Any shopper or passerby can see that the Highland Village Apple Store retail floor is remarkable looking, but most haven't seen the hidden Briefing Room — perhaps the most unique aspect of the 9,000 square foot space.
Out of 363 Apple retail stores worldwide, the new freestanding Houston store is just the 14th to boast a room especially dedicated to customers with business needs, and the second in Texas (the store on Knox Street in Dallas re-opened with an expanded retail space and a Briefing Room last November).
Exiting the elevator on the second floor, you enter a small but sleek lobby that drastically differs from the noisy, open-air space downstairs.
The exclusive spot, accessed via a two-sided elevator against the western wall of the building, extends above neighboring Sprinkles Cupcakes and Paper Source. Apple does not allow pictures of the Briefing Room, an indication of how seriously the bigwigs in Cupertino, Calif. take maintaining the mystique and exclusive feel.
CultureMap was allowed inside for a look around though.
Exiting the elevator on the second floor, you enter a small but sleek lobby that drastically differs from the noisy, open-air space downstairs. That's the point: Through the glass doors, in a quiet room, the Apple business team can conduct scheduled and impromptu business customer briefings, give business workshops and host app spotlights, networking events and training programs, without the distraction of shoppers.
Outfitted with a 12-seat conference table of the same blonde wood used downstairs, equipped with iMacs and laptops, wall-mounted monitors and lights controlled by an iPad, it is an outlet to showcase Apple products and a visible indication that Apple is serious about helping customers integrate them into businesses.
Though Apple selected the Highland Village store for the location, the briefing room is a market facility, meaning that all of the seven Houston-area stores can reserve the briefing room for meetings with business customers.
Keep updated on the schedule of workshops and events on the store's website; a briefcase icon indicates business-specific events.