Lines expected for iPhone 5S at Utah Apple stores
With an Apple retail store as a part of each shopping center, Station Park in Farmington and the City Creek Center in Salt Lake City will now have to deal with a new phenomenon the lines of Apple fans waiting overnight for the latest iPhone.
Lines for the new iPhone 5S, the latest version of Apple's popular smartphone that will be released Friday, possibly could start forming at both stores as early as Thursday night. Apple begins selling the new device at 8 a.m. Friday at those stores as well as an Apple store at Fashion Place in Murray.
For Station Park, which opens its Apple store on Friday, and City Creek, this will be a new experience in retail madness.
"We're well prepared to manage these events," said Linda Wardell, general manager for the City Creek Center, which is between 100 South and South Temple on both sides of Main Street. "We've worked closely with our Apple team, and they are very excited and ready for this event."
When the Salt Lake City Apple store was part of The Gateway shopping center just west of EnergySolutions Arena, long lines were an annual ritual since the first iPhone debuted in 2007. Last November, the Apple store at The Gateway got out of its lease early and moved to City Creek.
While City Creek prohibits visitors after hours in the "retail gallerias," the rows of stores on each side of Main Street, the shopping center will allow people to stand in line early for the new iPhone, Wardell said. If a line forms the night before (typically, the line for an Apple iPhone launch has started as early as 8 p.m. the night before), then it will start on the west sidewalk of Main Street next to the Texas de Brazil steakhouse, Wardell said. "We'll just wrap them up around the building, and we have plenty of room," she added.
Station Park is an open-air shopping center and will have less of an issue controlling a line, so customers are welcome to set one up, said Craig Trottier, vice president of development for CenterCal Properties, which owns and develops Station Park.
The Apple store at Station Park is the third to open in Utah after City Creek and Fashion Place and is having its grand opening on the same day the new iPhone 5S is selling. Free shirts will be handed out to the first 1,000 customers to arrive.
The 8,200-square-foot store is on the east side of Station Park in the central plaza.
The iPhone 5S is expected to draw lines this year, in large part because Apple decided this time to not take pre-orders for the phone. A second phone introduced by Apple this year, the low-cost iPhone 5C, also will start selling on Friday but the company started taking pre-orders on it last Friday.