In the wake of store closures and businesses shuttering, there are some retailers that continue strive and grow. Despite a downturn of sales, one retailer that seems to prevail during times of trouble is Apple — and people love to talk about the tech company, too.
Whether it’s whispers about the brand’s newest technology, memes about its products, or rumours of store openings, the public can’t get enough of Apple. And the latest rumour has something to do with the CF Toronto Eaton Centre store.
Some people on the internet are speculating that an Apple megastore could be opening in Toronto, and there are some key pieces of evidence that are leading them to believe so.
Before we dive in, we want to remind you that at this point, Apple and CF Toronto Eaton Centre have not yet confirmed any of the following information, and at this point, it is all speculation.
Here are five pieces of evidence that suggest the next Apple Toronto store could be a megastore.
1. Abercrombie & Fitch is relocating its CF Toronto Eaton Centre store.
As reported by MacRumors, a relocation of Abercrombie & Fitch is definite. Currently located underneath Apple’s CF Toronto Eaton Centre location, Abercrombie & Fitch has put up a temporary barricade for its new store, which is slated to open in the spring of 2019. If the opening goes as planned, this would give Apple three to five months to take over Abercrombie & Fitch’s current store and begin construction.
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2. Surrounding retailers are rumoured to be moving as well.
MacRumors user ipedro suggests that a two-floor Apple flagship store could be in the works as surrounding stores are allegedly vacating. As we already know, Abercrombie & Fitch is definitely moving locations, but ipedro claims that Scotch & Soda, Baby Gap, and Lululemon are vacating as well. If ipedro’s claims are true, the only thing standing in the way of a two-floor flagship is the Ann Taylor store which currently neighbours Apple.
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3. A study by the Retail Council Of Canada deems CF Toronto Eaton Centre as North America’s busiest shopping centre.
If Apple were to build a megastore in Toronto, having it at CF Toronto Eaton Centre certainly makes sense. In 2018, a study done by the Retail Council Of Canada found that the downtown mall was North America’s busiest mall — outranking many American and Canadian shopping destinations in foot traffic. According to the report, CF Toronto Eaton Centre had 53.7 million annual visitors in 2018.
4. A larger store would provide relief to shoppers and employees.
Although there is strong evidence that a freestanding location of Apple will open on Bloor St., Apple’s CF Toronto Eaton Centre location is currently the only location in downtown Toronto. The location is consistently busy and a larger store would provide much relief for both shoppers and employees, and give Apple the opportunity to entertain more events and programs like it does at its other flagships.
Apple’s current CF Toronto Eaton Centre location stands at 4,977-square-feet, which is more than two times smaller than Abercrombie & Fitch’s current location that stands at 10,680-square-feet.
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5. Apple flagship stores traditionally have public plazas.
While the only Apple stores in Toronto are based in malls, Apple flagships are typically known to have outdoor plazas where community can gather. Take for example Apple Union Square in San Francisco, which is a model for future projects worldwide. The Union Square store features a canopy of shading trees and a tranquil garden with tables and seating (pictured above), as well as an innovative design that blurs the lines of inside and outside.
MacRumors user ipedro suggests that, if a ground floor Apple Toronto store is in the works, it could provide an ideal location for an outdoor space. Abercrombie & Fitch’s current space spans to the western edge of the mall to James St. If Apple is indeed taking over the space, they could be “looking ahead at a time when Old City Hall is redeveloped into the Museum of Toronto and James St is closed to traffic and becomes a pedestrian street or public square.”
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