FORTUNE -- By the time Apple (AAPL) opened the doors to the first company-owned Apple Store in Turkey -- and its first in Eastern Europe -- a crowd estimated at 450 had joined the two-story queue that wrapped around the store twice, indoors and out, for a free T-shirt and a chance to check out the latest Apple products.
According to ifoapplestore's Gary Allen, who attended the opening at Istanbul's fashionable Zorlu Center, the Foster + Partners design includes the most glass of any store in Apple's retail chain.
"The compact, two-level store," he wrote, "is topped by a first-ever rectangular 'lantern' composed of four single panes of glass and a white roof. Portions of the store are visible through the windows from the plaza level... The plaza level lantern (an architectural term) is surrounded by a water fountain constructed of black stone. The water is pumped over the edge of the fountain in an 'infinity' effect."
For the record, that makes 424 Apple Stores in 15 countries.
The Istanbul opening was well documented on YouTube. A sample:
Plans call for a 23,000-sq.-ft. store with minimal alterations of the landmark building
Contrary to rumors and published reports, the new store that Apple (AAPL) wants to build in New York City's Grand Central Terminal would not be its largest. At roughly 23,000 square feet, it would be smaller than London's Regent Street (25,000 sq. ft.) and the Covent Garden (24,600) stores.
But according to ifoAppleStore's Gary Allen, it would be one MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 26, 2011 7:30 AM ET
Apple's (AAPL) 258 retail stores may be drawing fewer visitors and bringing in less revenue than they did before the economic downturn (see stats below the fold), but they can still make a splash.
Witness the grand opening video -- shot by No. 2 in line -- of the company's 21st U.K. Apple Store in Brighton on Saturday, complete with the usual long snaking queue, 1,000 free T-shirts and over-the-top high-fiving MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 26, 2009 7:19 AM ET
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