With a high concentration of potential iPad fans, Apple may open a temporary store to lure attendees of Austin's multimedia festival.
Austin, TX might get a third, temporary Apple Store for the coinciding South by Southwest festival and iPad 2 release. Far from one tech-loving activity eclipsing the other, observers predict that the concentration of known gadget lovers for SXSW will lead to a huge demand for the new tablet. March 11 is the first day for the film and interactive events (the music portion begins on March 15) and the gadget.
The pop-up store will be located just a few blocks away from the event location, according to the Austin-American Statesman today. Construction began retrofitting a 5,000 square foot space on Wednesday to prepare for Apple's two-week stay in downtown Austin.
As the Statesman notes, pop-up stores have become popular for retailers, helping to boost a product release or take advantage of a special event. Both are relevant in this case, but Plat.Form Real Estate partner Rance Wilemon emphasizes that this particular store is optimized for Apple to participate more fully in the SXSW festival.
Another Austin pop-up store was opened by Hewlett-Packard, according to CNET. The HP Mobile Park opened today, and offers an ePrint app so visitors can print from their cell phones by means of email. HP describes the space as a "temporary live-in community for artists, bloggers and trendsetters from the fields of technology , music, film and pop culture," especially for SXSW attendees.
Apple's two permanent Austin stores take in $25-30 million annually, and local businesses are pleased at the customer traffic that the stores encourage.
The SXSW festivals began in 1987, and attracts new musical talent, directorial debuts as well as web entrepreneurs. Many startups have launched their services at the Austin event, or have seen their products get a huge user number boost as the famously eager early adopters sign up.