Apple to open Grand Central Station store Friday, illustrating company's unmatched retail sourcing Apple Inc. is set to open a massive new store in New York City's iconic Grand Central Station this week, underscoring the strength of the company's retail operations.

The U.S. retail sector has enjoyed a strong start to the crucially important holiday season. This year, sales on Black Friday – traditionally the single biggest shopping day in the U.S. – surged 6.6 percent from 2010 to $11.4 billion, representing the biggest total ever, according to Bloomberg. Though still a relatively new entrant in the retail sector, Apple is expected to dominate Americans' holiday wish lists this year, with analysts projecting stellar growth.

Apple officially announced the opening of its latest behemoth retail store on Monday, according to PCMag. The Cupertino, California-based company said in an email to customers that its latest outpost will open at 10 a.m., but that the store would open at 7 a.m. the following the week to accommodate travelers in the incredibly busy train hub.

Under former chief executive Steve Jobs, who died in October, Apple defied expectations with the opening of its first retail stores in 2001. Jobs' vision of a seamless shopping experience for consumers with well-designed aesthetics drove shoppers to stores, and Apple's adept supply chain management was crucial in ensuring popular products were available.

Jobs was a fervent believer in modern design and clean lines and spacing. In place of pencils and pens, Apple store employees use iPads and iPhones to assist customers. Jobs pioneered such a modern approach to running a retail operation, and aside from enhancing the modern shopping experience, it also helped lower the firm's indirect spend expenditures.

Moreover, current chief executive Tim Cook was instrumental in overhauling Apple's sweeping supply chain to help improve efficiency through strategic sourcing. Cook, whose expertise as a procurement consultant endeared him to Jobs, renegotiated Apple's contracts with vendors and instituted an improved inventory control system, allowing the technology giant to meet surging demand for its iPods, computers and other product offerings.

Apple is paying the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) $800,000 per year for the 23,000-square-foot Grand Center Station store, and it is locked into a 10-year agreement with the organization that oversees New York City's extensive public transportation system.

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