me that store isn’t facing south… Oh wait, just checked google earth and it IS. Do you know what kind of heat gain you’re going to get with that much glass getting sun ALL DAY? I don’t care what kind of insulation value you’re getting, unless you’re paying a ludicrous amount for glass that big and that tinted (I’d go with a double or triple-glazed system, however unlikely Apple would be to go with it).

Let’s hope this is a VERY preliminary rendering…

Lee Dronick

Dan, I wonder if the store will have those window solar panel combinations. Use the electricity generated by the windows to power the air conditioning.

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