Why Apple quit Stockholm

February 10, 2019 by Steven M. Peters

“It’s possible that Apple overestimated the favor it holds with citizens and underestimated the resistance it would face to approval.”

 

From Michael Steeber’s “Apple looks to sell Stockholm property following blocked flagship store plan,” posted Friday on 9to5Mac.

As the sun sets on plans to transform a historic park in Stockholm with the addition of a flagship Apple store, Apple is now looking to unload the property it planned to occupy and distance itself from the project, according to a new report from Swedish publication Fastighetsvärlden. The property sale would mark a disappointing end to an extensive and expensive investment for Apple as it seeks to expand and modernize its retail experience worldwide.

Last October, new Stockholm City Council leadership vowed to halt Apple’s retail plans for Kungsträdgården, one of the oldest and most respected parks in Stockholm. Designed by architects Foster + Partners, the store was destined to replace an existing TGI Fridays with a glass and stone pavilion anchoring the entrance to the public square. Swedish officials and citizens scorned the move as an attempt to privatize public space and commercialize a revered landmark in Stockholm…

Last July, public consultation began on Apple’s draft proposal which eventually yielded more than 1,700 comments, mostly negative. According to Fastighetsvärlden, Apple representatives were “completely furious” after the store was ultimately blocked and told officials it wanted no further part in the project. Real estate company Vasakronan attempted to offer Apple other available properties in the city, but none of these options were suited to Apple’s retail tastes.

An earlier report notes that Apple may have been warned at the outset of the project that it would not be allowed to build in Kungsträdgården but went ahead with the purchase anyway. It’s possible that Apple overestimated the favor it holds with citizens and underestimated the resistance it would face to approval.

My take: This was one of Angela Ahrendts’ last projects.

Below: TGI Fridays, the park’s current occupant (courtesy MacDailyNews).

apple quit stockholm