Inside Canada’s 1st Apple Store Flagship, Located in Downtown Vancouver [Photos]

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Apple has unveiled its first flagship store location for Canada at CF Pacific Centre in downtown Vancouver. The two-level store faces the intersection of Georgia and Howe Streets and is unlike any other Apple location to open in Canada thus far. 

The new store is considerably larger than the former Apple storefront at CF Pacific Centre which opened in 2010 and spanned just under 5,400 square feet on one level within the mall. The new two-level location is more than double the size with a report in Daily Hive saying that the store spans about 14,000 square feet. 

The flagship’s facade features 32 foot floor-to-ceiling glass panels that are each nine feet wide. Rounded corners on the edges of the facade and roof are inspired by the iPhone, with the store facing towards the intersection at a 45-degree angle.  A total of 10 magnolia trees surround the facade, and there’s a living wall spanning more than 40 feet with 144 species of locally sourced plants. Living walls promote bee and insect habitats and absorb traffic noise — the store is otherwise powered by 100% renewable energy as with all Apple facilities. 

Main retail floor from curved glass façade during media launch at new CF Pacific Centre location on November 17, 2022. Photo: Lee Rivett

The main retail floor contained a variety of Apple product displays on the walls as well as on the traditional tabletops which the retailer is well-known for. The wood tabletop retail displays touted the latest iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14, iPads, Macbooks, Apple Watches as well as their interchangeable watch bands.

The tabletops displays were surrounded by retail wall displays, including the back retail wall displaying the AirPod, HomePod and the related accessories. The back wall was flanked on either side with various Apple Watch bands to the north and various iPhone cases on the wall to the south.

Grand staircase during media launch at new CF Pacific Centre location on November 17, 2022. Photo: Lee Rivett

A 45 foot grand staircase, one of the tallest of any Apple store globally, leads to the second floor featuring The Forum with a video wall. The Forum is a component of flagship Apple stores not typically found in smaller locations and is an open area for customers to congregate and participate in the free ‘Today at Apple’ sessions that include instructions on photography, art and design. The other Canadian Apple store locations offering The Forum include CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Yorkdale Shopping Centre and CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto, CF Carrefour Laval and Quartier DIX30 in suburban Montreal, CF Market Mall in Calgary, and at CF Richmond Centre in suburban Vancouver. 

“The Forum” mezzanine level at new CF Pacific Centre location on November 17, 2022. Photo: Lee Rivett
Apple Fitness + and Apple Arcade promotional wall with retail display on the north wall of “The Forum” on mezzanine level during media launch at new CF Pacific Centre location on November 17, 2022. Photo: Lee Rivett
View from mezzanine towards the Vancouver Art Gallery during media launch at new CF Pacific Centre location on November 17, 2022. Photo: Lee Rivett

The downtown Vancouver flagship store is also accessible from a unique looking entrance from within CF Pacific Centre. 

Mall entrance during media launch at new CF Pacific Centre location on November 17, 2022. Photo: Lee Rivett
Tweet with photo showing former Apple location at CF Pacific Centre already closed during media launch on November 19, 2022. Photo: Twitter.

Apple has 28 stores across the country and has operated in Canada for almost 40 years. Apple stores have been in Canada since May of 2005 when the first store opened at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. While the new downtown Vancouver location is updating its original store for BC, Apple currently has five other stores in the greater Vancouver area employing over 700 retail employees. The new flagship alone will have 240 staff that collectively speak 36 languages. 

The store was made possible after the iconic glass ‘igloo’ rotunda entrance at CF Pacific Centre was demolished in 2020. Construction involved building the new store as well as relocating the Georgia Street entrance to the adjacent shopping centre. 

Toronto is expected to be the next Canadian city to get an Apple flagship store at the southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets, though recent reports of litigation means that its opening is uncertain. Sources told Retail Insider that Apple may also open a flagship on Ste-Catherine Street in downtown Montreal. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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