An observant tipster sent in a recent Craigslist job ad that contained the vague and intriguing sentence: "We will be opening a new Apple Store in Atlanta, Georgia." Immediately, exciting images spring to mind ... A glimmering structure with glass stairways on the Midtown Mile! A bustling Beltline-connected flagship store at Ponce City Market! Or, um, a retail shop in Cumberland Mall? So which one is it?
The architectural marvel of a store that Atlanta dreams about — the kind Apple opened in London, Sydney or New York — is known as a flagship store, and they're rarer than a Honda Civic in Buckhead. Because flagships tend to be custom built to fit in with their surroundings, their locations usually leak sooner than the locations of regular retail shops, which are not announced until seven to 10 days before their grand openings. So though it's painful to acknowledge, the odds that Atlanta is getting one on the Midtown Mile or in PCM this year are next to zero, particularly because Apple is wrapped up in building one in San Francisco right now.
The truth is, nobody (or at least nobody who will talk) knows for sure where the mysterious new Apple store will be, but Cumberland Mall looks likely. Clue 1: Apple tends to locate its stores in malls operated by particular leasing companies. Cumberland's General Growth Properties is one of them. Clue 2: Cumberland Mall spokesperson Arielle Logan told Patch that, while she could not confirm Apple, new businesses that could not be named are coming to the mall. Clue 3: Perhaps most importantly is the opinion of Forbes contributor and foremost Apple store expert Gary Allen, who has gone so far as to put Cumberland on his map of upcoming stores. Are Midtown/intown neighborhoods getting the short shrift from Apple?