Is Napa a candidate for an Apple store?

2013-01-06T19:36:00Z 2013-01-06T19:42:17Z Is Napa a candidate for an Apple store?JENNIFER HUFFMAN Napa Valley Register
January 06, 2013 7:36 pm  • 

Is Apple, perhaps the coolest retailer in America, looking to open a store in Napa?

The rumor has been floating around town for some time. To add fuel to the fire, the maker of the iPhone and other popular products recently advertised job listings for a supposed Napa location.

Visitors to the Apple jobs website will find 13 retail jobs listed as available in Napa. They include manager, business leader, business manager, business specialist, genius, inventory specialist and store leader.

While one column specifically notes Napa as the location for those jobs, another column is more vague. It lists the job locations as “various.”

A spokeswoman for Apple would not explain where any retail store could be located in Napa, when it might open or why the job listings for Napa were posted now.

“We have made no announcements about a store in that location,” said Apple spokeswoman Michaela Wilkinson.

In 2012, the Shops at Napa Center developer Todd Zapolski said he had been in talks to sign Apple as a tenant in the former Town Center. Today, those talks are dormant, Zapolski said last week.

“We are far from any serious discussions,” he said. However, “what we have heard from them is that they see the benefit of Napa.”

Zapolski said he feels the Shops at Napa Center is the best location for an Apple store. But even if they do select another location in town, “it’s a further endorsement of the Napa area. We all benefit from good progress.”

“They’d be an awesome tenant for Napa,” said Robin Klingbeil, Napa Economic Development project coordinator. Klingbeil said she knows that some Napa property owners have been talking with Apple, but “I haven’t heard anything definitive in terms of an exact location.”

“We’ve heard they are interested. As far as where, I’m not aware,” she said.

Apple is a very popular store that serves a variety of demographics, she noted. “They are also very profitable” and “tend to draw other popular retailers that want to be in the same location,” she said.

“It would be a tragedy not to have an Apple store in downtown Napa,” said Joe Fischer of the Gasser Foundation.

Even though Gasser plans to offer retail space for lease next to the new Cinemark theater, downtown is the core of Napa, and therefore the best place for an Apple retail store, Fischer said.

“Many retailers don’t recognize the buying power that comes to this valley,” Fischer said. Many of those people center their visits in downtown Napa, he noted.

Apple has not signed any lease for retail space at the new Cinemark theater complex, Fischer added.

The iPhone maker hasn’t signed a lease for either Napa Crossings North or the future Napa Crossings South development, said Elisa Raygoza, director of development for Pacific Properties.

“That tenant is not going in either of our north or south centers,” she said in an email.

A representative for Bel Aire Plaza could not be reached for comment for this story on Friday.

Developer Keith Rogal has been working with a team to find new tenants for inside the former Copia building at 500 First St., but Apple hasn’t signed a lease at that location, Rogal said.

“We’d be delighted to do so, but we have not,” he said.

An Apple store would be a boon to any location in Napa, Rogal said. “They are a huge economic engine.”

Is Napa ready for a retailer like Apple?

“Absolutely,” he said. “Napa is ready for anything.”

Copyright 2016 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. JustAnotherManicMonday
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    JustAnotherManicMonday - January 06, 2013 8:13 pm
    Wow, Jennifer Huffman, that would be so awesome! I'd love it! To fix my MacBook Pro, I had to go to Santa Rosa. Three times. Marin, two times. Just found they have a repair place for warranty work in Vallejo which is great. The tech there is wonderful, kind, and super smart. It's across from Home Depot in Vallejo. I know, driving into Vallejo was risky, but a much shorter trip and easier on my back than driving to Santa Rosa or Walnut Creek. I asked for a box to be delivered to work for a repair, and they messed up the drop off three times with FedEx. I called and complained. One appointment I had in Marin? Had to wait an hour for a Genius. With an appointment. I got a message back, saying they were sorry, but it didn't help. See, I had to get back to my job at Ye Olde Software Company in Marin, where I worked for 5 years, doing desktop support for computer engineers breaking their computers with viruses, malware, coffee, dropping, etc.
  2. tommerle
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    tommerle - January 06, 2013 10:26 pm
    This is a joke, right? If an Apple Store came to Napa it would be the least populated area for locating any of their stores by a factor of 4. Get a grip people. We are too tiny.
  3. guesswhoiam
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    guesswhoiam - January 07, 2013 2:51 am
    Tom you do realize Napa Valley is on Par with Disneyland in terms of traffic from tourists. Your vision is small. You cannot discount the visitors when planning for retail. I think the outlets is the likely location. Downtown is a food and drink destination not a shopping destination. They are working on it though.
  4. funnyme
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    funnyme - January 07, 2013 6:50 am
    That would be AWESOME!
    I too believe Napa Downtown is ready for an Apple store whether in the Center or any of the empty fronts on First.
  5. Really napa
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    Really napa - January 07, 2013 7:18 am
    Here we go! Another discussion about napa being to small. We have 2 targets and a Walmart, they don't seem to be hurting for business. And as far a keeping it local like coffee... Who here in town makes a smart phone?
  6. Wineandfood
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    Wineandfood - January 07, 2013 8:24 am
    guesswhoiam - i think you are guessing on how many visitors come here a year we have 4.7 million person trips per year while Disneyland has 16.14. you should verify your facts and stop repeating rumors. doesn't mean we can't have an Apple store, but people need to stop comaring us to Disneyland - couldn't be farther from the truth.
  7. pettonap
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    pettonap - January 07, 2013 8:38 am
    I think I'm partially responsible for spreading this rumor over the past year or so. I need a new mac but have been waiting for the Napa Apple.... hope it's true... we do need an Apple store as Walnut Creek, Corte Madera and Santa Rosa are just to far and too crowded. I think, with tourists, Napa could easily support an Apple site.

