The eponymous aspen trees at the Aspen Grove shopping mall in Littleton, Colorado are barely budding out, but there is something new that's sprouted up at the location: A freshly–updated Apple Store.
The Aspen Grove Apple Store has been open for quite a few years (it opened on November 10, 2001 and was the 16th Apple Store overall), and to be honest with you it was definitely in need of a renovation. It's my local Apple Store, and the location where I picked up my first iPhone in 2007. The store is rather small (6,281 square feet), and unlike some recently-refurbished Apple Stores, the new store doesn't feature a mammoth video screen in the back.
What it does have is big wooden tables with electrical umbilicals rising from the floor, huge lighted sign panels along the walls, and larger walls for accessories. The Genius Bar no longer has a sign; it's a large table at the back of the store. The wood floor that constantly got dirty when people tracked snow into the place? Replaced with a white/gray terrazzo floor that should hold up much better and be easier to clean.
Gone are the two black columns on either side of the doors (see image at right) - they're replaced with glass. The entire store is much brighter and open looking on the inside; an employee noted that they're using LED lighting in the store, and it's just incredible how much airier the store feels. I can recall the days when the center of the store had two rows of bookshelves lined with boxed software (remember that?), and it just seemed dark and foreboding. Not any more!
There's only one Apple logo - centered above the doors. It's spaced back just far enough that employees can place the green "leaf" filter on the logo for Earth Day.
All in all, the designers and architects did a great job with an aging facility, bringing in light and space where it was sorely needed. While it's not as flashy as an Apple flagship retail outlet, Aspen Grove remains a popular and busy Apple Store.