Myer precinct go-ahead revives Apple Store Melbourne speculation

Macworld Staff
28 July, 2009
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Rumours are flying that Apple is planning to open an Apple Store in the Melbourne CBD as part of the $500 million upgrade of the Myer precinct, which today was revealed to include the demolition of the art deco-styled Lonsdale House.

The announcement came as details of the major upgrade – part of a series of rolling refurbishments that have already targeted the busy Bourke Street-fronting flagship stores of David Jones and Myer – came to light. Due for completion by the end of 2012, the project will see the development of a new shopping facility, called Emporium Melbourne, which is to include 240 new shops and a refresh of the Myer store.

Of most interest to Apple watchers, however, is the possibility that the company is planning to open an Apple Store in the new building. The suggestion was being bandied about on online forums earlier this year after artists’ drawings of the Emporium project were seen to include an oversized Apple logo gracing the front of a decidedly glassine streetfront structure.

At the time, it was not clear whether the logo was used as a conceptual tool to highlight the market’s upmarket leanings, or whether it was indicative of the company’s actual intention to take up tenancy at the new development. However, the location is currently hidden behind black cladding similar to that used to obscure the Sydney CBD Apple Store.

Apple operates two Apple Stores in the Melbourne metropolitan area – at Chadstone Shopping Centre and Westfield Shoppingtown Doncaster – but so far has no site in the CBD itself. Company spokespeople offered no comment when questioned about the company’s future retail plans.

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