TECHNOLOGY giant Apple has spent almost £1 million revamping its hotly anticipated Edinburgh store, the Evening News can reveal.
Documents submitted to the council to secure a building warrant placed the cost of fitting out the shop at 10-14 Princes Street at £968,331.
Confusion surrounds the opening date of the store, with signs reading “opening soon” removed from hoardings surrounding the branch.
Senior business figures in the city confessed they were none the wiser, with one admitting he had “given up asking” when the store would open.
Maintaining its legendary iron-clad secrecy, the company has said nothing since confirming to the Evening News on July 10 that the building would in fact house an Apple store, and that it would open “imminently”.
More than a month has passed since that announcement, and no further details of any kind have been revealed. The long-awaited store has been a long time coming, with delays snarling the development as long ago as November.
City centre councillor Karen Doran said that she had no news on an upcoming launch, but was not surprised by the massive refurbishment bill.
She said: “I’ve heard nothing at all about it, except that it’s going to be an Apple store, of course. I’ve never been in an Apple store myself, but I imagine it’s quite posh, so it’s not surprising that they’ve had a lot of work to do.
Cllr Doran speculated that Apple bosses were waiting to unveil the new store until the launch of the company’s latest must-have gadget, the iPhone 6. Product updates are usually announced in the autumn, and Apple’s publicity machine has already swung into gear with leaked pictures of the latest iPhone design appearing on blogs and social media.
She added: “I think they’re trying to put a bit of a spin on it, by keeping people waiting. If I were in their position, I would coincide it with the release of the iPhone 6. A new product, ready for Christmas, and a new shop launched with a big hoo-ha. They’ll definitely wait until the end of the Festival.”
News of the Apple store’s arrival was one of the worst kept secrets in the city’s history, with a number of tell-tale clues giving the game away.
In March, a sign was posted on hoardings around the exterior of the building, asking for deliveries to the “Apple store” to be taken around to a side entrance.
And transport chiefs also spoiled the surprise by renaming stops outside the shop “Apple store” on the on-board digital information displays on Lothian Buses.
The listed building the store will eventually occupy used to house the flagship branch of Woolworths in Edinburgh, but lay empty for several years before work began and it was placed on the at-risk register. The upper floors have been redeveloped into a hotel.