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Apple to debut store at Patios

Posted: July 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Microsoft who? Apple is coming to town.

Apple debuts its new company-sponsored retail store Saturday at The Patios at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.
Apple’s arrival in Santa Clarita is based on popular demand by its residents.

When the city surveys residents asking what stores people are leaving the valley to shop at, or what stores they would like to see in Santa Clarita, an Apple store has been on the top of the list, said Jason Crawford, marketing and economic development manager, city of Santa Clarita.

“We’re just thrilled they’re going to be opening.” Crawford said. “We think people in the community are going to be real happy with it.”

Tasked with the job of attracting tenants on Santa Clarita residents’ list of favorite retailers and restaurants, Howard Durchslag of the Westfield Corporation said it was a long journey fulfilling the wish list item.

“It took me two years to pull off,” said Durchslag, senior vice president of project leasing. “Apple was one of the highly demanded tenants.”

“Getting the Apple store was a big surprise for the city.”

Short jaunt
Now the commute to an Apple store just got a lot shorter for local residents.

The closest Apple stores, with the same level of services available at the new Valencia store, are located at the Topanga Mall in Canoga Park or at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale. There is an older store in Northridge at the Northridge Fashion Center.

The Valencia store is also now one of the largest retail outlets at the mall, Durchslag said.

It’s taken Apple more than10 years to arrive in town. It first opened retail stores over a decade ago. Today, there are 200 stores around the country, with 49 in California. The Cupertino-based company maintains a large presence with its retail stores in the California, Texas, Florida and New York markets.

In-store services
Mac, iPhone, iPod and iPad fans will find more than just a retail center. The new store hosts a teaching center, free workshops and a free filmmaking class for children ages 8 to 12 years old.

Young people will learn how to make movies at the three-day camp. At the end of the process, participants will be able to showcase their movies with friends and family.

The retail store also has a Genius Bar where consumers receive hands-on technical help for their questions on Apple products. And it offers one-on-one training and customized setup services and training programs for a business and its employees.

Opening Saturday
Apple’s grand opening of its Valencia retail store is Saturday at 10 a.m.

Even though Apple is a huge player in the computer market, it didn’t have a local presence. It took a lot to put the deal together, said Durchslag.

A spokesperson said Apple wanted to be in a community that had “interested Apple users.”

“We think it will help us bring other top stores to the city,” Crawford said. “There’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”

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