It is one of the most anticipated new store arrivals on Princes Street in years. If you ask Apple, they say nothing. No employee will even confirm the technology giant has plans to open a store in Edinburgh.
But in the former Burger King, opposite the Balmoral Hotel, the shopfitters are getting ready to move in. Soon Apple will open its first store in the Capital, saving lovers of its latest gadgets the journey through to Glasgow to get the full Apple shopping experience.
Soon – but not soon enough for fans who had been hoping for a pre-Christmas opening. Today the Evening News can reveal the frustrating news that there have been hitches in converting the former fast food restaurant into a sleek new unit fit for the uber-cool technology corporation.
The Evening News understands that difficulties meeting requirements to maintain the current frontage of the building have forced Apple to delay their plans to open the flagship outlet until next summer.
The company now hopes to have the store open in time to attract shoppers from among next year’s Festival crowds.
Apple is well known for attempting to keep the location and opening dates of its new stores under wraps until the last minute in order to maximise their impact and publicity.
An industry source said: “It’s taking longer than was anticipated to preserve and conserve the frontage, while also refurbishing the inside to their design specifics. For that reason it’s likely they won’t manage to get the store open until next summer 2014, possibly July.”
A spokesman for the company today stuck to their habitual approach and refused to be drawn, saying only: “Thank you for your interest in Apple. We have not confirmed a store in that location.”
In November 2012 job notices on the Apple website revealed that “new opportunities” would soon be available in the Capital.
Then in March this year plans for the site, which bear a striking similarity to previous Apple stores, were submitted to the city council by London-based MPA Architects, who designed the London Apple shop. The company already has stores in Glasgow and Aberdeen.
Jason Eccles, of independent gadget repair company Simply Fix It, which opened a new store on the Waverley Steps in June in anticipation of the global technology giant setting up shop across the road, said: “Apple are very good at keeping the opening dates for their stores secret.
“The building looks like it’s several months away from completion, but we are certainly gearing up for the opening.”
An ultra-secret corporate organisation
APPLE is well-known in the business world for what has been described as “rabid CIA-like corporate secrecy”.
Former Apple employee Brian Hoshi told Silicon Beat magazine: “The secrecy is upheld throughout the organisation knowing that there is a corporate security team pretty much looking over your shoulder at all times and where even minor violations are grounds for immediate termination.”
The company has also been known to spread dis-information to it’s own employees about upcoming products, in the hope of catching out leakers. In 2004 the company attempted to sue bloggers who had written about them, on the grounds that they had violated trade secrets laws and were therefore not entitled to protection under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.