Apple Store planned for Sarasota

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A new Apple store would be an important economic boost to the Sarasota area.

A new Apple store may be coming to Sarasota Mall at University Town Center. The company listed Sarasota as one of 23 retail locations on its jobs website; Sarasota is the only location of those listed that does not currently have an Apple store.

The new storefront will likely be located in the Mall at University Town Center, a $315 million development project that is scheduled to be opened next year. The move would be a coup for the mall developer Taubman Centers Inc., which has succeeded in attracting other high-end stores like Dillard’s, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Apple has opened only four new stores in the U.S. this year, compared to 19 abroad.

Some New College students seemed to have ambivalent feelings about the store when interviewed, and several cited positive experiences at Apple’s retail locations while noting that the stores were expensive.

“I went to an Apple store once,” second-year Nicolas Arango said. “My iPod Shuffle charger broke, and the employee went into the back and gave me one for free.”

The proposed Apple store is likely to compete with local businesses like Computer Advantage and Apple Core, which currently specialize in fixing Apple devices.

“If you’re having computer problems, it’s a lot cheaper to go to other places,” thesis student Zoë Curlee-Strauss said. “When my hard drive got messed up, instead of going to an Apple Store I went to Computer Advantage, which was five minutes away.”

It is still possible that the deal to bring an Apple Store to Sarasota could still fall through, however. Negotiations were under way to create an Apple Store at the Westgate Mall in 2011, but the deal broke down when the two parties could not come to an agreement.

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