  8. mediaguru
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    mediaguru - January 07, 2013 9:44 am
    As far as getting business from tourists... I don't see how. Visitors come to Napa for grapes -- not for apples.

    But there are enough local yahoos foolish enough to waste their money on overpriced gadgets, so they might still do some business...
  9. catstew2
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    catstew2 - January 07, 2013 10:42 am
    I'm sure there are lots of lost or stolen phones in this valley, an Apple store would be great!
  10. chunk215
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    chunk215 - January 07, 2013 10:53 am
    Don't people usually just purchase their iPhone at their cell phone company or used from somewhere? The things aren't cheap nor are any of their gadgets. We're in a recession but it seems like everybody "needs" gadgets/play toys for most. What can a whole store really sell that is going to get a lot of people in there? I just don't see the "need."
  11. JustAnotherManicMonday
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    JustAnotherManicMonday - January 07, 2013 10:48 pm
    The Apple Store would be great here! Can't wait. If there are people here already shopping for wine, they're also likely to need cables, accessories, gadgets, when they are traveling. Good cases are $50. It's not always the "big ticket" items that sell tons in quantitiy, but all the accessories, like the razor blades, so they give away free razors. We have tons of cables, cases, chargers. And now they're changing the iPad on the new one to a different type of cable, so next they'll be changing the iPhone, then the iPod, and the laptops. Everyone will need new cables and cases. And they'll walk in and look at the new laptops. And the BBQ Temperature thingy that I bought and can't figure out. LIke a probe. The instructions are online in a series of Youtube Videos. I've only got through the first one, I got distracted by a Facebook post.
  12. selim_sivad
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    selim_sivad - January 08, 2013 9:17 am
    A lot of the Apple faithful seem to need to wander into a Apple store wherever they go, and that includes tourists. A good friend of mine (who has no problem wasting his money) seems to migrate to an Apple store in every city he visits to get help for his iPhone or whatever. It's just like Starbucks; it's a place to go and spend money for people needing that branding experience.

    In addition, knowing how gadgets break or become troublesome, an Apple store would be useful for many tourists who drop their iPhone while stumbling in a winery parking lot.

    In short, who cares who goes? If Apple has done the local economic studies and sees that Napa is a good fit, why argue with them? They're not a massive business because they put stores in the wrong area. They know what they need to do to make money. If it happens we should welcome them.
  13. guesswhoiam
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    guesswhoiam - January 09, 2013 9:18 am
    Mrs whine and cheese. This is America I'm free to compare how I'd like. I did not use numbers such as you to make myself seem credible. I didn't even even claim how Napa compares only that its on Par. This community can use a lot more positive business influence. Apple is the perfect entity. I can vision one in the outlets now. We will get surrounding county apple customers in addition to the Disneyesque tourists we see. Oh do your numbers include day trips to the valley from neighboring counties? Did you visit the ticket kiosks to check in? People need to stop being so pessimistic and smell the roses. Napa is ready.
  14. tommerle
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    tommerle - January 13, 2013 12:29 am
    Apple stores are not Walmarts or Targets. They are niche stores that go into urban and suburban centers and serve a relatively small base. Certainly tourists would not buy an Apple product on their trip to Wine Country, just as they wouldn't buy an iPad when visiting Disneyland. It would be useful to the discussion if those commenting had some retail experience instead of engaging in wishful thinking.
  15. LocalYocal
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    LocalYocal - January 13, 2013 8:56 am
    Apple stores make more profit per square foot than any other retail business? But I'm sure you know-it-alls already knew that.
  16. KB
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    KB - January 28, 2013 8:36 pm
    As a former Apple employee, and current business owner in Napa. Why don't we direct our energy and efforts to supporting a new local start up Apple support company rather then selling out to the big guy.

    Isn't Napa all about the locals and the community? I would much rather prefer a local reliable Apple specialist store then a hugh retail box store. I have worked for both kinds of Apple environments, a specialist store would fit better in Napa.
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