We got a chance to preview the new Manhattan Apple Store
this morning before the official unveiling tomorrow at 6PM. The store is nicely situated on W. 14th St. and 9th Ave., and while Apple did its best to blend into the existing early 20th century architecture, it's still a hard one to miss. The store itself is lacking the glass elevator of its 5th Ave. counterpart, but makes up for it with an epic three story glass staircase. It's the second-largest Apple Store in the US, with a full floor dedicated to service -- the genius bar can handle about 30 customers per hour. There are 175 employees total, and the store will be open until midnight every day of the week. We asked Ron Johnson, Apple's Senior VP of Retail, about how the growth of Apple into kiosks at other retail establishments such as Best Buy is impacting Apple Retail, and he responded that there's "plenty of room" for both, since Apple just had its best quarter ever in Mac sales and at Apple Stores simultaneously. He did say the ratio of new stores is going to move a bit more in the international direction, since there's a lot of room to grow there. We also asked about Genius Bar wait times, and he assured us that it's something Apple monitors constantly and continues to add staff to address.