Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
The wall-to-wall people may indicate the demand for Apple's products in the Salt Lake Valley. Evidence indicates that a second Apple Store may be coming to Utah. As reported by the website ifoAppleStore.com last Wednesday, a new Apple Store is on the way at Fashion Place Mall in Murray. When asked for verification, a spokeswoman said that Apple “has made no announcements about the store in that location.”
Apple’s United States retail jobs Web page lists, “Fashion Place; Murray, UT” in a sidebar under the heading, “New stores, new opportunities.”
A search on the site reveals “current openings” for both “Store Leader” and “Manager” in a location named, “Murray-Fashion Place.” The date posted for these positions is "04-Apr-2011."
Fashion Place owner General Growth Properties Inc.’s website gives demographic information about Fashion Place. The website reports a 2009 estimated “trade area” of 872,053 people, a median household income of $61,933 and a median age of 31.3. The highest percentage of employees in the trade area are in the “Executive & Professional” category, at 35 percent.
Google Maps calculates the distance between the Apple Store at the Gateway and Fashion Place to be 11.3 miles and a 17-minute drive, almost directly south. This new location would be designed to serve Apple customers in the south Salt Lake Valley and other southern Utah areas.
It is safe to say that Apple would not build a new store in Utah if there is not enough state demand for the company's products. An unscientific example of demand is found in Utah’s public schools and colleges. One example is Terra Linda Elementary, in West Jordan, where you will find two or three Macs in almost every classroom and many teachers and staff using MacBooks and iMacs. There is even a computer lab full of iMacs.
Another example is at Salt Lake Community College. If you were to watch the public spaces at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus you would see about as many students with Apple laptops as with Windows PC laptops. You will also find Apple computer labs in the Communication and Performing Arts departments.
Apple may have picked Fashion Place because the facts show it is surrounded with many young executives and professionals earning high incomes. This is the demographic technology companies are trying to reach: young, tech-savvy people with high disposable incomes.
According to Apple's sales information released last month, almost 15 million iPads were sold in 2010 and the company recently shipped its 100 millionth iPhone.
The writer at ifoAppleStore.com estimates that, based on historical trends, the Fashion Place Apple Store will open in late October.
Patrick Cassell is a freelance technology journalist and writer living in Utah.
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